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New Guidance on Noise Emissions


In April 2012 the EPA issued a comprehensive new Guidance Note for Noise. The document is intended to assist licensed activities with the assessment of their potential and actual noise impact on the local environment.

The EPA had previously issued three documents in relation to the assessment and management of noise emissions from licensed facilities, namely the Environmental Noise Survey Guidance Document (NG1), Guidance Note For Noise In Relation To Scheduled Activities – 2nd Edition (NG2) and Guidance Note on Noise Assessment of Wind Turbine Operations at EPA Licensed Sites (NG3). The two earlier noise guidance notes (NG1 & NG2) are now withdrawn.

This new document has been updated to provide guidance in relation to the following:

  • A background to the basic theory of environmental noise.
  • A discussion of the principle of Best Available Techniques (BAT).
  • Outline guidance on noise mitigation measures that may be considered.
  • Discussion regarding licensed sites in the context of the Environmental Noise Regulations.

The updated document also provides guidance on Agency requirements in relation to the following:

  • The required detail expected to be provided in IPPC/Waste Licence applications regarding noise.
  • Applicable noise criteria for the site in question, with due consideration of the existing noise environment in the absence of the development.
  • An appropriate annual noise survey for inclusion within Annual Environmental Reports (including appropriate assessment and discussion of measured noise levels).
  • Recommended assessment procedures for impulsive and tonal noise.

Other changes in this document include:

  • Assessment periods are now expressed in terms of day, evening and night as opposed to day and night only.
  • Changes to the recommended minimum durations for environmental noise surveys.

The updated Guidance Note on Noise can be downloaded here