9th December 2023
Sitges News

Sitges opens public consultation on firework noise, ahead of possible modification of regulations

Sitges Town Council has launched a public consultation to find out the opinion of its citizens before a possible modification of article 18 regarding noise, and referring to the use of pyrotechnics and fireworks.

Any modification of noise regulations would seek to adjust the use of pyrotechnics and fireworks, yet always preserving the town’s traditional festivals. It would also seek to promote an alternative to the use of firecrackers that involve a ‘low acoustic impact’. The initiative aims to provide solutions to the inconvenience and damage that fireworks and pyrotechnics can bring to people, animals and the natural environment; as well as adapting to European regulations on noise pollution.

The mayor of Sitges, Aurora Carbonell, said that the local government was willing to comply with this commitment: ‘It is a necessary regulation to find a balance between tradition and fun with the impact that the use of pyrotechnics can generate in people, animals and the environment. We believe that times and needs change and that we must take a step forward. Even so, we will do it preserving our traditions.’

The regulation proposes to limit the use of fireworks by citizens in specific celebrations such as Sant Joan, when rockets are usually launched days before and after the celebration, at any time and location.

The amendment foresees incorporating measures to prevent the indiscriminate use and without prior authorisation of pyrotechnics also in private events, such as birthdays or weddings.

The local councillor for traditions and festivities, David Martínez, said that ‘it is not a matter of banning pyrotechnics and much less in festivals declared of heritage interest such as the Festa Major, but rather regulating their use during the calendar, trying to minimise the impact of acoustic noise that they cause and ensure that everyone is informed of the times, days and places where they can be used’.

According to the local council, the public consultation is the first step ‘to the constitution of a study commission that will finish defining the lines of the modification’, and it will take into account the ideas, suggestions and comments from the public. Once the proposal is closed, it will go to a Council Plenary for ‘initial approval’, at which point ‘a period of 30 business days will be opened for objections’. Once the objections have been resolved, it will then return to a Plenary for final approval.

Noise is a source of environmental pollution that the World Health Organization (WHO) has defined as an ‘acoustic phenomenon that produces an auditory sensation considered unpleasant, and that can disturb people’s well-being and their quality of life’. The noise caused by the use of pyrotechnics also has serious consequences for people with pathologies such as Alzheimer’s or autism, as well as the risks and discomfort they can cause in people with cognitive disabilities.

In recent years, various organisations have also warned about the health hazards of pyrotechnics, not only for people, but also for animals and nature. Domestic and wild animals, often with a higher hearing capacity than humans, are one of the major victims of the use of firecrackers.

People interested in participating in the public consultation can submit their contributions electronically, on the Town Councl’s ‘Participation Portal’ until 12 October, at this link: https://participa311-sitges.diba.cat/processes

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