It’s baaaaaack…

The Noise from the Suez plant is back, but in a different form. Here are some new sound clips, recorded by a resident of Sherwood Knolls in the wee hours of Wednesday, May 7: Clip 1 and Clip 2 (ugh). It has been back for about a week.

It’s no longer the super-maddening whump-whump-whump, which is a relief, but it’s turned into a steady drone that can at times reachest the loudest sound levels of the old noise. This is a sound that is easier to mentally tune out (I only notice it when it has gotten quite loud), but some people are reporting to Suez that it is pretty bad in the middle of the night. Suez says they can’t pinpoint the problem unless more people report it, so if you are hearing it (even if you aren’t disturbed by it) you might want to give them a call at 487-4473. See’s Neighbors West for the latest, or see The Noise page for older threads and news stories.

11 thoughts on “It’s baaaaaack…

  1. Beth

    I called Dave Braunitzer at Suez this morning 5/9/08. He had sent someone out to test the noise at my house (west side of Syracuse) and reported that it was not any louder than before the fan was fixed, nor was it any louder than two years ago (before residents starting reporting the noise).

    I told him that it certainly was louder and he should listen to the clips posted here. I emailed him the link, and he said he and his supervisor will listen to them to determine if they are coming from Suez.

    I suggest everyone who is bothered by the noise record the noise if possible and post the links here or send them to Suez. Nothing will be solved unless more people speak up and work with Suez to fix it.

  2. Gear Of Zanzibar

    Is there any information available about what kind of microphone is being used to record these clips? The audio is terribly overmodulated, which makes any kind of authoritative analysis a bit difficult.

    That said, it looks like the primary frequency of the noise is around 153 Hz now, a D or D sharp in the third octave, with a regular pattern of harmonics extending into the midrange. With a clean, isolated recording it should be possible to determine the size of the resonator producing the sound by comparing the frequency with the wavelength.

  3. Beth

    Shouldn’t Suez be doing the recording and analyzing? Last I checked, I wasn’t on the Suez payroll. All I know is that there is a noise, recorded on whatever microphone, and it is emanating from the Suez plant. It is not my job to stop the noise pollution. It is my job to point it out.

    Suez told me that they couldn’t record “anything out of the ordinary” and so I told them to listen to the clips recorded by residents. If you want a clean isolated recording – have Suez do it.

    All anyone has to do is come out to Westwood Rd in Syracuse at 3:00am and record it. Pretty simple eh? Oh, and the problem is with Suez’s smoke stack, not the fan. I’m not an engineer and I can figure that out.

    This is not rocket science people. It really isn’t.

  4. Gear Of Zanzibar

    My sincerest apologies. Since you’ve already determined what’s causing the noise I’ll defer to your expertise in the matter. I’m sure you’ve come to the same conclusion I have about what caused the frequency shift from a peak of 215 Hz in your original recordings to 153 Hz, with harmonics, in your current ones.

  5. Mary

    Hey GOZ:

    If you are the expert on “noise” recordings, why don’t you take your professional equipment and go park outside of any house in Sherwood Knolls (in Camillus by the high school) between 11:00 pm and 7:30 am any night and record the noise yourself.

    Then take your clean recording and offer your services to Suez to pinpoint why the noise is coming from their plant.

    I’m serious. Instead of cutting down my recording (at least I am trying to make people aware that the noise is real by recording it, and not sitting on my butt complaining) why don’t you offer your professional sound experience to Suez and the community so we can get this damn noise problem fixed.

    If they are willing to supposedly spend $200,000 to fix it (which didn’t fix the original noise problem) they may be willing to pay you to record the noise professionally so they can fix the problem.

    What say you? Are you up to bringing over your professional recording equipment to Camillus?

  6. Mary

    No response from GOZ?


    Oh well, I guess I will continue on the fight against the noise pollution by myself, with or without my crappy microphone. It’s too bad GOZ bailed out — sounds like he was a sound professional who could have helped solve this noise pollution problem.

    That’s people for you.

  7. Beth

    I’ve been waiting for GOZ to help out as well. I guess it bailed on us. No matter, in my expertise of sound recording, it is Suez’s smoke stack. It is broken and needs to be fixed.

    Dave at Suez supposedly listened to the “awful” clips. I don’t know what he thinks of them since he has not responded to me since. I will continue to record clips and send them to Suez, and I suggest others do as well (excluding GOZ who talks a big game but does nothing).

  8. Ellen

    I am not the kind of person to switch on my computer at 2:15 in the morning and write about something, but the sound level is absolutely ridiculous tonight. I was woken out of a sound sleep, as in, dreaming REM sleep, by this nonsense. It was so loud and resonant that it was producing feedback (and that’s what woke me up). All they’ve done is slow down the rate of oscillation.

    It’s mid May, they haven’t fixed it, and people who are disturbed by this are going to have to add some something besides just polite complaints, some sort of backup activity. As I sit here and wait for the Sominex to kick in, all I can say is that I’ll think about it more in the morning.

    Maybe it’s time to get the county involved.

  9. Barbara

    Some people on the Neighbors West forum think we should be calling the police. That notion tops anything I’ve ever heard uttered on the Comedy Channel. The police do not care. And it looks like Suez is done caring too although I hope not, since they did promise the problem would be fixed by the end of May and that date is looming.

    Well yeah the whumping is fixed but not the hummmmmmm-“ping”. I hear it & am just as annoyed as everyone else is so I called Suez & complained to plant manager Dave who took information where I lived, etc etc. I have no idea why he is not returning calls to people b/c I had no problem reaching him.

    If Suez thinks it has done its “duty” to us which may be why its not responding anymore there is no sense in going through the same routines, i.e. local media– and especially to Ch. 10 News Now which somebody on the forum wanted to do. They’re not even even located in Syracuse anymore – they packed up & moved their news android & fembot reporters a while ago to Albany.

    This is now an ENVIRONMENTAL problem. In the past, the EPA coordinated all federal noise control activities through its Office of Noise Abatement and Control. In 1981, the Administration at that time concluded that noise issues were best handled at the state or local government level. As a result, the EPA phased out the office’s funding in 1982 as part of a shift in federal noise control policy to TRANSFER the primary RESPONSIBILITY of regulating noise to STATE and LOCAL governments. “The Noise Control Act” of 1972 and the “Quiet Communities Act of 1978”, however, were not rescinded by Congress and remain in effect today.

    So then. Its up to the STATE and local governing agencies of which ours happens to be the DEC – Department of Environmental Conservation.
    We need to contact the them to register complaints. We need to get their attention, and don’t let them tell you something like “all industry makes noise & we have to accept it.” The NOISE definitely fits right into the Quiet Communities Act and what it stands for.

    Suez was a quiet industry before they installed their “new fan”. It should be held accountable to be just as quiet as before.

  10. Beth

    Call the DEC and talk to Officer Stephen Gonyeau 315-445-2061. Or write a complaint letter to:

    ECO Stephen Gonyeau
    615 Erie Boulevard West
    Syracuse, NY 13204-2400

    He is supposedly looking into it. Don’t let him or anyone else at the DEC give you the song and dance of how this is a “local issue.” Cite back to them
    Environmental Conservation Law § 3-0301.
    i. Provide for prevention and abatement of all water, land and air
    pollution including, but not limited to, that related to hazardous
    substances, particulates, gases, dust, vapors, noise, radiation, odor,
    nutrients and heated liquids;

    The DEC handles NOISE POLLUTION.

  11. Mary

    It’s now May 25th and the noise is humming away so loud, it is reverberating my windows.

    I tried to be a real trooper and went to bed with my windows closed and ear plugs on Sat. night around 10:30 pm. I woke up at 2:00 am this morning (Sun.) sweating because my room was stuffy from lack of fresh air.

    Oh the horror. Being an insane freak that I am I decided to open the windows just a crack — KNOWING — full well I would then be hearing the noise full blast.

    So here I am wide awake as usual listening to the reverberating continual humming noise coming from the Suez/Solvay paperboard area — five miles from my house.

    I wish that low flying plane would have crashed into Suez/Solvay Paperboard. Obviously Suez isn’t doing a damn thing to fix it as it is now May 25th and they were supposed to have it fixed by the end of May.

    I wonder if by June 1st the noise will magically disappear?

    You think?

    One can always dream about magic pixie dust to solve this noise problem.

    Of course we ALL KNOW Suez would never lie. They would never blow smoke up the west side’s collective [you know what].


    I’ll say it again, Suez/Solvay paperboard is doing something on the third shift (something with their broken coal processing equipment), Thurs-Tues that is causing this loud continual humming noise. They know about it, and are not going to fix it because — well they don’t have to fix it — because it wasn’t in their original building permit. (whatever that means per the NY DEC clowns).

    Maybe that newspaper article following up on the noise by Matt Michael will be in the paper today?

    Let me get my magic pixie dust…

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