IEC's project team was tasked with preparing an Auditory Study in support of re-licensing the Upper American River Project (UARP) with the addition of the Iowa Hill pumped storage component. The primary focus of this effort was to provide an assessment of the noise impacts from construction and operation of the project on recreation areas, residential areas and wildlife. Ambient noise measurements were made at three selected locations (project site, nearest residential, nearest recreation area). Using equipment information (the planned number, type and location of equipment used to construct the project), construction noise was evaluated using values derived from project-specific noise data. Operational noise was evaluated using data supplied by SMUD. This data typically comes from manufacturers in the form of guaranteed and typical octave band sound power levels. The noise data was used to develop noise contours that were placed on a base map showing the locations of existing residential properties and recreation sites. Impacts were assessed based on this data.
To assess potential impacts to wildlife, a database search of the California Natural Diversity Data Base (CNDDB) was made to identify state and federal threatened and endangered species and species of special concern that would be in the project area. A literature search was performed to identify impacts to wildlife from noise. Based on the research, a qualitative analysis was conducted to assess potential impacts. Our team then prepared a report of noise impacts to recreation, residential and wildlife.