Editor: I attended the town hall meeting on Jan. 17, and I applaud Langley Township council for addressing the issue of propane cannon noise. I was extremely impressed by the number of speakers who so passionately explained the impact that blueberry cannons are having on our lives. For every cannon user, there has to be a dozen or more surrounding families affected by the extreme noise, and these people showed up in force.
Where were the nameless and faceless people who are causing all of this distress?
I wanted to make two additional points that were not clearly stated by the speakers at the town hall meeting.
One is how incredibly loud propane cannons are. Many spoke about the volume, but no one provided specific details, so here they are. The most common propane cannon used in the Fraser Valley is the Purivox triple shot cannon. The specifications for this device state that the volume of that cannon is 146 decibels at the source.
As a general rule, noise decreases by six decibels for every doubling of the distance. At one-half kilometre distance, the noise level is still 92 decibels. Another way to say this is that everyone within a half-kilometre in all directions is severely affected by the noise from a single propane cannon.
Worksafe BC states that workers should wear hearing protection in the workplace when noise levels exceed 85 decibels.
Propane cannons are incredible loud, way too loud to be permitted in populated areas.
Second, only one person in the audience clearly explained the sheer number of blasts that many of us are enduring. This speaker said that she hears over 300 blasts per day at her home.
Many of us have to tolerate way more than 300 blasts per day. Cannons are permitted to fire three blasts every five minutes, for 10.5 hours in the day. That equates to approximately 350 blasts per day from one cannon.
At my home, there are three cannons in nearby fields. I have to endure more than 1,000 blasts per day. Some residents have to listen to the noise from even more than three cannons.
Something has to be done, and I sincerely hope that Langley Township can ban the use of propane cannons. Hopefully, my municipality of Abbotsford will do the same.