Brennan’s 08748: “letting our standards slip”

MB writes:

One thing that struck me as I read the bill

is that we have to guard against letting our own standards slip to
levels we would not have dreamed of accepting before we heard of this
drilling nightmare. For example, read the section on noise limits. It
says the noise cannot be at a level which can be heard indoors in
residences located on “adjacent property” (whatever that means)
between the hours of 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays and 6 p.m. to 10
a.m. on weekends. When I first read that, I thought, “Oh, that would
be an improvement.” And then I thought, “Wait a minute! That means
that for five days a week you can have 12 hours of noise that is
audible INSIDE your home, and that for the other 12 hours you can
still have noise that is audible outside the home (which presumably
means it will be audible if you have the nerve to open a window). And
then you can also have just slightly less noise on the weekend!”
Also–and this is very important–it seems to me that in order to be
truly effective, the section on controlling noise should be written
with very specific distances and decibel levels, not a bunch of
ambiguous terms like “adjacent property” and “audible
indoors.” (Audible to whom? Your deaf great-grandfather? The nice DEC
inspector? Hmmmm……)

What has happened here is that despite the fact that we own the gas
and the land, the gas industry has set the parameters for the
discussion. We start with their insane ideas of how the drilling
should be conducted and then desperately try to modify those insane
ideas to make them just a little bit less insane, instead of starting
with reasonable ideas from the reasonable people who actually own the
land and the gas–the people who live in the area, who have invested
their time, energy, and hard-earned dollars in the area, and who want
to be able to continue to live in the area for years to come.