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Any luck with the EPA?

kezzafezza 19 December 2010 21

I was wondering if anyone has had to contact the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to complain about noisy neighbors? If so, was it a stuff around? Did the complaint get dealt with it a timely manner?

We have some people living about 3 houses away diagonally from us who have decided in the last month that playing really loud ‘doof’ music is acceptable at all hours. It is normally during the day which doesn’t bother me so much, but for my shift working husband it can be quite the annoyance. The last straw was this morning when they decided to blast it at 6.30am. My only sleep-in for the week, gone.

I can only imagine how loud it must be for the people living directly next door to them.

And yes, I have considered actually going and speaking to them, but they appear to be the sort people who would answer the door with a gun, or try to rip my head off with their bare hands… In other words, not very friendly.

So, my whole point being should I bother contacting the EPA or shall a brick through the window or a molotov cocktail suffice?


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Any luck with the EPA?
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kezzafezza 4:32 pm 24 Dec 10

Happy ending!
We discovered it was our next door neighbors blasting the racket. We went over 2 nights ago at 10pm when it was loud and asked them to turn it down. Its a sharehouse, and the older gentleman living there was the one who answered the door. He told the noisemaker living in the backroom of our grievance, and we haven’t heard the music since.
So yay! No more doof.

madamcholet 2:09 pm 22 Dec 10

Forgot to add, (and reminded by #19), I did approach the minister for barking dogs – which happened to be the Chiefly One. Got a great level of interest from his advisor – in a face to face meeting no less. Should add that the barking dog department, otherwise known as Domestic Animal Services, who should have been checking out our complaint, had been through a complete meltdown and had sat on our enquiry for 6 months and had completely missed the boat on making a case out of it.

I would definitely try the Ministers office. Forget the local member though. I’m still owed a letter from my one who is infact no longer from a promise he made three years ago.

EvanJames 10:40 am 21 Dec 10

They use noise like this to torture prisoners. If the EPA aren’t useful, get onto your local government member. This problem won’t go away. People are living in greater proximity than ever before, and people have greater ability to make loud noise than ever before.

Governments who are bleating about Big Australia and Growth need to step up and deal with this issue. You can have 10 households who are considerate, and one that is inconsiderate, and you have a problem.

sepi 10:06 am 21 Dec 10

you can call the police if it is before 7 or after 11.

our noise menace knew that – she played her acdc at full bore only within those hours exactly.

epa will come out – they could barely hear me on the phone over her music, but they will stand on your property to take a reading, so it is then obvious who made the complaint.

kezzafezza 8:33 am 21 Dec 10

I can’t even work out what house it is coming from. It sounds like the one diagonally across from us x2, but when I go for a walk down the cul-de-sac that runs parallel to our house, you can’t hear anything. The doof from the bass seems to float up the slight hill right up to our place.
I worked up the balls to confront them this morning but when I walked down it was silent. Upon my arrival back home I could hear it again.
It started at about 6am this morning 🙁

GardeningGirl 1:16 am 21 Dec 10

The EPA were able to tell me over the phone the noise was likely exceeding decibel limits, but during the day it was at their discretion whether to take action or not and the man felt that people are entitled to enjoy hobbies and activities. So with great embarrassment I explained that I was a new mum, I explained about the breast-feeding let-down reflex. I explained what stress can do to it . . . and the man very generously said if the noise was still a problem in six months I should call back.
From my experience and others I am aware of, the EPA are a waste of time for noise. I can also believe the comment about the laws being inadequate for infrasonics, we went through a period of that later in our new home, fortunately it was typically only for a couple of hours once a week, but there’s no escape from it because no matter what you do to block the noise you can still feel it. I really sympathise with anyone who is going through it.

Rawhide Kid Part3 6:04 pm 20 Dec 10

Pull the fuse plug out of their external power box and bin it. That should keep the neibourhood quiet for a while.

madamcholet 9:48 am 20 Dec 10

Had some experience with the EPA when the Tuggers homestead decided to hold a full on C&W festival all weekend about a year ago.

I called and they said that unless there was another complaint they would not come out. Thought I’d done my dash, but turns out someone else did call but was not willing to let his property be used for the reading, so he called me back. He turned up and tried for quite sometime to get a reading. Whilst he could tell it was way over, he was not able to get an adequate reading because of a busy road and the wind.

Anyway, we had to endure the C&W at high volume all weekend – including their abuse of the deadlines for turning it off, but they did contact the venue on the Monday and let them know that they could not just hold festivals whenever they wanted to and that in future they would need permission etc etc. Since then, it’s not been a problem.

Having looked through the legislation, it seems to be again one of those things where the onus is on the agrieved party to prove there is a problem. Having just waded through a very long period of time fighting the neighbour over a barking dog, I wish you luck. We won that battle by the way!

My tip – don’t give up. Keep raising the issue with police, EPA etc etc as much as possible. Try to find out if it’s tenants – if it is you can approach their real estate agency. No one likes a bad tenant, and there must be other people who are offended. Try canvassing other neighbours if you feel confident enough.

Good luck.

JessicaNumber 9:37 am 20 Dec 10

The timing is consistent with students in holiday mode. Keep an eye open for visiting parents and then dob on the brats.

Actually my friends and I looked pretty tough as students but if you’d told me you were working shifts and I was keeping you awake I’d have been mortified. Don’t be shy to at least drop them a note.

cleo 1:38 am 20 Dec 10

Hmm, 10pm on a Sunday night and they are at it again, though not so bad this time. I can just hear the vvvv….vvvvv of the bass. Still rude though.
And no, I don’t think there is any time they are not home. My husband and I both work really random shift work hours and in the last month the music has been almost continuous most days. It just stops for a few hours occasionally. Probably so they can so their drug run.
I will give the EPA a call, although there are a few excellent solutions, particulary the Dynamic Lifter idea.
My husband did suggest that I empty the contents of our cat litter tray all over their front door step, while he takes a dump on the windscreen of their car…

Homeless # 7 + 1

Follow the instructions of this song – http://handgren.ytmnd.com/*

*I don’t condone the actions of this video, I recommend just to call the EPA, and if that does nothing, then call the police. If all fails, try the method above. [/s]

kezzafezza 10:18 pm 19 Dec 10

Hmm, 10pm on a Sunday night and they are at it again, though not so bad this time. I can just hear the vvvv….vvvvv of the bass. Still rude though.
And no, I don’t think there is any time they are not home. My husband and I both work really random shift work hours and in the last month the music has been almost continuous most days. It just stops for a few hours occasionally. Probably so they can so their drug run.
I will give the EPA a call, although there are a few excellent solutions, particulary the Dynamic Lifter idea.
My husband did suggest that I empty the contents of our cat litter tray all over their front door step, while he takes a dump on the windscreen of their car…

astrojax 8:26 pm 19 Dec 10

yes, the epa do act. contact them and discuss the situation with them. also regularly call the police when they create noise pollution.

good luck – it may not be quick, but it will be effective…

Swaggie 5:47 pm 19 Dec 10

When all else fails my favourite is a small amount of “Dynamic Lifter” through a window or on their doorstep. Doesn’t stop the noise but you feel better for doing it….

Homeless 4:40 pm 19 Dec 10

Pommy bastard said :

Send anonymous reports to the police that drugs are being sold at the premises.

LOL! – Gold.

One of the advantages of being an interant wandering vandwelling geek is that you can move away from noise.
Is there any time these people are not at home? If so, that is when you wander in wearing a bright dayglo safety vest, holding a clipboard and concealing a hammer with a good thick plastic handle. If they have an old style fuse box, steal their fuses. If they have a modern one, smash the s#!t out of it.
Problem solved.
Thank you, come again.

jsm2090 4:32 pm 19 Dec 10

Mathman, you don’t happen to live in Braddon do you?

We have had an ongoing problem with neighbours in the unit complex where we live. The thumping music was persistent for most of the day and night, and began to affect our sleep and our relationship. We couldn’t really invite people over, or hear our own tv. We spoke to them politely many times, which only had a very temporary effect. We eventually resorted to contacting Canberra Connect and the EPA to resolve the issue.

They will send someone out day or night, to take a decibel reading on your property. They need a 10 minute recording for a legit. noise violation and if successful, will issue a letter to the neighbour causing the noise. A second visit and a second positive reading should result in a fine.

Granted, this process is painful, as it can take an hour for the EPA officer to arrive (they seem to be pretty flat out with noise complaints in Canberra) and it took us 3 separate visits over the space of a week for them to record and validate a breach of the residential noise limits, but if you don’t fancy confrontation, and don’t have time for mediation (a stupid option in these circumstances where clearly one neighbour is at fault) it may be your best option.

In our case, armed with 3 validated noise complaints and the dates/times of the incidents, we were able to get our property manager and the body corp. to sort these people out. If you don’t live in a unit complex, this may be your only option apart from vigilante justice.

Captain RAAF 3:09 pm 19 Dec 10

Toss an old oil filter through the front window late at night. First thing they’ll do is pick it up to get rid of it and they’ll leave a nice trails of oil through the house. Plus, if you land it on a couch or a bed, it will do fantastic amounts of damage!

Write ‘Loud music =’ on it before you toss it tho!

Pommy bastard 1:26 pm 19 Dec 10

Send anonymous reports to the police that drugs are being sold at the premises.

Deref 12:03 pm 19 Dec 10

There are several solutions to doof music, all of them involving large quantities of pain and bogan blood.

Noise laws are entirely insufficient to deal with infrasonics – that crap is vastly more penetrating than the noise that the laws were intended to deal with.

Chaz 11:36 am 19 Dec 10

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