Don’t know where to turn

Dear Editor,

Industrial noise pollution affects some more than others. Suffering from a mental health disorder can greatly enhance the affects of industrial noise on an individual that suffers from PTSD.

Benchmark Commodities in Bashaw is operating a business that emits sound levels above and beyond reasonable decibel limits. The location of the operation is in between residential areas in the town along the railway tracks.

With numerous complaints from residents to the Town of Bashaw, to no avail, as the Town does not have a bylaw on decibel level. This means, no enforcement.

The noise maker is a vibration implement attached to the front of a skid-steer. This machine is used to knock loose debris left in the bottom of the train car.

An operator pulls the skid-steer up to the train car, situates the vibration implement on the bottom chute of the train car and then proceeds to start tampering on the metal chute. The duration ranges from 30 seconds up to over a minute at a time. The noise emitted is extremely loud.

This goes on, intermittently/consistently through the day, sometimes for over eight hours. It has been going on for months now.

My mental health is suffering immensely. I decided to call the company and reveal my mental health disorder so they understand how this has affected me. They say, we’ll see what we can do.

It did get better for about a week. Then it got way worse.

I called again and this time the owner seemed flippant and was rude to me? I asked, is there no solution for this extreme noise? You are affecting my mental well being to the point where I cannot sleep, function or have peace in my own home. I cannot even go outdoors when this is going on.

He answered saying, if you can figure out a better way then go ahead?

I am beyond words at this point. He is the owner and he doesn’t care. A capitalistic business owner with no concern for the residents that surround their operations.

I don’t know where to turn, I am held captive in a sea of anxiety due to this company.

Joanne Melanson
Bashaw, Alta.

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ECA Review