Caddo commissioners joined their Bossier counterparts Thursday in amending parish law to regulate noise.
The 8-3 vote came months after local governments considered the idea, brought on by a pickup in Haynesville Shale natural gas production. Lag time included scientific measurements and working with industry leaders to find compromises.
As approved, businesses must submit plans on how they will meet an area’s maximum permissible level — 5 decibels above ambient sound. The ordinance applies to future development, not existing noisemakers.
“Compliance with this ordinance is still going to be very expensive,” said Jodee Bruyninckx, regional director of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, who also thanked commissioners for working with businesses. “But we understand that, and we accept that.”
Caddo’s version allows higher decibel levels than Bossier’s, which passed in January but doesn’t take effect till April. Bruyninckx said she hopes the Bossier Police Jury will bring its law in line with Caddo’s.
Commissioners Jim Smith, David Cox, Doug Dominick and Matthew Linn voted against the proposal. Carl Pierson was absent.
Smith said he hasn’t heard what his constituents want. He supposes that’s because of the issue’s complexity.
“The reason they don’t know about it is it’s so difficult for us to know about it,” Smith said. “It’s extremely difficult to put your finger on this situation.”
Local governments took direction from Fort Worth, Texas, home of the Barnett Shale. That city has seen drilling inside its limits, while most production here has stayed in rural areas. Arpeggio Acoustic Consulting, of Atlanta, contracted with Caddo and Bossier to measure sound.