Quarry noise plan struggles with expert review in Maine

An acoustical consulting firm is going to be brought in to review the plan by Harold MacQuinn Inc and Freshwater Stone to muffle noise at MacQuinn’s granite quarry in the village of Hall Quarry.

The site is based on Mount Desert Island in Hancock County, Maine. This is the largest island off the coast of Maine.

The two companies have applied for a licence for Freshwater to operate the one-acre quarry. Their attorney, Ed Bearor, has said that they would agree to pay up to $2,500 for an expert sound review.

However, according to a report on the Mount Desert Islander website: “Nicholas Miller, a retired sound expert who lives in Bar Harbor, offered to conduct the review at no cost.”

According to Miller: “As for the (conditions) that Freshwater Stone is agreeing to comply with, I feel that in general they are quite generous compared to what I’ve seen (with some other industrial operations).”

Miller said he had concerns about the feasibility of the large, portable sound barrier that Freshwater proposes to move along with stone-cutting equipment in the quarry.

“It may be difficult to move that big barrier to the best benefit of the (neighbors) … that may be a bit of a struggle,” he said.

Another concern, he said, is the height of the earthen berm that Freshwater proposes to build around the top of the quarry to deflect sound.

“The berm is not effective,” he said. “If the houses are higher than the source of noise, a berm of that height is not going to do anything.”

The company said that it was frustrated with these conclusions and additional expert advice would be sought. The debate continues.

This story first appeared on the Mount Desert Islander website: https://www.mdislander.com/maine-news/quarry-noise-plan-to-get-expert-review

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