Adams Health Board hears Specialty Minerals noise complaint

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ADAMS — Concerns about increasing noise levels at Specialty Minerals were brought to town Board of Health members during a July 6 meeting.

Allan Lemoine of Hastings Street told board Chairman Bruce Shepley and members Peter Hoyt and Allen Mendel that noise levels are increasing around the clock and are interfering with the peace of the neighborhood.

"I just spent a lot of money on my home and lo and behold, I can't open my windows at night to get a good night's sleep," Lemoine said.

Shepley suggested Lemoine contact Specialty Minerals officials as well as town Health Inspector Thomas Romaniak.

"I always advise people to go to the source," Shepley said.

Lemoine acknowledged that he has not contacted the Howland Avenue business about his concerns but has contacted the federal Environmental Protection Agency. He said that he would write a letter to the company.

During a follow-up interview with the Eagle, Lemoine said that he believes large exhaust fans are contributing to the noise issue.

"It's noisy all the time," he said. "I would say the noise level now is much higher than it used to be. The leaves muffle the sound some now but when the leaves are gone it's loud all the time."

Lemoine said that he is trying to capture a quality recording of the noise so that he can share the sound with officials.

Specialty Minerals is an international producer of minerals such as talc, lime, and precipitated calcium carbonate. The firm is owned by Mineral Technologies, headquartered in New York City.

In other business, Tri-town Health Department executive Director James Wilusz met with board members about increasing the legal age for tobacco purchases to 21 years old. The current age is 18 years old.

The town could approve an age increase independently or could join a Tri-Town Tobacco Awareness program that conducts compliance checks at retail stores and offers store clerk training and education programs. The program also establishes a fine system with minimum fines for first, second, and subsequent offenses when retailers are found selling tobacco products or e-cigarettes to those under the legal age.

"We don't want them selling to minors," Wilusz said.

Mendel said that board members would likely discuss increasing the tobacco purchase age requirement and possible membership with the tobacco program during an August board meeting. Shepley said that they could be ready to make some decisions about how to proceed in September.


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