Windsor Hum solution 'could take years,' MP warns

Short of an international treaty, there may be no end in sight for the mysterious Windsor Hum, a rumbling, low-frequency vibration that has plagued the border town for about five years.

'The problem we're faced with is there is no international agreement for trans-boundary noise'

Brian Masse, the NDP MP from Windsor West, wants to shift the focus from the hum being a Windsor problem to painting Detroit as an antagonist that won't fix the problem.

Short of an international treaty, there may be no end in sight for the mysterious Windsor Hum, a rumbling, low-frequency vibration that has plagued the border town for about five years.

"The problem we're faced with is there is no international agreement for trans-boundary noise and vibration. That leaves us vulnerable to creating a treaty, which could take years, if not decades," Windsor West NDP MP Brian Masse said.

He was in Washington, D.C., to raise the issue with federal government officials there.

Residents in west and south Windsor and the neighbouring town of LaSalle started complaining about a rumbling and humming noise back in 2011.

It keeps people awake at night, rattles windows and wall hangings and stops people from enjoying their backyards.

The source of the Windsor Hum, which sounds like an idling train engine or diesel transport truck, has been traced to Zug Island in River Rouge, Mich., directly across from west Windsor, according to a federally funded report released in 2014.

Masse wants to shift the focus from the hum being a Windsor problem to painting Detroit as an antagonist that won't fix the problem.

"This is certainly giving a black eye to Detroit. Even though it's River Rouge, it will be Detroit that eventually wears this international issue," Masse said. "We've tried to work cooperatively with United States on this, and we will continue to do so. Some of the wonderful work in Detroit, in terms of rejuvenation, is now being undermined.

"I don't think they want their new notoriety to be noise and vibration eminence from their domain."

Masse spent much of the week in Washington, discussing several local issues, including the Windsor Hum, the border and the Great Lakes.

The U.S. political staff Masse spoke with regarding the hum remain as much a mystery as the noise itself. Masse would only say he spoke with a representative for a U.S. senator.

"It's very inner workings, so there is nothing really to report," Masse said. "It was a very helpful start to try and get further support on the U.S. side.

"In fairness to my American colleagues … they're still in the learning stage when it comes to this issue."