This letter was sent to the NIH recipients as seen at the bottom of the letter. The dangers to the public were clearly defined, and sent to the NIH chief Engineer. The letter in its entirety, without links, photos or videos is below.
Mr. Tony Clifford September 20, 2011
NIH Office of Research Facilities (ORF)
Building 13 Suite 201 MSC 5759
Bethesda, MD 20892-7172
RE: Engineering/Safety issues at Rocky Mountain Labs, Montana
SENT BY CERTIFIED US MAIL, FAX, ELECTRONIC MAIL TO NIH
Dear Mr. Clifford,
This letter comes to you from Hamilton, Montana and gives proper respect as chief engineer of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Office of Research Facilities (ORF). The intention of this letter is to inform you and those at NIH of the IDLH conditions at NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs (RML) Hamilton Montana.
When I say IDLH, that is a Hazardous Material (Haz-Mat) designation for Immediate Danger to Life and Health; these issues are being communicated to you and other NIH officials in this correspondence.
1.0 Sound Emissions from RML
Beginning spring 2011, baseline empirical data for RML sound emissions were collected with a digital sound meter. The meter should not register readings if RML were operating within World Health Organization (WHO) standards for Low Frequency Noise (LFN). LFN is generated by industrial process like RML sound emissions in Hamilton, Montana. The WHO published a document for the United Kingdom Health Service (known as Defra) that 30dbA was a suggested range to have LFN fall below. [Leventhall, A Review on Published Research on Low Frequency Noise and its Effects May 2003 www.defra.gov.uk ]
On February 2, 2011 a NIH contractor measured sound emissions for RML in Hamilton, Montana. A reading of 43dbA was taken, and observed by Ken Pekoc, RML public relations, as well as RML Associate Director Kelly Hudson on my property. The February visit by the sound contractor was not unknown, or independent of RML. RML purposely reduced sound emissions on the day of arranged tests with its contractor, commonly known as scientific fraud.
At time of the contractors visit, I observed RML sound sources in a digital bar graph on the contractors meter falling below 500 Hz; with several sound sources from 0 Hz to 500 Hz. Multiple sound sources within LFN range become additive to the problem at RML (see DEFRA publication). This observation confirms that the spectra of RML sound emissions were:
1) less than 500Hz
2) Low Frequency Noise (LFN).
The “voluntary standards” set by Big Sky Acoustics of 50dbA 1900-0700hrs and 55dbA 0700-1900hrs using the A Weighted scale would alter and distort the actual sound emissions by up to 14 db (an order of magnitude). World Health Organization, within the referenced Defra (UK) report states that A weighted scale is unreliable for LFN, and should not be used. For RML, or its contractors to use the A scale is falsity of data, and scientific fraud. More importantly for an engineer, it is endangering the public by altering the actual sound emissions from RML in the form of LFN, which has published negative physiological effects.
LFN has physiological effects such as systolic heart rate increase, early morning wakefulness (sleep deprivation), and up to 30% increase in depression. Of note, RML is within Ravalli County Montana: ranked #171/3200 in the United States for suicide. Any death within a half mile radius of the laboratory, or any staff of RML could result in a significant wrongful death claim against RML and NIH.
An empirical data set measured on February 2, 2011 [day of NIH contractor “tests”] indicated that RML reduced its sound signature by 10-14 db; an order of magnitude for sound emissions. The measurement technique, using A weighted data, the NIH contractor misrepresented sound data by up to 2 orders of magnitude on February 2, 2011 in Hamilton, Montana. Several readings around the RML campus confirmed that RML purposely reduced its sound emissions the day of the tests Feb. 2, 2011. NIH actions on Feb. 2, 2011 do not include scientific integrity, integral to the NIH mission, as is accountability to the public.
As RML allows 55dbA during work hours, the “permissible” sound, using WHO recommended C weighted scale for LFN is 69dbC. At 69-70db that is approximately 3-4 times the magnitude of safe sound emissions that are 0-500Hz as are found at RML in Hamilton, Montana. NIH cannot allow dangerous levels of LFN due to its mission statement of scientific integrity, public accountability, and engineering best practices. This letter serves as notice of fraudulent sound measurement, its danger to employees, residents near RML in Hamilton, Montana.
2.0 Material Safety/ Strategic Stores of Emergency Equipment.
On or about 12 September 2011 a construction crew severed a telecommunications optic cable and completely compromised the Ravalli County 911 system; recently upgraded. No telephone calls could reach the emergency operations center, and were routed through an adjoining county.
All land lines, internet services, and most cell phones were inoperable. As NIH relies upon Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department for emergency response; how would emergency services know of a problem at Rocky Mountain Labs, Hamilton, Montana? Does NIH honestly expect 29 volunteers to cover the RML campus, in addition to any emergency in Ravalli County in such a situation?
Material safety teams currently come from Missoula Montana, a 90 minute trip in clear, non-emergent conditions. A small manned station at RML with strategic storage of equipment and supplies would serve NIH well in an emergent situation. Allowing NIH employees to work in an environment without material safety or biological safety professionals onsite is negligent in comparison to the on-site emergent capabilities of NIH Bethesda Campus.
This topic has been ongoing since 2007.
Sound measurements at RML, Hamilton Montana was not consistent with NIH mission utilizing fraudulent measurement techniques. The Rocky Mountain Lab has enjoyed 100 years with the City of Hamilton making great strides towards microbiology advances, including discovery of cures of diseases, advances in once incurable diseases such as HIV. To use improper sound measurement is to jeopardize public trust, and working relationship developed over the years.
The modification to sustain the current RML emission level is not prohibitive, caps over the noise sources, and other engineering design can be placed. An Acoustics Engineer in Denver described the professional insight that the NIH contactor knowingly used an improper measuring method in his practice Feb. 2, 2011.
The NIH cannot continue with its distortion or actual sound emissions from RML. NIH must provide safety protections from dangerous levels of sound coming from RML in the form of LFN. The remote setting of RML infectious agents requires material safety onsite, federal personnel at a fire station on the RML campus.
Thank you for your attention, NIH must improve RML conditions immediately.
Hamilton, MT 59840
CC: Daniel Wheeland, Director Office of Research Facilities NIH
Alfred Johnson, Director of Office of Research Services NIH
NIH Office of Management (OM)
NIH Executive Office of the Director (IMEO)
RML Public Affairs, Hamilton Montana