-Idle-reduction practices, especially for large equipment that burns a lot of fuel
-Using local construction materials to reduce emissions from material transport
-Using cleaner, alternative fuels and upgrading construction equipment to reduce emissions
Construction sites can also account for a significant portion of polluted stormwater runoff, so construction site operators should ensure that the site is preserving erosion impacts and water quality throughout the duration of the project.7 Construction-related noise pollution is another concern among construction workers since it can eventually lead to a loss of hearing and other health effects. However, there are a number of actions that construction companies can take to protect their workers and the surrounding environment.8,9
Some of these noise controls include:
-Choosing low-noise machinery with sound-absorbing materials
-Implement equipment muffler requirements
-Operate noisy machinery when fewer workers are on-site
-Add noise barriers between the noise and the worker
-Offer hearing protection, such as ear plugs, for workers
-Provide quiet areas for workers during breaks
-Incorporate complaint mechanisms for workers and the community
How it Helps
Construction companies should provide proper training for their workers regarding safety protocols, emissions impacts, and early signs of noise-induced hearing loss. This training will ensure that workers are prioritizing both their personal health and the health of the surrounding environment.
Time of Day:
One potential solution to minimizing the construction sector’s impact on emissions and noise levels is to choose the time of day to operate construction equipment based on traffic levels. For example, construction activities could take place at nighttime when there are fewer vehicles on the road to decrease congestion associated with lane closures due to construction. This would also reduce the number of individuals on the road who are exposed to equipment emissions and high noise levels.
To ensure that certain populations are not disproportionately impacted from construction activities, contractors will have to be cognizant that actions to reduce their carbon footprints apply to their construction projects in all communities, including historically marginalized or low-income neighborhoods. This may require additional policies to guarantee that contractors are held to the same standard, no matter the community they are working in.
1) Port Authority’s Clean Construction Program
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Clean Construction Program contains sustainable construction requirements, including low-emission equipment. Its goal is to reduce construction projects’ impacts on the surrounding community.