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Government and Other Resources

In this page, we offer you government and other information related to noise levels, laws, and enforcement.

Government Resources
Other Resources
Sound Level Meters

Government Resources

British Columbia Noise Law

Links to provincial Acts and Regulations pertaining to noise. This page will eventually become a much larger list of links, to include Federal, Provincial and Municipal noise laws.

Loud Car Stereos
This link from the U.S. Dept. of Justice Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, this guide provides a wealth of information on combating the problem of “boom cars.” Also available in pdf here, for printing and sending to your local police and elected officials. (The free Adobe Reader is required to view this document.)

U.K. Noise Act (1996)
The full text of the law governing “complaints of noise from a dwelling at night.” Penalties include confiscation of equipment such as stereos. (Incidentally, it has been reported that 10 percent of Britons feel their home life has been ruined by noise.)

European Commission’s Green Paper on Future Noise Policy
This 1996 discussion paper is the first step in tougher anti-noise laws in the European Community. You can read a summary on-line, or download the full text in WordPerfect format. Click [EN] for the English version.

Environmental Protection Agency (U.S.)
Information on noise abatement.

Noise Control Act (1972)
Title 42, Chapter 65 of the U.S. Code.

Vancouver Urban Noise Task Force final report
Issued in April 1997, the report makes many recommendations for making western Canada’s largest city a quieter place.

Other Resources

Active Noise Control FAQ
Information about an exciting technology that kills noise at the source by generating a mirror-image sound wave.

Adverse Health Impacts of Airport Expansion
A very useful paper posted on the RCAA site.

Barron Kennedy Lyzun & Associates
A private firm in North Vancouver. The site contains a lot of useful information.

Bibliography for Sonic Studies
Prepared by Barry Truax of Simon Fraser University.

Campanella Acoustics Consultants
Comprehensive FAQ page on technical aspects of noise measurement and reduction.

Good Life, LLC. Oregon-based company provides humane dog-silencing devices.

CBC Radio 1 (Canadian Broadcastiing Corporation)
Ideas, December 14, 2009: The acoustic world of Elizabethan England.

The Isle is full of noyses,sounds, and sweet aires, That give delight and hurt not: Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments Will hum about mine eares; and sometime voices, That if I had then wak’d after long sleepe Will make me sleepe again… (Caliban. The Tempest) To listen to this coproduced documentary on Battery Radio, click here.

Evidence Based Design Primer from the KLMK Group LLC

Hearing Health Information
Facts on noise and hearing loss, provided by the House Ear Institute.

Institute of Noise Control Engineering of the U.S.
The site includes a bibliography and an index to their journal, Noise/News International.

Laboratório de Psicofisiologia
An excellent bibliography from Brazil of research on the “ill effects of noise on humans”. Mostly Portuguese, some English.

The New South Wales Government Office of Environment and Heritage - Noise Guide for local Government

It aims to provide practical advice to council officers to assist them in the day-to-day management of local noise problems and the interpretation of existing policy and legislation

The NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage - Noise link

In NSW, noise pollution is regulated through the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act). The POEO (Noise Control) Regulation 2008 also sets certain limits on noise emissions from motor vehicles, vessels and domestic use of certain equipment

Noise and Traffic
Netherlands-based site providing “information on effects of noise on people, standards and limits for road traffic, railway, aircraft and industrial noise. Discussion on combination of noises. Simple calculation software is available.”

A resource intended to ultimately provide all existing noise ordinances in USA and Canada into one place (i.e., one web site). To facilitate and inspire more communities to adopt more stringent noise regulations.

Comprehensive reference on technical aspects of noise measurement and attenuation, directory of acoustic services, and suggestions for victims of noise including ways to fund a legal case. British, but much information that is universal.

Oldenburg University Acoustics
Conducting psychoacoustic research on annoyance level of sounds. Check out “Acoustic Nightmare” picture.

Professor Linda Briskin – Classroom noise article
Riskin wrote the interesting article "The Challenge of Classroom Silence." To see this article click here.

Tyre/Road Noise Reference Book  
Comprehensive, current 640-page reference text.

Venus Project at the University of Victoria
Endangered whales research is carried out at the VENUS Project, University of Victoria, British Columbia, to determine the impact of constant marine noise. To read more, click here.

World Health Organization
The WHO has published a new report on the effects of noise on sleep: "Night-Time Noise Guidelines for Europe". To read the document click here.

Sound Level Meters

Note: Sound level meters like Radio Shack’s are useful for approximating sound levels, but for measurements of a more precise nature such as those submitted in legal proceedings, a calibrated professional-grade meter meeting certain ANSI standards is usually required.

  • Ono Sokki
    LA-1200 Series.
  • Radio Shack
    Inexpensive, popular meters for approximating decibel levels.

Concert Organizers Held Liable for Hearing Damage

Visitors to a pop concert are entitled to payment for pain and suffering if they come away with hearing damage after a performance, according to the court of appeal in Koblenz, Germany.

Everybody may rely on the organizers setting the volume of the music to such levels that it causes no damage to health, the judges ruled.

The court awarded a woman money for pain and suffering in the amount of DM 9,000. She attended a pop concert in Trier where she sat near huge speakers posted at the right and left of the stage.

After the event, a medical doctor diagnosed her with "severe, noise-traumatic inner ear damage with tinnitus in both sides."

This was sufficient for the Koblenz judges to find the organizers guilty of a violation of their traffic securing obligation.

The fact that the plaintiff herself had chosen her place was considered irrelevant.

Spring 2002

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