New York City Council Intro Bill No. 420 is designed to protect children in the city from the hazards of noisy construction near schools. Right now, NYC students have no protection from the noise from next-door construction. A state law restricts noise levels when the School Construction Authority works inside a school. Why are outside contractors exempt?
Bill No 420 before the City Council would require that all construction within 75 feet of schools limit noise during school hours to 45 dB. The threshold of 45 dB is the maximum noise level that the state environmental law says should be permitted in schools.
Experts, including Mount Sinai Hospital’s Children Environmental Health Unit, report that noise levels in schools for all children should remain at or below 45 dB. In fact, there is an international consensus that noise levels in schools should not exceed 35 dB. This recommendation is particularly emphatic regarding students with disabilities.
Yet noise levels of 70+ dB –– often recorded at construction sites –– are all too common and all too often make classwork impossible. Further, such noise levels have been shown to have not only short term, but also long-term consequences on children’s health and their ability to learn.
We’re worried. So we’re asking Mayor de Blasio and Council Speaker Mark-Viverito to ensure its passage - now.