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EMA moving in on breakfast parties

Published: 
Friday, January 19, 2018

The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) will be cracking down on breakfast parties which refuse to adhere to the Noise Pollution Control Rules. EMA officials are having ongoing discussions, not only with breakfast party promoters, but all stakeholders as Carnival draws nearer, corporate communications officer Mario Singh said yesterday.

He said the agency is also working with the police to ensure compliance.

“In terms of breakfast parties, our managing director has signalled that we are taking a look at it. The daytime level is from 80 decibels and then from night time the level goes down to 65 decibels,” he said.

Singh said with a noise variation there is laxity for noise to go “a little above the noise level” but there are certain considerations.

“In the case of breakfast parties, depending on when it starts, they will have to go to the standard noise level, or if there is a variation the level is permitted within the variation,” he explained.

He said the EMA does not look at the format of the event but rather if it is complying with the applicable noise level at the time.

“For day time there is a higher level as opposed to night time where there is a lower level. Let’s say the party starts at 4 am. That is the night time level. When it goes to 8 am the noise level goes up a bit because that is day time level,” Singh said.

He said weekly discussions are taking place with stakeholders and factors considered include proximity to hospitals, residences and homes for the elderly.

“Over the years we do a roster of events to be monitored and we take into account sensitive receptors in the area of the surrounding environment.

“We also look at the history of complaints and we investigate these complaints from the public in making a determination as to where we would want to focus our attention,” Singh said.

Penalties include fines from $10,000 up. Promoters have to place a bond with the EMA before the event and if the decibel level isnot adhered to, the bond is automatically lost. The prescribed fee for a single event is $250 and $1000 for multiple events.

Noise Pollution Control Rules

The Noise Pollution Control Rules (NPCR) , created under provisions of the Envionmental Management Act Chapter 35:05, sets prescribed standards for noise and controls the emission of sounds in the environment which are considered to be noise pollution.

The NPCR refers to a ‘variation’ as a deviation from the prescribed standards or sound levels.

It prescribes standards in three areas—general, environmentally sensitive, and industrial areas.

In general areas such as Woodbrook, St Clair, Port-of-Spain and environs, the night-time (8 pm–8 am) level is 65 decibels but with a noise variation permit, an event promoter is allowed to exceed the prescribed level.

Holders of such permits are required to adhere to set decibel levels.

In cases where no noise variation is obtained by the event promoter, the regular (daytime or night time) prescribed levels must be observed.

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