Fargo News

Construction noise policies: An insight into Fargo, West Fargo, and Moorhead

Fargo, North Dakota – With the persistent din of construction echoing in certain areas, one might ponder how the noise ordinances of Fargo, West Fargo, and Moorhead are applicable to these projects.

In both Fargo and Moorhead, construction endeavors are permitted to commence from 7 a.m., whereas in West Fargo, operations can get underway from as early as 6:30 a.m. The permissible duration for all such activities in these three cities extends until 10 p.m. However, Fargo’s noise ordinance allows for certain exceptions pertaining to construction activities within the city.

“Fargo provides an exemption for tasks such as concrete sawing, which are often time-sensitive and need to be undertaken during the night,” explains Tom Knackmuhs, the Assistant City Engineer for the city of Fargo.

In contrast, Moorhead’s noise ordinance has a narrower scope. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) characterizes noise as a pollutant, and it exercises jurisdiction over noise regulation instead of the city’s ordinance.

“The Minnesota Statute delegates the responsibility to establish noise limits or standards to the MPCA. Therefore, even if the city desired to introduce a more specific noise ordinance, we simply don’t have the authorization to do so,” says Moorhead Assistant City Engineer Tom Trowbridge.

The MPCA also supervises the volume of noise generated.

Specific thresholds are established for noise volume during the permissible hours of construction. For residential areas, the volume of noise is permitted to range between 60-65 decibels (dBA) during the daytime hours allocated for construction. This implies that the noise level should not surpass 65 dBA for more than 10% of the time and must not exceed 60 dBA for over half the time.

Judith Jackson

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