Santa Rosa's BoDean asphalt plant takes steps to reduce noise

The company that operates an asphalt plant near downtown Santa Rosa has outlined how it intends to comply with city noise rules it currently violates.
Following noise complaints from several neighbors over the summer, the BoDean Co. performed a sound study that confirmed its Maxwell Drive plant exceeds permissible noise levels, especially at night.
The company recently submitted a plan for how it intends over the next six months to reduce the racket created by heavy machinery that heats sand and gravel, mixes it with oily binder and dumps loads of hot, goopy asphalt into awaiting trucks.
“It’s going to be a significant investment,” said Bill Williams, general manager of BoDean. “This equipment is older equipment, so that’s one reason it’s so noisy.
”After a neighborhood group that wants greater restrictions on the plant paid for a sound study, the company conducted its own. That analysis found the plant exceeded the noise limits by up to 7 decibels during the daytime and 13 decibels at night. While the findings didn’t perfectly match neighbors’, the figures were close.
The company proposed a three-phase plan to muffle the noise. The first phase would be to build a noise-dampening wall around a large piece of equipment called a baghouse, which Williams likened to a large vacuum cleaner.
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