Heartland 101: Managing Noise Using Google Earth

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Heartland 101: Managing Noise Using Google Earth

Posted on Friday November 21, 2014 at 11:05AM

A first-in-the-world plan to manage noise on a regional basis will be implemented soon in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. This will include an online tool to allow anyone to view regional noise outputs overlaid on Google Earth with the ability to zoom in or out of specific locations.

The Regional Noise Management Plan was created by the 25 member facilities of the Northeast Capital Industrial Association (NCIA) in partnership with the Alberta Energy Regulator and the Alberta Utilities Commission. The plan will ensure a best management practices approach to manage environmental noise from facilities on a regional basis. It’s important to note that the plan will not manage environmental noise impacts from mainline road traffic or mainline rail traffic.

How does it work?

  • Participating facilities worked with a noise consultant to develop a site noise model.
  • Those site noise models were combined into one regional model to show the environmental noise footprint of participating companies in the region.
  • This regional model has the ability to predict noise levels in the region up to 5 kilometers from a noise source (industrial facility).
  • Each year, the accuracy of the regional model is evaluated by conducting 24 hour noise measurements at 12 pre-selected locations in the region.
What does the Google Earth Platform do?
  • Google Earth is an online tool that allows users to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain and buildings anywhere in the world.Available by the end of this year, a Google Earth Platform will show the regional noise model outputs on Google Earth so that users can zoom in or out of specific locations.
  • This Platform will include the following layers as outputs from the Regional Noise Model that can be turned on or off by the user:
o Noise levels for participating companies (regional basis)
o Mainline road traffic noise levels (based on information from the province)
o Mainline rail traffic noise levels (based on estimated information)
o The location of residents within the noise prediction area
o The 12 pre-selected annual field monitoring locations
  •  It is important to note that levels for mainline road and rail are provided to complete the information about environmental noise in the region, though NCIA and its member companies do not have any control over these noise sources.
When available, the Google Earth Platform will be accessible at www.ncia.ab.ca, where detailed information exists about the Regional Noise Management Plan and other topics related to industrial operations in the Heartland region.

For more information about Life in the Heartland, visit lifeintheheartland.com, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or email info@lifeintheheartland.com.

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Author: Lamont County Now

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