Low frequency noise research

NAM’s corporate operations not related to noise complaints in Zuidhorn municipality

The National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) reported today on the research findings of its Stage 3 research of low frequency noise in Zuidhorn municipality. This was follow-up research to research previously conducted on behalf of the national government. This particular research, conducted on behalf of NAM (Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V.), specifically focused on the source of the low frequency noise and any possible links to NAM’s installations and activities. NLR research has found that there is no link between NAM’s activities and installation in Grijpskerk and the reported noise disturbances in the surrounding area. The research did however reveal that various other sources of noise were measured in the region.

From April 11 to May 4, 2011, NLR conducted comprehensive measurements at various locations in Zuidhorn municipality. The research involved the use of multiple acoustic antennas, with hundreds of level measurements deployed at the locations of the four local residents who have complained of noise disturbances. In addition, multiple individual noise and vibration measurements were carried out at various locations in the Zuidhorn municipality. The residents concerned were also asked to keep diaries, noting their experiences of noise disturbances. During this research, other activities and processes at NAM installation were also recorded.

Based on this research, NLR determined that NAM was not the source of the low frequency noise that has disturbed the four residents of Zuidhorn municipality. These findings were confirmed by the absence of a link between the noise disturbances and the studies of operational conditions at the NAM installation in Grijpskerk. However, various other sources of low frequency noise were detected in Zuidhorn municipality. This measured noise was caused by various sources, including trains, ventilators used on local farms, trucks, and road and air traffic.

Bart van de Leemput, NAM’s executive director: ‘It is of course a terrible situation for someone to be disturbed by low frequency noise. For this reason, NAM took this issue extremely seriously and facilitated this research. I realise that the outcome of this research does not solve the problem for the people who are experiencing noise disturbances, but I do believe it marks a step forward.’For NAM, the research confirms various other research efforts conducted by other parties in the past. Based on the results of NLR’s research, Van de Leemput sees no further role for NAM: ‘I am pleased that we, as a company, were able to contribute to this effort and that the situation regarding low frequency noise in the Zuidhorn region has now been comprehensively mapped. The outcomes and experiences stemming from this report can now be used by others to arrive at a solution for those people affected by low frequency noise.