Last Updated
May 15, 2018

Noise Program

Phone: (337) 531-3577

E-mail: usarmy.polk.imcom.mbx.dpw-noise-complaint@mail.mil

Noise Civilian Complaint Form

MISSION

One goal of the Department of the Army (DA) is to plan, initiate, and carry out actions and programs designed to minimize adverse impacts upon the quality of the human environment without impairing the Army's mission. Primary strategies for protecting the mission of military installations from the problems of noise incompatibility are long-range land use planning and being a responsible neighbor to surrounding communities.

NOISE COMPLAINT MANAGEMENT

The purpose of the Noise Complaint Management Program is to be available to the public and educate them so that they are aware that Fort Polk cares about their concerns. In most cases, the courteous and honest treatment of the complainant will reduce the potential for future calls. Noise complaints are carefully studied and responded to in a judicious manner.

The potential of noise complaints will be reduced by providing the news media with press releases when Noise events are likely to occur. The press release will include an email address or telephone number that the community can use to receive additional information or complain about the noise. The news media will be monitored to make sure the information is being released to the community in a timely manner.

OPERATIONAL NOISE  

Military installations are, by nature, sources of noise and the Army can receive complaints from the general public regarding military noise. Fort Polk is sensitive to the general public’s concerns regarding noise. In order to minimize excessive noise, the installation has implemented an Installation Environmental Noise Management Plan and installed a network of noise monitoring stations.

Information is continuously being collected through the use of seven (7) noise monitors located south and east of the Limited Use Area (LUA) impact area and five (5) monitors located around the Peason Ridge area. An additional noise monitor was installed in 2009 inside the DMPBAC at Live Fire Village #2, bringing the Peason Ridge monitoring array up to six (6) permanent monitors. Data is transferred to Fort Polk from this monitor via a satellite dish. In FY2012, the thirteen (13) permanent noise monitors were replaced with new monitors that have the capability to capture and record audio clips of noise events. These sound recordings record sounds from four (4) seconds prior to the onset of the noise event to seven (7) seconds after the noise event. These noise clips provide the manager of the noise program with an easy way to determine whether the noise event was caused by bomb blasts, artillery, aircraft, lightning, vehicles without mufflers, or dogs barking. The noise monitoring program continues to fulfill Fort Polk’s commitment to the public to provide monitoring, as agreed to in the Environmental Assessments conducted for the LUA and Peason Ridge areas. The general public has historically filed complaints for excessive noise from military activities conducted on both Fort Polk and Peason Ridge. Activities generating noise complaints include small unit training activities, small arms ranges, large ordnance (i.e. armor and artillery), and aviation activities. The likelihood of a particular activity generating a complaint due to noise depends on a variety of characteristics of the noise including its sound level, number of occurrences, time pattern, abruptness of onset or cessation, or the presence of background noise.

Since 1994, the number of noise complaints has drastically declined due to management of sensitive activities. To minimize noise complaints, Fort Polk has responded by making adjustments in the flight paths of both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft and reducing detonation charge weights to reduce noise.

Historically, a significant portion of Fort Polk’s noise complaints have been associated with military aircraft operations.

There were no noise complaints in 2009, 2010, or 2011. Fort Polk received one noise complaint in January of 2012 from the dropping of bombs as part of training at Peason Ridge. This occurred when an atmospheric inversion was present. Atmospheric inversions are weather phenomenon that typically only occur during winter months when the sky is clear and the night time temperature is 25 degrees or more cooler than the day time temperature. Atmospheric inversions trap sound near the ground instead of allowing the sound to rise to the upper atmosphere and dissipate. Trapping the sound at ground level, intensifies the sound level at the neighboring receptors, which results in increased complaints. The weather conditions that cause atmospheric inversions do not occur in Louisiana very frequently due to the natural high humidity of the area and atmospheric inversions almost never occur outside the months of December thru February.

Photo of a noise monitor located on Fort Polk
Photo of a noise monitor located on Fort Polk

Noise monitor records the results of a helicopter fly over
Noise monitor records the results of a helicopter fly over

Noise test equipment being unpacked
Noise test equipment being unpacked