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Noisy neighbors? Oklahoma City leaders look to silence issue with code changes

OKLAHOMA CITY – Noise complaints are sparking calls for change in Oklahoma City.

Tuesday, the city council discussed cracking down on a pair of metal recycling companies on the city’s northeast side.

Several nearby homeowners have complained about the loud explosions coming from those businesses.

Neighbors report hearing the explosions a couple of times a month.

City leaders say it’s time to hold the companies accountable for the noise pollution.

Darnell Forshee said, “It just rattles your whole house. Boom! You don’t know if it’s an earthquake or what it is.”

Forshee lives just to the north of the companies in question.

The area, just west of Douglass High School, has been redeveloped with several new homes in recent years.

John Pettis, an Oklahoma City councilman, said, “You have to hold them accountable because right now, they’re not being held accountable.”

The booming noise is produced when propane tanks or gas tanks make their way through the metal shredders.

The city council could amend the city fire code to try and cut down on the explosions, instituting new fines and making it easier for the city to investigate noise complaints.

Chief Keith Bryant, with the Oklahoma City Fire Department, said, “Instead of us going out and making a judgment call, we want a set criteria to determine if a violation has occurred.”

Staci Minchen, with Stand Iron & Metal, said, “It’s nothing any shredder company wants.”

Still, Minchen says some of the proposed code changes don’t make any sense.

She said, “They’re asking us, for example, to pull airbags from cars that come in flat.  I’m not sure how we pull airbags from crushed cars.”

The city council is expected to vote on the code changes later this month.

The exact requirements remain up for debate before that happens.