One of my earlier posts is about the effects of sound and noise. Good to start with, maybe.
Sound belongs to our natural environment, as long it is natural sound. Human beings are natural beings, with a natural physical body, living though in an industrial unnatural even dangerous chemical era. The pollution of what is visible with the eyes, is growing, also the pollution that is possible to smell, or to be heard. Some people get used to it. But is it healthy to get used to it? What does polluting noise do with our mind, our psyche? Known is that sound can break a glass, that a bridge breaks when soldiers march over it, all in the same rhythm. Sound is the rhythm of the waves of frequencies. The natural noise of a thunderstorm can be scary, the powerful beats of a hurricane on a wall of the house we are in awaken us from even a deep sleep. These are sounds of nature, and stop after a while. As nobody else I know the impact of the constant noise of cities, cars, ringing bikers, trams, people, voices, mobile sounds, airplanes, airport traffic, railway stations, because I lived in Netherlands almost my entire life. But. The effects of a constant buzzing tone, echoed by the mountains around, go beyond everything what is imaginable and start to become a psychological terror, an ecological pollution, in the middle of Norway’s nature, of what should be protected as rare, vulnerable, with many wild animals. It is dangerous for all life. Noise pollution affects the bio-diversity. It has to stop.
E-CO, an ecological power company creates ecological sound pollution
Living in one of the most beautiful countries of the world, with an incomparable nature, you will believe it or not, I have to deal with sound pollution. Ecological sound pollution. It is created by E-CO, a Norwegian power company and after Statkraft the second largest producer of electricity in Norway. I live in a house on a distance of not more than hundred meters from E-CO. So, I live almost IN it.
The sound, noise, what is it, this “eco” E-CO produces, has created health problems and the growing amount resulted finally in an official healthcare investigation among the citizens of the village, where I live as well, organized by the local medical officer, during a period in 2012-2013. The continuous monotonous buzzer tone with a variable volume (it depends on the wind direction for instance) was (and is) affecting the wellbeing of the people, not only those who live very near to this hydro-power-plant, but even those living on the other side of the village, kilometers ahead into the direction of Myrland, can hear this buzzing tone. I have noticed this myself, when I was on a walk, there. I heard people talking about it, people who live so far away from E-CO. The reason that this sound can reach so far is that E-CO is situated in a valley, the entire village is situated in a valley, and the mountains are working like walls to echo the noise, the buzzer tone.
Hol Kommune and their Secretary-Technical-Department
On February 6, 2016 I decided to contact Hol Kommune, because I did not find any address of the organisation of some years ago. On the website of Hol Kommune was just one address mentioned: firstname.lastname@example.org , when I was searching for the email address of the needed healthcare center. My personal health is in danger, because I hear the noise even with closed windows, in the night. It keeps me out of my sleep. In the meantime I started to use earplugs, to be able to sleep, to stop the incisive noise. It is very subtle but undeniable present, even with the double glass windows completely closed, disturbing the needed silence of the night, monotonous buzzing, endlessly.
My email was not answered. On February 17, 2016 I decided to send it again to Hol Kommune, by forwarding it, with a polite introduction, but did not get any answer before yesterday morning, February 22, 2016, almost a week later. In the following email discussion I have made sentences and words bold, and even underlined, or Italic, to make the reader aware of important details.
Secretary of Hol Kommune, email 1, Monday February 22:
“The municipality of Hol is not the appropriate agency for your complaint. You will need to file your complaint at ECO.”
My reply, email 3, Monday February 22:
“There is a committee that represents the interests of the people who have serious complaints about ECO.
That organization is an initiative of the local healthcare, completely independent from ECO, and is under the supervision of the Norwegian healthcare.
Hol Kommune knows which doctor is representing the people’s interests, and who works at an investigation to address the problems caused by ECO to the Norwegian government.
I would be very grateful if Hol Kommune would send the name and phone number, plus e-mail address of this doctor.”
Secretary of Hol Kommune email 2, Monday February 22:
“I have forwarded your mail last Thursday (18 February 2016) to the local medical officer within Hol Kommune. [Telephonenumber was added.]”
My reply, email 4, Monday February 22:
“Thanks for forwarding my email, and for the phone number.
Remarkable that you have not mentioned this immediately, in the first email of today. If you would have, this correspondence would not have been necessary, and also: I would not have been forced to wait so long. It is about serious health complaints.
Remarkable that my 1st email of February 6, 2016 was not immediately forwarded to the local medical officer, including my email address as a Bcc or Cc.
Also remarkable is that you already knew about the local medical officer, about the E-CO case, otherwise you could not write that you forwarded it on last Thursday. Instead of sending this info on Thursday, you wrote me 5 days later, today, that Hol Kommune was not the place to be.
This is keeping relevant information away from people who ask for it, information that you did have, and as an employee of Hol Kommune you were obliged to send it to me. Immediately. Not ignoring it, and forcing me by doing that to write even a 2nd email, in which I was repeating my question and that has been answered in the first place with your false information.
I will definitely mention this to the people who are involved.
You get paid for your work.
(The secretary has replied to this email, but I did not open the email and will not. I had enough of her indecent utterly impolite and absolutely unprofessional treatment. It was and is about health, about the psychological terror of the E-CO noise disturbance, of an entire village.)
Some hours later the local medical officer called me, and when thinking now, February 23, about all what happened, yesterday, February 22, I would not be surprised the secretary did not forward the email on February 18, but yesterday, February 22, after I had sent my second email of February 22, in fact my third.
The kommuneoverlege, the local medical officer, explained in a very kind way some details, and listened to my experiences. He was happy with my request, because E-CO had promised, three years ago, that they would update the information about all what they caused. Etc. But they did not. He admitted that he had not thought about it anymore. Now the case is re-opened. Later I got important information via email. All is in Norwegian and with a friend I am going to translate it.
This post will be continued as soon I know more.
- Miljødirektoratet – Norwegian Environment Agency: Noise
- Miljødirektoratet – Norwegian Environment Agency: Pollution Regulations
- Miljødirektoratet – Norwegian Environment Agency: Chapter 5. Noise – mapping, action plans and limit values for existing enterprises
- Ecology.com: Noise Pollution Acts Like A Biodiversity Filter
- EPA: What is noise pollution?
- EPA: Noise Effects Handbook
- e-School Today: What are the effects of sound pollution?
- BBC Earth News: Noise pollution threatens animals