Noise Impact of Quarry on Surrounding Community

Southern Ready Mix Aggregates

Southern Ready Mix Aggregates in Opelika, Alabama, planned to make several changes in its equipment and operations. Before it could implement these changes, the quarry needed to determine the relative noise impacts on adjoining residences.
To assess noise impacts from the quarry’s operations, RSG:

  • visited the Opelika quarry six times over a one-year period taking sound-level measurements at over 50 locations in and around the site;
  • determined sound emission levels from all the operational equipment including the crusher, loaders, dump trucks, scrapers, haul trucks, excavators, hammers, as well as noise from drilling and blasting;
  • performed statistical analyses to correlate quarry noise with noise monitored along the property lines and at more than 40 homes and properties; and
  • conducted sound modeling to determine changes in sound levels resulting from modifications to the quarry and its operations.

The monitoring data showed that existing sound levels outside the quarry did not exceed federal guidelines, and that there was no correlation between quarry noise and sound levels monitored at the south, southwest, and northern property lines. Our results indicated that the quarry, while audible from time to time, did not dominate background noise at these locations. Noise mitigation included earthen berms and relocation of the crusher to the quarry floor.

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