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An Evaluation of the Impacts of Specific Anthropogenic

It is well established that certain anthropogenic noises have a severe effect on whales. Many sounds that humans introduce into the sea today are without precedent in the evolutionary history of marine mammals and other ocean life. Seismic testing associated with oil and gas exploration, military SONAR, and other industrial sources of ocean noise have injured or killed dolphins and whales in many instances. Additionally, behavioral impacts can also be severe, with animals interrupting feeding, nursing, or reproductive activity to flee from disruptive or painful sounds. There is also evidence that whales may be subject to “masking,” where some types of noises interfere with their ability to communicate with each other. As the military and industrial producers of these sounds are required by law in some countries to prevent impacts to marine mammals, there has been considerable debate and litigation in response to this continuing problem. Various mitigation schemes have been proposed, but they have not proven effective in eliminating harm to whales. Despite a wealth of information demonstrating the need to address multiple characteristics of sound, such as form, frequency, and periodicity, mitigation levels have thus far focused only on signal amplitude, or volume. Many of the studies have also been focused on physiological thresholds such as “threshold shift” using sinusoidal-derived signals which may not accurately reflect the types of anthropogenic noises to which whales are exposed.1,2 Mitigation levels based on these thresholds and signal types are often higher than known behavioral thresholds. It is clear from the literature that marine mammals avoid certain types of signals at significantly lower amplitudes than naturally occurring signals or other types, frequencies and forms of anthropogenic signals.

This paper presents data on signal-specific biological responses of cetaceans and calls for incorporation of signal types as well as decibel levels when establishing noise exposure criteria for whales. Given the existing evidence that cetaceans are adversely impacted by a range of noises far below current mitigation levels, a more precautionary approach is needed.

Michael Stocker

PDF Download Link: An Evaluation of the Impacts of Specific Anthropogenic

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Interim Criteria for Injury of Fish Exposed to Pile Driving Operations

This paper presents science-based, interim noise exposure criteria for the onset of direct physical injury in fish exposed to the impact sound associated with pile driving. This paper provides an objective, scientific assessment of pile driving exposures which are injurious to fish. It does not explicitly consider policies of regulatory agencies which are based on mandated legal requirements and consequently result in the application of sometimes limited information for management decisions. The authors recognize that fish may respond to pile driving without experiencing injury, but the paper does not directly address behavioral responses of fishes or other sub-injurious auditory effects in setting interim criteria, largely due to the absence of underlying information.

The interim criteria presented here are based on the best science available at the time of writing. We have used professional judgment and, for the most part, the existing, peer-reviewed literature, to make conservative decisions where data are lacking, or present a range of options. That is, in the face of uncertainty criteria are set at exposures somewhat lower than the present peer-reviewed literature suggest may be the levels that would result in the onset of injury. A dual criteria approach is developed which includes an interim single-strike criterion for Sound Exposure Level (SEL) combined with an interim criterion for Peak Sound Pressure Level. Possible applications of SEL metrics to account for the accumulation of exposure energy across multiple exposures are discussed, although it is pointed out that the available data supporting multiple strike criteria are highly limited. The assumptions on which the criteria developed here are based are listed in an Appendix along with suggestions for the research that is needed to test the assumptions. Because of the high likelihood that this research will call for modifications of the interim criteria, the criteria presented must be clearly understood to be provisional and part of an iterative, self-correcting process that, along with policy guidelines, will continue to evolve for decades as new data become available.

Arthur N. Popper
Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
Thomas J. Carlson
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Battelle Portland, MSIN: BPO, 620 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 810, Portland, OR 97204-1423
Anthony D. Hawkins
Loughine Ltd, Kincraig, Blairs, Aberdeen, AB12 5YT, United Kingdom
Brandon L. Southall
NOAA Ocean Acoustics Program, National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Science and Technology, 1315 East West Hwy, SSMC III #12539, Silver Spring, MD 20910-6233
Roger L. Gentry
ProScience Consulting, LLC, Dickerson MD 20842

PDF Download Link: Interim Criteria for Injury of Fish Exposed to Pile Driving Operations

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Come Visit APE at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2011

It’s time to visit Las Vegas for one of worlds largest gatherings for the construction industry, CONEXPO-CON/AGG. The APE booth is currently in full swing on Silver Lot 4, number S-19122. Stop by and grab some drinks and information while checking out our equipment displays. For this years show we brought along some diesel hammers, vibratory driver extractors, drill, power unit and some of our attachment offerings as well as our D1 impact hammer for giving live demonstrations of diesel hammers in action. We are also giving away some APE hats and shirts so be sure to ask if you are interested. When you make the trip to the Grand Lobby be sure to take a look on the big screen for our advertisement for an upcoming reality series on APE Piledrivers. Besides hanging out with us at the APE booth Conexpo offers plenty for visitors to see and do this year:

  • Over 2,000 exhibitors
  • A comprehensive education program during the five-day exposition with sessions emphasizing industry issues and trends, management and applied technology
  • Product concentration areas making it easy for visitors to locate specific products, services and exhibitors of interest to them including hundreds of new products and technologies

See New Products and Technologies

Get close and size up the newest equipment and technology in the construction industry. Bring yourself up to speed on new systems and instrumentation. See all the latest innovations making our industry greener, safer and more precise.

Meet Today’s Technical Experts

Tap the smartest minds in construction for applicable ideas useful to your business now and in the future.

New Focus on Education

CONEXPO-CON/AGG has a comprehensive schedule planned—a total of 126 sessions—covering an expansive range of topics, including:

  • Equipment manager exams
  • Crane operator certification programs
  • Site development
  • Asset management
  • Sustainability
  • Workforce development

New International Mixer Drive Championship

Sponsored and conducted by NRMCA, this LIVE competition recognizes the most talented individuals worldwide in delivering one of the world’s most versatile building materials.

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APE Vibros Working On 3 Plus Miles of Seawall Sheeting

Three APE hammers have been putting in hours for the I-595 Widening, in Broward County, Florida (Ft. Lauderdale area). The APE 150, 200 and J&M 28-35 Vibratory Driver Extractors have made quick work of 3 miles of sheet pile seawall, a half mile of sheet pile for MSE wall,  18″ and 24″ square pre-stressed concrete piles for bridge construction, 5 and 12 each sealed cofferdams for micro-tunneling launching and receiving shafts. The General Contractor on the Job is Dragados USA, the information about the job along with photos has been provided to APE by Scott Alfele, President of Ebsary Foundation Company.

The following contractors have been involved in project:

  • Dragados USA – 3 miles of sheet pile for seawall and ½ mile of sheet pile for MSE wall support
  • Dragados Baker JV – 18” sq. pre-stressed concrete piles for bridges
  • GLF Construction Corp. – 18” and 24” sq. pre-stressed concrete piles for bridges
  • Bradshaw Construction Corp. – 12 ea. sealed cofferdams for microtunneling launching and receiving shafts
  • GlobTec Construction Co. – 5 ea. sealed cofferdams for microtunneling launching and receiving shafts
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Octakong and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge

As many of you may know APE is in the process of completing the largest pile driving setup in the world. The Chinese government will be driving the largest piles the planet has ever seen for the construction of one of the world’s longest bridges. APE was selected to build the hammer for the job, it has been hailed as the Octakong! The complexities, deadlines and cultural complications make this project the largest challenge APE has faced for a single customer.

Plans for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge have been in the works for several years (link here) , it will connect three major cities of southern China. Congressman Dave Reichert recently visited our facility to show his support for the stimulation of the local economy through the monetary scope and physical size of this project (link here). With is article are 3D renderings by our engineers of the finished Octakong. We won’t be able to see it fully assembled until it hits China.

APE wanted to take a moment to let our vendors know how much we appreciate our partnerships. We also would like to broaden the understanding for our “need for speed” in terms of the parts needed to assemble the Octakong. Together we are making this project a reality whether some of us realize or not. The world is watching and we are positive we can show the world that APE, with our network of vendors, was able to meet the Chinese demands and do the job right and on time. The ship dates for the Octakong are approaching, and time is important, the folks here at APE appreciate all the help we have had from all of our partners in meeting our extreme deadlines for this project.

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Making Long Beach California Quake Proof

APE has a Tandem 150 Vibratory Driver Extractor and a 9.5a Hydraulic Impact Hammer (HIH) making some noise under the Queens Way overpassing. Carl Killebrew and his crew from AM Classic Constructors out of Granada Hills California has been working the job driving more than 300 steel piles at 0.75″x24″x20′ stacked four and five layers high that will be used to reinforce the the overpass above South Harbor Scenic Drive. The city is concerned that the overpass could be susceptible to damage in the case of earth quakes and requires more reinforcement than it was originally engineered for. The Tandem 150 Low-Headroom setup works well for driving the piles quickly until more elastic soils are encounter, at that point the 9.5a Low-Headroom setup steps in running at 2.75 ft of stroke teamed with a 16,000 lb ram to finish the job off.

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APE Parts Delivered via Hovercraft

MKB, an Alaskan construction contractor, was recently on a job in King Cove Alaska (the middle of nowhere) driving piles with an APE 200 Vibratory Driver Extractor. The driver extractor was suffering from some mechanical difficulties and needed some spare parts delivered ASAP to be delivered from the warehouse in Kent Washington. The weight of the spare parts was in excess of 380 pounds. Wayne McWilliams and Erik Erkelens from the APE parts department were able to arrange transport for the parts with Margaret Brunk from Pilot Freight Services. Once the parts made it to Alaska they sat unable to get to the final destination due to the weight of the parts and a lack of transportation to the barge where the hammer was waiting. Wayne McWilliams arranged with PenAir to have a local hovercraft take the parts to the rural job-site so the APE 200 could be fixed and the job completed. Just one of the many ways APE gets the job done!

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