Tag Archives: Noise protection

Assessment and management of environmental noise

Assessment and management of environmental noise

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Assessment and management of environmental noise

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Noise pollution

Assessment and management of environmental noise

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2002/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 June 2002 relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This Directive is aimed at controlling noise perceived by people in built-up areas, in public parks or other quiet areas in an agglomeration, in quiet areas in open country, near schools, hospitals and other noise-sensitive buildings and areas. It does not apply to noise that is caused by the exposed person him or herself, noise from domestic activities, noise created by neighbours, noise at work places or inside means of transport or noise due to military activities in military areas.

Noise indicators and their assessment methods

Lden is an indicator of the overall noise level during the day, evening and night which is used to describe the annoyance caused by exposure to noise. Lnight is an indicator for the sound level during the night used to describe sleep disturbance. The noise indicators Lden and Lnight are used in the making of strategic noise maps.

Other indicators may be used for acoustical planning and noise zoning and in the special cases as listed in Annex I to the Directive.

The values of Lden and Lnight are defined using the assessment methods set out in Annex II to the Directive. Common assessment methods for the determination of Lden and Lnight will be established by the Commission. In the meantime, Member States may use their own methods to determine the common indicators, provided that such methods conform to Annex II.

Dose-effect relations will be introduced in Annex III by future revisions in order to be able to assess the effect of noise on populations.

No later than 18 July 2005, Member States are to communicate information to the Commission on any relevant limit values in force or under preparation, expressed in terms of Lden and Lnight and, where appropriate, Lday and Levening, for road-traffic noise, air-traffic noise, rail-traffic noise and industrial noise.

Strategic noise mapping

A strategic noise map enables a global assessment to be made of noise exposure in an area due to different noise sources and overall predictions to be made for such an area. The strategic noise maps must satisfy the minimum requirements laid down in Annex IV to the Directive.

No later than 18 July 2005, Member States are to make available to the public information concerning the competent authorities and bodies responsible for making and, where relevant, approving strategic noise maps.

No later than 30 June 2005, and thereafter every five years, Member States must inform the Commission of the major roads which have more than six million vehicle passages a year, railways which have more than 60 000 train passages per year, major airports and the agglomerations with more than 250 000 inhabitants within their territories. By 30 June 2007 at the latest, strategic noise maps showing the situation during the preceding year in the vicinity of the infrastructures and in the agglomerations referred to must have been made and, where relevant, approved.

No later than 31 December 2008, Member States are to inform the Commission of all the agglomerations with more than 100 000 inhabitants and of all the major roads and major railways within their territories. By 30 June 2012 at the latest, and thereafter every five years, strategic noise maps showing the situation during the preceding year must be made and, where relevant, approved for those agglomerations, roads and railways.

Noise maps must be reviewed, and revised if necessary, every five years.

Action plans

Action plans are aimed at managing noise issues and effects, including noise reduction if necessary. They must meet the minimum requirements set out in Annex V to the Directive.

The measures within the plans are at the discretion of the competent authorities, but should address priorities which may be identified by the exceeding of any relevant limit value or by other criteria chosen by the Member States and apply in particular to the most important areas as established by strategic mapping.

No later than 18 July 2005, Member States are to make available to the public information concerning the authorities and bodies responsible for drawing up and, where relevant, approving the action plans.

No later than 18 July 2008, action plans must be drawn up for major roads which have more than six million vehicle passages a year, railways which have more than 60 000 train passages per year, major airports and agglomerations with more than 250 000 inhabitants.
No later than 18 July 2013, action plans must be drawn up for all major agglomerations, major airports, major roads and major railways.

The action plans are to be reviewed when a major development occurs affecting the existing noise situation, and at least every five years.

Information for the citizen

Member States are to ensure that a public consultation is organised and the results thereof are taken into account before the action plans are approved.

Member States are to ensure that the strategic noise maps and the action plans are made available and disseminated to the public in conformity with Annexes IV and V to this Directive and in accordance with the Directive on the freedom of access to information on the environment.

Reports concerning the Directive

On 10 March 2004, the Commission forwarded a report to the European Parliament and the Council on existing Community measures relating to sources of environmental noise (see “Related Acts” below).

Member States are to collect the noise maps and action plans. They are to forward to the Commission the information contained in the noise maps and a summary of the action plans. Every five years, the Commission is to publish a summary report on the data contained in the noise maps and action plans. The first report will be submitted by 18 July 2009.

No later than 18 July 2009, the Commission is to submit to the European Parliament and the Council a report on the application of this Directive. The report will assess the need for further Community actions on environmental noise and, if appropriate, propose implementing strategies. It is to include in particular a review of the acoustic environment quality in the Community. The report is to be reviewed every five years.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2002/49/EC

18.7.2002

18.7.2002

OJ L 189 of 18.7.2002

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008

11.12.2008

OJ L 311 of 21.11.2008

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2002/49/EC have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated versionis for reference only.

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 1 June 2011 on the implementation of the Environmental Noise Directive in accordance with Article 11 of Directive 2002/49/EC [COM (2011) 321 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 10 March 2004 concerning existing Community measures relating to sources of environmental noise, pursuant to article 10(1) of Directive 2002/49/EC relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise [COM(2004) 160 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Noise management at EU airports

Noise management at EU airports

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Noise management at EU airports

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Transport energy and the environment

Noise management at EU airports

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2002/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 March 2002 on the establishment of rules and procedures with regard to the introduction of noise?related operating restrictions at Community airports [See amending act].

Summary

This directive aims to promote the sustainable development of air transport through the reduction of noise pollution from aircraft at airports. The use of aircraft with a better environmental performance can contribute to a more effective use of the available airport capacity and facilitate the development of airport infrastructure in line with market requirements.

The directive lays down common rules for prohibiting the noisiest aircraft from European airports and repeals Regulation (EC) No 925/1999, the ‘Hushkit’ Regulation, which was intended to prohibit the registration in Europe of aircraft fitted with noise-reducing devices.

This new directive allows airports with a noise problem to introduce a series of operating restrictions, including the gradual withdrawal of the noisiest aircraft. The ‘Hushkit Regulation’ had maintained the status quo and did not provide for the withdrawal of aircraft fitted with noise-muffling systems already operating in Europe.

EU countries’ competent authorities may prohibit or restrict the use of aircraft whose compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) noise standards is only ‘marginal’, i.e. aircraft which meet the standards in force by a margin of no more than 5 decibels.

The airport authorities must establish the existence of a noise nuisance by carrying out an impact assessment and prove that all other available measures to reduce noise at the airport concerned have been taken.

Objectives and content

The ‘Hushkits Regulation’ was a response to the inability to reach an agreement within the ICAO on measures to control aircraft noise. Hushkits are devices fitted to the engines of older designs of aircraft in order to reduce their noise levels.

In the directive, noise management is structured around a balanced approach. It is an approach that involves solving noise problems on an ‘airport-by-airport’ basis and requires careful assessment of four key elements:

  • reduction of aeroplane noise at source;
  • land-use planning and management measures;
  • noise abatement operational procedures;
  • local operating restrictions relating to noise problems.

The objectives of the directive are to:

  • lay down rules for the EU to facilitate the introduction of operating restrictions in a consistent manner at airport level so as to limit or reduce the number of people significantly affected by the harmful effects of noise;
  • provide a framework which safeguards internal market requirements;
  • promote development of airport capacity in harmony with the environment;
  • facilitate the achievement of specific noise abatement objectives at individual airport level;
  • achieve maximum environmental benefit in the most cost-effective manner.

The directive allows for more stringent noise standards. However, unlike the ‘Hushkits Regulation’, it allows such restrictions to be imposed only at the most noise?sensitive airports (those with more than 50 000 movements per year and city airports).

Four city airports (Berlin-Tempelhof, Stockholm Bromma, London City and Belfast City) will be able to apply more stringent rules. Aircraft registered in developing countries and already in use before December 2001 at the European airports concerned may be exempted for a period of ten years.

As the directive lays down identical rules for all airports, it also ensures compliance with the rules of the internal market by preventing unfair competition between airports.

The directive allows for a common approach for assessing the current and foreseeable noise climate. If necessary, airports may require that ‘marginally compliant’ aircraft, i.e. old aircraft fitted with systems which reduce noise by small amounts, be withdrawn.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2002/30/EC

28.3.2002

28.9.2003

OJ L 85, 28.3.2002

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008

11.12.2008

OJ L 311, 21.11.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2002/30/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 15 February 2008 – Noise Operation Restrictions at EU Airports – (Report on the application of Directive 2002/30/EC) [COM(2008) 66 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The report looks at whether the objective of Directive 2002/30/EC has been achieved and to what extent the directive itself contributed to this. It includes an assessment of the directive’s effectiveness and concludes that it:

  • has made it possible to create a harmonised structure for a balanced approach and to ensure that all interests are taken into account when restrictions are considered;
  • has been used only at a limited number of airports and is not sufficiently clear;
  • has had a limited impact on aircraft.

Furthermore, the report notes that, in general, the number of people affected by noise has increased because the number of movements has increased.
The Commission predicts that the number of people affected will continue to rise and therefore intends to look into whether it would be possible to clarify both the provisions of the directive and its scope.

Directive 2002/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 June 2002 relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise [Official Journal L 189 of 18 July 2002].