Noise pollution in Yaphank, too

I sympathize with Josephine Miller in her concerns over noise pollution. Noise is indeed a stressor. But while Ms. Miller’s points are well taken, at least her noise issues are seasonal and not year-round, as we in Yaphank deal with as a result of Suffolk County’s 2006 reopening of its shooting range in Southaven Park after a five-year closure.

Here, we deal with the impulse noise of shotgun blasts reverberating throughout two entire neighborhoods occurring every three to five seconds, eight hours a day, five days a week, 52 weeks per year. This county facility was reopened despite the knowledge that Brookhaven Town’s noise law would be an obstacle to its operation; a point made eminently clear to all concerned as far back as 2003 by many, including the county’s own legal counsel. Yet the range was reopened and lawsuits followed, and after over three years of litigation, the courts ruled in favor of the town, which has responded vigorously with hundreds of citations for noise violations being issued against the shooting range.

Despite all this, including the looming fines for noise violations (which will be passed to the taxpayers), and despite Suffolk’s oldest and largest park (Southaven) having been reduced to little more than a ghost town, the county stubbornly clings to this ear-sore.

Noise does indeed have negative effects on people, and whether it has a melody or is just a loud bang, it must be addressed and, in some cases, eliminated and should not be allowed to ruin lives and communities.

John Palasek