Noise Bill Swiftly Tabled

Noise Bill Swiftly Tabled

 FEB 19, 2008 12 PM

Anyone doubting the strength of organized labor in this town, think again: A bill that would allow the District to enforce limits on daytime noise was tabled without debate this morning at a meeting of the D.C. Council’s committee of the whole, thanks in no small part to union protesters.

The Noise Control Protection Amendment Act, sponsored by Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh and Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, was prompted, among other things, by the amplified demonstrations of the Black Hebrew Israelites on or near H Street NE. Under the bill, noise greater than 70 decibels, or 10 decibels above ambient noise levels, would be subject to sanction.

Cheh introduced the bill, citing the need for some checks on daytime noise that’s currently unregulated “no matter how long, no matter how unrelenting, no matter how amplified.” She mentioned that she had met with members of the labor community, who were concerned that the bill might interfere in union protests, but noted that the bill had gained the support of the Service Employees International Union. Cheh, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University, also said she “completely confident in the ultimate constitutionality” of the bill…

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