Germany issues noise guidelines for offshore construction

GERMANY: Germany's environment ministry has issued new construction rules for offshore wind developers in a bid to protect porpoises in its North Sea waters.

Porpoises' snouts are short and blunt wheres dolphins ones are pointed

The noise reduction measures applying to the construction of foundations of offshore wind farms and converter stations came into effect on 1 December.

They involve a reduction in impact energy and a prolonged contact time between the hydraulic hammer and the driven pile to reduce noise pollution.

The guidelines do not apply to the Baltic Sea because the government currently does not have data regarding porpoises in that area.

Around 50,000 porpoises are understood to inhabit the German North Sea.

In July 2012 a noise mitigation project detailing the effectiveness of new techniques to cut noise levels during piling showed noise levels remain excessive even when mitigation techniques are employed.

The German government targeted a 160 decibel limit at a distance of 750 metres from the noise source.