Noise levels set for CMP’s environmental permit

The noise levels in CMP’s environmental permit in Malmö have now been established. Following supplementary investigations and measurements, the County Administrative Board in Skåne has arrived at a decision. CMP welcomes the fact that the noise issue has now been settled.

”It is excellent news that the conditions are now in place for the noise level in our operation”, says CMP’s deputy CEO Lennart Pettersson. ”These sound levels represent very reasonable requirements for the port operation, which is now concentrated on Frihamnen and Northern Harbour. 

CMP was granted the permit to conduct port operations in accordance with the Swedish Environmental Code in 2009. However, the permit was linked to so-called review requirements, with CMP being required to clarify a number of specific environmental issues before the final conditions were set. One condition concerned the noise levels. The issue is of particular importance as the port operation has been centrally located in Malmö over a long period, and increasing numbers of residential buildings are being built in the vicinity of the port district. However, the investigatory work has dragged on due to the fact that several of CMP’s operations in Malmö were only moved to Northern Harbour during autumn 2011. It has therefore taken time before it has been possible to take reliable noise measurements for both activities that are currently on-going and those that will continue in the long-term at the port terminals.

New preventive measures

In its decision the County Administrative Board in Skåne notes that CMP has taken preventive measures to reduce noise, including the fact that the new facilities in Northern Harbour are situated further away from the city centre than the old terminals. Investments have also been made in a new container crane that reduces the noise of goods handling. The permit accepts mean sound levels of 57 decibels during daytime and evenings, and 50 decibels outdoors in the vicinity of housing during night-time. In some locations CMP has the right to exceed these guideline values. In those cases the requirement is that the mean noise level does not exceed 60 decibels outdoors in the vicinity of housing. It involves a maximum of ten infringements per year and only in the event of specific incidents, e.g. accidents or breakdowns.

The permit also regulates the maximum sound level from an individual incident during the night, which may rise to 70 decibels. In this context the guideline value can be exceeded on no more than ten occasions per week. By way of comparison, a whisper is around 30 decibels, music broadcast at low volume on the radio is around 40 decibels and the noise level on a city street about 75-85 decibels.

”The noise conditions enable us to continue the growth in our shipping traffic – both day and night”, says Lennart Pettersson. The environmental permit in Malmö enables an increase in volume to a maximum of 6,000 ships per year.

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