Sands Bethworks Casino Expansion Project

Project Description

As part of the Sands Bethworks Casino Expansion Project, the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA proposed a building expansion within the footprint of an existing parking lot at the north end of the casino complex, east of the Minsi Trail Bridge. Based on Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI) records, a Peregrine Falcon nest was identified on the north side of the Bethlehem Steel High House, located on the west side of the Minsi Trail Bridge, west of the proposed expansion project. Since the Peregrine Falcon is a Pennsylvania state-listed endangered species, and the nesting location was identified within 1,000 feet of the proposed project, the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) determined potential impacts may result from construction of the project within the falcon nesting season from February 15th through July 31st.

Paul Carpenter Associates, Inc. (PCA) performed a long-term background noise monitoring study to identify ambient sound levels near the falcon nesting location and conducted a literature review to determine the most appropriate criteria for evaluating impact to nesting falcons during construction. Subsequently, PCA performed a construction noise assessment of the loudest proposed activities with the greatest potential to affect nesting falcons utilizing the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Roadway Construction Noise Model (RCNM) version 1.1. Based on results of the analysis, PCA concluded that construction-related noise levels from the loudest proposed activities would not adversely affect nesting falcons. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reviewed and approved the noise assessment.