Construction noise levels at and near locations on the project sites would fluctuate depending on the particular type, number, and duration of use of various pieces of construction equipment. The effect of construction noise would depend upon how much noise would be generated by construction, the distance between construction activities and the nearest noise-sensitive receptors, and the existing noise levels at those sites.
The noisiest phases of construction would generate approximately 89 Leq at 50 feet (EPA, 1971). Construction activities would require the transportation of materials, equipment and supplies to the two sites. Noise emissions generated from construction equipment varies from 76 dBA for air compressors to 90 dBA for front-end loaders and hydraulic equipment. Noise from localized construction point sources usually decrease by 6 dBA with each doubling of distance from source to receptor.
No sensitive noise receptors exist in the vicinity of the Geysers site. The receptors nearest to the proposed construction activity at the Fulton site would be residences located east of Highway 101. The nearest homes to the Fulton site are approximately 500 feet away. Noise generated from construction at the Fulton site is not expected to be noticeable over the already substantial noise generated from traffic on U.S. Highway 101. Daily access to the site and vehicle parking by construction workers is not anticipated to result in noticeable increases in noise levels for residents.
Since operation of the project would not result in long-term traffic increases, long-term noise impacts are not expected to occur. Additionally, the proposed project would not result in long-term operational source noise. Therefore, the proposed project would result in less than significant noise impacts. Mitigation is not required.
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