Many Maryland military installations conduct training and testing in support of their missions and the national defense strategy. Byproducts can sometimes generate nuisances such as increased noise and vibration as well as dust, smoke, or steam. Communities surrounding military installations may also generate nuisances for the military, including increased night lighting and glare, which can disrupt military night vision devices and air operations.

The below examples describe how defense communities and the military have worked together to address such nuisances and implemented strategies to mitigate them, in a mutually beneficial way.

Relevant Compatibility Factors​: Light and Glare, Dust/Smoke/Steam, Noise, and Vibration

Best Practices in Other States

  • Guidelines for Sound Insulation of Residences Exposed to Aircraft Operations
  • Dark Sky Ordinance, Fort Drum, NY

Highlight 1: Guidelines for Sound Insulation of Residences Exposed to Aircraft Operations

The Navy and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published the first residential aircraft noise insulation guidelines for homeowners and developers in 1989. They were updated in 2005 based on feedback from communities, military operators, and stakeholders. The guidelines outline sound insulation methods for new construction, existing homes, and specific rooms within a home. The guidelines also include a model building code that communities can use as a starting point as they develop their own regulations. The guidelines will be updated as required based on the development and deployment of new military aircraft, or significant changes to existing aircraft, such as engine upgrades, or changes in operations. A quick guide to best practices and tools for planning sound insulation projects was prepared by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command and made available in 2018.

Read the full document: Guidelines for Sound Insulation of Residences Exposed to Aircraft Operations (2005)

Highlight 2: Dark Sky Ordinance, Fort Drum, NY

Fort Drum, like many other military installations, conducts night training exercises. To address potential compatibility issues due to light and glare, Fort Drum collaborated with neighboring towns to develop rules for residential and business lighting, regulated between dusk and dawn. Broad ordinance objectives limit outdoor night lighting to only where and when it is needed, minimize blue spectrum lighting, and require shields or full sharp cutoff light fixtures to direct light downward. This best practice aligns with a broader initiative by the International Dark-Sky Association. While Fort Drum's specific ordinance requirements may not translate to other locations, they have developed a template that can be used as a starting point for communities to tailor regulations that fit their own specific needs. ​​

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