SEJONG, Dec.21 (Korea Bizwire) – According to a recent ruling, even if noise levels do not exceed regulatory standards, the party that caused the noise will be liable for damages in cases where pets and livestock are disturbed.
The National Environmental Dispute Resolution Commission announced that it decided to fine a tunnel construction company 15 million won for disturbing animals at a nearby pet training facility. Dogs miscarried babies and even lost their lives due to the noise and vibrations caused by the construction of the tunnel.
The incident occurred near the construction site of the Busan Gijang-Ulsan Ulju subway line. Drilling occurred during the construction, which took place from April 16, 2014 to January 5, 2015.
An individual referred to as ‘A’, who ran a training facility for pet dogs and hunting dogs, demanded compensation of 140 million won after claiming that the animals were severely affected by the noise and vibration caused by the construction.
‘A’ stated that many dogs miscarried puppies or gave birth to dead puppies. Some of the dogs died, and many puppies were trampled to death due to the anxiety of their mothers.
After an investigation, the commission concluded that the company carried on with the construction without making any effort to reduce or block noise even when ‘A’ was raising and training 200 dogs within a 400 meter radius.
According to the noise-vibration regulations, the standard level of ambient noise is 65 decibels(dB). When noise goes over 65dB, it is so loud that normal everyday conversations cannot be carried out. The noise caused from subways is known to range from 65dB to 75dB.
The loudest noise caused by the construction reached 62dB, which is slightly below the regulatory standard for “normal” noise levels.
However, the commission focused on the fact that dogs are 16 times more sensitive to noise than humans. Under the circumstances, they concluded that the dogs and their quality of life was severely impacted by the noise. After consulting experts and going over similar precedents, the commission concluded that some level of damage should be acknowledged, deciding that the violation affecting 30 dogs was worthy of compensation. Both parties agreed to the decision on November 12.
Nam Gwang-hee, head of the National Environmental Dispute Resolution Commission, commented that measures to reduce or block noise should be taken by construction companies, as low levels of noise which do not affect humans could have an impact on animals.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)