Bill would help state enforce noise control

March 26, 1994|By Ed Brandt | Ed Brandt,Sun Staff Writer

The General Assembly is considering a bill that would make the state enforce its own noise control laws, and Donna Spicer finds that a bit curious.

"Imagine having to pass a law to enforce a law, but I'm all for it," she said. "We desperately need a weapon to protect our neighborhoods."

Mrs. Spicer's neighborhood is on the eastern edge of Baynesville in Baltimore County, just south of the Beltway off Joppa Road and a short distance east of Loch Raven Boulevard.

Her street, Eddington Road, begins on Joppa Road and ends at the Beltway. You can walk it in a few minutes and the noise of the Beltway carries there easily.

For nearly nine years, Mrs. Spicer, her friends and neighbors, and the Cromwell, Coventry and Satyr Hill Association, have been pleading for relief from noise emanating from all kinds of sources. The association represents about 350 homes.

"Joan Jewel, who still lives in the neighborhood, actually started the crusade in 1985 to get a noise abatement barrier to block off the Beltway traffic noise," Mrs. Spicer said.

That effort will culminate in 1997 with the erection of a barrier between the Loch Raven Boulevard and Perring Parkway exits on both sides of the Beltway.

"That's one battle that's been won, but it took a lot of work," she said, pointing to a large file filled with correspondence.

There have been other battles: a car dealership that drowned the area in decibels with its loudspeaker, since toned down; commercial trash trucks that banged trash bins around at nearby businesses during early morning hours, and lately, Beltway repair.

The Beltway between the Loch Raven Boulevard and Perring Parkway exits will be milled and resurfaced this summer, with all the work to be done at night.

"We complained to the State Highway Administration, but we got nowhere," Mrs. Spicer said.

"They were polite, but they said that was the only time they could do the work, because of the traffic, and the road had to be resurfaced because it was becoming dangerous," she said.

"Those battles are over," Mrs. Spicer said. "Now our focus is the bill, which will make the state enforce the laws that are already on the books."

Senate Bill 49, passed by the Senate in February, is before the House. A hearing will be held on it at 1 p.m. Wednesday in Room 160 of the House Office Building.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Norman R. Stone Jr., a Dundalk Democrat, to give the state Department of the Environment money to enforce the noise control standards.

The department has not been enforcing the standards since 1991, and has said it needs more than $500,000 for staffing and equipment to do so.

"We know there's another world out there, and we don't want any special favors, but you get weary of banging your head against a wall," Mrs. Spicer said.

"There's nothing to fight with unless they pass this enforcement law," she said.

"It will help everyone, not just our little neighborhood. We just want some consideration."

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