NOISE CONTROL ACT of 1972

    Noise Pollution and Abatement Act of 1970. Established the Office of Noise
    Abatement and Control within the Environmental Protection Agency. This office
    was defunded in 1981 and has not been funded since then.
    (Source: www.Aircraft Noise Law.org)

    In contrast to many other environmental problems, noise pollution continues to
    grow and it is accompanied by an increasing number of complaints from people
    exposed to the noise. The growth in noise pollution is unsustainable because it
    involves direct, as well as cumulative, adverse health effects. It also adversely
    affects future generations, and has socio-cultural, esthetic and economic effects.
    (Source: Excerpted from WHO document, Guidelines for Community Noise).

    What is noise?
    Community noise (also called environmental noise, residential noise or domestic
    noise) is defined as noise emitted from all sources except noise at the industrial
    workplace. The main sources of community noise
    include road, rail and air traffic; industries; construction and public work; and the

    How noise is measured?
    Methods for measuring airport-related noise assess noise either from a single
    takeoff or landing or from the cumulative average noise that nearby communities
    are exposed to over time. Required by law to select a single method for measuring
    the impact of airport-related noise on communities, FAA chose a method that
    measures community exposure levels and that gives greater weight to the
    impact of flights occurring during the nighttime.

    While subsequent studies have confirmed that this method best meets the
    statutory requirement that FAA establish a single system for determining the
    exposure of people to airport-related noise, a federal interagency committee
    addressing airport-related noise issues found that supplemental information,
    such as measures of noise from a single aircraft takeoff or landing, is also useful
    in explaining the noise that people are likely to hear. In addition, experts and
    community groups believe FAA’s chosen method provides insufficient information
    because it does not effectively convey to people what they can actually expect
    to hear in any given area.  (Source:  www.AirportNoiseLaw.org. For more
    information on aircraft noise measurement, click below) http://airportnoiselaw.

    Noise Control Act (1972) (42 U.S.C. 4901 - 4918 and 49 U.S.C. 44715).
    This Act was passed after receiving a report from the newly created Office of
    Noise Abatement and Control in the Environmental Protection Agency
    (see Noise Pollution and Abatement Act of 1970). See Legislative History of
    the Noise Control Act of 1972, Congressional Research Service of the Library
    of Congress, July 1974. The NCA amended the Federal Aviation Act to
    specifically involve the EPA in the regulation of airport noise. It states in part:
    "Each Federal agency shall consult with the Administrator in prescribing standards
    or regulations respecting noise. If at any time the Administrator has reason to
    believe that a standard or regulation, or any proposed standard or regulation,
    of any Federal agency respecting noise does not protect the public health and
    welfare to the extent he believes to be required and feasible, he may request such
    agency to review and report to him on the advisability of revising such standard or
    regulation to provide such protection."
    (Source: Aircraft Noise Law.org)

    Noise Pollution and Abatement Act of 1970. Established the Office of Noise
    Abatement and Control within the Environmental Protection Agency. This office
    was defunded in 1981 and has not been funded since then. (Source: Aircraft
    Noise Law.org)

    Loss of the U.S. EPA's Office of Noise Abatement and Control
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency created the Office of Noise Abatement
    and Control (ONAC) following enactment of the Noise Control Act of 1972
    (codifed in 49 United States Code 4901 - 4918). In 1981 Congress agreed
    to the Reagan Administration's proposal to cease funding for ONAC. Congress,
    however, did not repeal the Noise Control Act when it eliminated ONAC's funding.

    ·Before its elimination, ONAC engaged in a wide variety of activities to
    abate noise pollution under authority of the Noise Control Act and, after 1978,
    the Quiet Communities Act.* These included identifying sources of noise for
    regulation, promulgating noise emission standards, coordinating federal noise
    research and noise abatement, working with industry and international, state
    and local regulators to develop consensus standards, disseminating
    information and educational materials, and sponsoring research concerning
    the effects of noise and the methods by which it can be abated. The Quiet
    Communities Act of 1978 authorized the EPA to provide grants to state and
    local governments for noise abatement.

    * The Quiet Communities Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-609) amended portions
    of the 1972 Noise Control Act to require coordination between federal agencies
    on noise control. It was intended to speed up FAA response to noise regulations
    proposed by the EPA and requires the FAA to provide the public with a detailed
    analysis of EPA proposals.

    The EPA ceased most noise abatement activities after ONAC's funding
    was eliminated. The EPA does, however, use minimal resources for limited
    enforcement of existing noise regulations, disseminating information created
    during ONAC's existence, and commenting on environmental impact statements
    issued by the Federal Aviation Administration concerning airport noise.
    Responsibility for the enforcement of EPA's railroad and motor carrier emission
    standards was shifted to the Department of Transportation, which has funding
    for this purpose. The Transportation Department, however, does not have
    authority to promulgate new or amended emission standards different from those
    adopted by EPA.

    Since funds for ONAC were eliminated existing federal noise emission and labeling
    standards have not been subjected to critical evaluation for a decade,
    despite the evolution of relevant science and technology and a better understanding
    of the effects of noise on people. The EPA has been unable to provide technical
    assistance to state and local governments or to participate in private
    standard-setting efforts. State and local governments have been preempted from
    adopting their own noise emission and labeling standards that differ from EPA
    standards for sources or products that EPA has regulated. Noise abatement
    programs run by states and localities have declined significantly, and some
    private rights to bring tort actions under common law may be affected by possibly
    outmoded EPA emission and labeling standards.

    In addition, the reduction in the level of coordination between the United States
    and foreign government agencies concerning noise abatement standards and
    regulations has a potential impact on U.S. international trade.

    Finally, it appears that the problem of environmental noise is just as great, or
    possibly greater, than it was when ONAC was defunded.

    A bill to restore funding for ONAC has been repeatedly introduced in the Congress
    beginning in 1997.

    (Source: Aircraft Noise Law.org)

QUIET SKIES COALITION     PO Box 956     Wainscott, NY   11975       

"The Congress declares
    that it is the policy of the United States
    to promote an environment for all Americans
    free from noise that jeopardizes their health or welfare."   

“Calling noise a nuisance is
like calling smog an inconvenience.

Noise must be considered
a hazard to the health
of people everywhere.”

            Former U.S. Surgeon General
  William H. Stewart, 1978