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Remember Gomer Pyle USMC?

A 60’s classic sitcom.

And who can forget his trademark exclamation of astonishment: “WELL SURPRISE, SURPRISE!”

We were reading a magazine the other day called “Rock to Road,” a publication that is produced and sent out to the Road construction industry and their sub trades.

In that issue of the magazine was an article of very specific interest.

Read it for yourself at :


There were a few choice parts that made us exclaim “WELL SURPRISE, SURPRISE!”.

ScreenMachine1) There is a new material being used in crushing and sorting machines that replaces the heavy wire mesh sorting mechanism, lowering the noise levels generated by the usual rock on metal banging! Even better, the rubber-like “mats” last longer than the wire meshing, which will actually reduce the cost of replacing the wire so often.

So….the aggregate industry can take the moral high ground and emphatically declare they actually care enough about their “receptor” neighbours to use a synthetic based screening material instead of metal to reduce the noise they produce.

What great neighbours they will be! And, they will save money in the process! But that’s OK, let them brag. It’s still a win for all of us little guys!

2) The information helped explain to the current operators that there is a “NEW” noise standard from the Ministry of Environment (MOECC) that they must meet. It’s called NPC-300 and the new guidelines came into effect as of August 2013.

We had not heard of this new noise regulation, so we actually emailed the MOECC asking for clarification. The MOECC was very helpful, calling us to discuss the “NEW” guidelines.

Well, “SURPRISE SURPRISE”, this is NOT a new guideline, but has been on the books for years.

Here it is. The decibel levels in pits must be measured to every bedroom window pane in a house facing a pit or quarry, even if it happens to be a second or third floor window. The Industry standard has been to assume they only have to worry about ground level bedroom windows! OOPS!

It seems the article was explaining to operators that they could reduce their noise levels by using this new screening material instead of raising those very costly “berms” to stay within regulation of those “NEW” MOECC noise regulations.

So…we asked MOECC the following question:

If the planning reports, produced by the Aggregate Industry and approved by the Municipalities, do not point out that there are “sensitive receptor units” which are two and three story houses with bedroom windows facing the pit or quarry, would the MOECC know about them when they approved the application?

Well again we say “SURPRISE SURPRISE!”

NO! The MOECC would have no clue that the residential buildings surrounding a pit or quarry would be anything more then one story high.

So….that means that any pit or quarry currently in operation, that has a defined “sensitive receptor unit” bedroom window facing it that is more then one story high, is probably operating outside MOECC regulated sound levels!

Say it for us Gomer…say it!