Blog Post

Noise Task Force Begins Meetings

Posted By Kate Washington on October 26, 2015

  • Pearl News

Following up the Portland City Council adoption of minimal changes to the pile driving noise ordinance in July, Commissioner Amanda Fritz has created a noise task force to review possible additional revisions. Under discussion are: a city wide prohibition of impact hammer pile driving; details of the variance, appeal and notification process; and zoning designations wherein current ”EX” industrial zones could be changed to commercial.


A change to commercial zoning in neighborhoods that have become more residential, such as the Pearl District, would reduce allowable decibel levels. This change would permit the City’s Noise Control Officer greater flexibility to enforce loud noises that are harmful to residents, but cannot be enforced under the current law.


Advocates for change have cited information that the noise and vibration of impact hammer pile driving is harmful to people’s health. They further added that innovative techniques such as the significantly quieter auger cast method is an acceptable alternative. Advocates further urge the total prohibition of impact hammer pile driving except in engineer certified situations where an alternative method would not be viable for geotechnical reasons.


The nine member citizen task force has met two times with three more meetings to follow. Commissioner Fritz is expected to bring recommendation to City Council on November 12.
Additional information can be found at


The public is welcome to attend or submit comments to



Reported by Stan Penkin

Author: Kate Washington

Kate is the PDNA's Communication Committee chair leader.

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