Noise from horns, whistles, signals, terminal operations and the supply chain has an impact on the communities neighbouring the port. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority considers and builds noise mitigation into port infrastructure projects and we are improving noise monitoring capabilities throughout the port, together with noise specialists Brüel & Kjær.
What we are doing
In order to gain a better understanding of the existing noise environment and track changes over time, the port has implemented a long-term noise monitoring program that captures sound levels in real time within our jurisdiction. The recording and analysis of the noise environment allows us to identify where improvements might be possible.
In the spring of 2013, the port contracted with Brüel & Kjær to deploy and maintain a series of permanent noise monitoring terminals along the north and south shore of Burrard Inlet, covering port terminals and industrial activities. In late 2014 and early 2015, additional noise monitoring terminals were deployed in the Roberts Bank trade area. We now have 11 long-term noise monitoring stations in locations across the port.
What we’ve heard
Operational noise is a concern we receive from communities. The Port of Vancouver, along with most urban activities, cannot operate effectively without generating noise. However, we are working with terminals, trucks, rail, and vessels operators to reduce noise from routine operations, as well as mitigate or avoid other noise sources, when it is safe and practical to do so.
Why do we have noise?
Our port city can be noisy – car and truck traffic, construction, train whistles. Port operations are industrial by nature and some of our terminals operate 24/7. This creates noise such as ship engines and railcar movements, as well as basic safety protocols such as warning signals and safety alarms designed to keep workers safe. Unfortunately, all of that noise can affect the quality of life for our neighbouring communities, particularly as our region grows.
Noise monitoring terminals
The noise monitoring terminals are fully contained, include a microphone to measure and record sound and are connected to a secure wireless network to transmit data in real time. As weather influences how sound travels through the atmosphere, some terminals are also equipped with a weather station to capture wind speed, direction, humidity, temperature and precipitation. Data is streamed 24-hours a day, seven days a week and managed through the Brüel & Kjær Noise SentinelTM application.
The application provides a public web portal for viewing real-time data throughout the Port of Vancouver’s Noise Monitoring Network, and is also available as a mobile app.