Chapter 5. Noise – mapping, action plans and limit values for existing enterprises

Regulations relating to pollution control (Pollution Regulations). This is an unofficial translation of the Norwegian regulation.

The entire chapter was amended by regulations no. 1497 of 19 November 2004 (entered into force on 1 January 2005).

Laid down pursuant to sections 9, 10, 49 and 51, cf. section 5, paragraph 1, of Act no. 6 of 13 March 1981 concerning protection against pollution and concerning waste (the Pollution Control Act). Cf. EEA agreement Annex XX no. 32g (Directive 2002/49/EC).

I. Purpose and scope

§ 5-1. Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to promote the health and well-being of people by setting minimum requirements for indoor noise levels and avoiding the exceedance of this level. A further purpose is to prevent and reduce the harmful effects of exposure to noise through requirements to map noise and inform the population about exposure to noise and the effect of noise as well as by drawing up action plans and implementing noise-reduction measures.

§ 5-2. Scope

The requirements of this chapter concerning strategic noise mapping and action plans apply to airborne, external noise that people are exposed to and that is the product of human activity.

The chapter does not apply to noise from households.

The provisions in point II relating to indoor noise levels apply to noise from the following installations: roads, railways, civil and military airports, industry, ports and terminals. The limit values in section 5-4 apply to noise levels in existing year-round residences, day care institutions, educational institutions and health institutions, and under the condition that the building is in use and has been approved for the purpose in question.

§ 5-3. Definitions

a) Owner of an installation: the owner of an installation as mentioned in section 5-2, subsection 3 is regarded as the owner of an installation under the terms of this chapter. Also regarded as an owner of an installation are other people with the right to use the installation if the owner of the installation has set up the necessary arrangements for co-operation with enterprises/users in order to ensure compliance with the provisions.

b) Day care institution: Day care institutions also include day care centres, family day care institutions, etc. Outdoor play parks are not included.

c) Agglomerations: continuous built-up areas encompassing one or more municipalities. In this chapter, agglomerations are:
– municipalities of over 100,000 inhabitants where at least two-thirds of the municipality is a continuous built-up area.
– neighbouring municipalities which together have a total population of over 100,000 and where at least two-thirds of each municipality is incorporated in a continuous built-up area.

d) Free-field sound level: the sound level when only the direct sound level is taken into consideration and the reflection from the façade of the building in question is ignored. However, reflection from other surfaces must be taken into consideration.

e) Plane movements: take-off or landing.

f) Airports: landing grounds that are subject to Act no. 101 of 11 June 1993 relating to Aviation (the Aviation Act), with landing and take-off paths, associated traffic areas, etc., if they are under the same ownership as the landing ground.

g) Ports and terminals: a delimited area, either public or private, where cargo is loaded and unloaded or where passengers embark or disembark. Examples of terminals are lorry terminals, air terminals, bus terminals, port terminals, railway stations, rail cargo terminals, marshalling yards.

h) Health institutions: hospitals, convalescent homes, care facilities and nursing homes.

i) Year-round residences: houses, prisons, military bases, student residences, etc.

j) Railways: infrastructure (rail track layout) covered by Act no. 100 of 11 June 1993 on the Establishment and Operation of Railways, including Tramways, Underground Railways and Suburban Railways etc. (the Railways Act). Examples include railways in the traditional sense, tramways, underground railways, suburban railways, etc.

k) LpAeq,24h: the equivalent sound level LpAeq,24h is a measurement of the average (energy-averaged) noise level over a 24-hour period.

l) Lden: A-weighted noise level for day-evening-night, composed of the long-term A-weighted average sound level for day/evening/night respectively plus 0/5/10 dB. See Appendix 1 for a detailed definition.

m) Lnight: A-weighted equivalent level for the 8-hour night period from 23:00 to 07:00. See Appendix 1 for a detailed definition.

n) Quiet areas: A delimited area in a  built-up area (park, forest, cemetery, etc.) suitable for recreational purposes, where the noise level is lower than Lden 50 dB. Outside built-up areas where the noise level is lower than Lden 40 dB.

o) Built-up area: a group of houses with a population of at least 200 people, and where the distance between the houses is not normally greater than 50 metres. A discretionary deviation of over 50 metres between houses is permitted in areas that cannot or shall not be developed. This may include parks, sports facilities, industrial estates or natural obstacles such as rivers or arable land.

p) Educational institutions: primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities (including reading rooms), etc.

q) Roads: roads that are open for general traffic.

II. Indoor noise levels – mapping and measures

§ 5-4. Limit values for indoor noise

1. When the average indoor noise level during a day exceeds 42 dB LpAeq,24h in existing buildings, measures shall be implemented in accordance with section 5-9. The limit value shall be observed with effect from 1 January 2005.

2. When calculating the noise level, windows and valves must be shut.

3. The limit value applies to rooms that have been approved by the building authorities for permanent residence.

4. The limit values shall not apply during temporary deviations from the normal operation of an installation. In the event of a dispute, the competent authority shall determine what is to be considered a temporary deviation.

§ 5-5. Mapping of indoor noise conditions

Owners of installations shall map noise levels down to 35 dB LpAeq,24h in areas covered by section 5-2, subsection 3, by 30 June 2007.

The map shall be updated every five years. In special cases, the competent authority may issue an order to update the existing maps.

The competent authority may order mapping to be carried out in accordance with subsection 1 and, in the event of a dispute, determine who shall conduct the mapping, how it is to be conducted and what area it is to cover. The competent authority may further order several owners of installations as mentioned in section 5-2, subsection 3, to co-operate on the implementation of the mapping; as part of this, the authority can order the owner of the installation that is presumed to be contributing most to the exceedance of the limit values to co-ordinate the work to complete a joint mapping.

§ 5-6. Calculation of indoor noise levels

The calculation of indoor noise levels shall be based on calculated outdoor values, cf. the method indicated in section 5-13. In order to determine whether the limit values have been exceeded, the relevant measurement height for each individual dwelling must be used for the calculation.

When assessing possible measures in accordance with section 5-8, the sound passage through façades shall be calculated using proper professional and standardised methods.

§ 5-7. Measurement of noise levels

The owner of an installation may decide that noise level measurements can be used as a supplement to calculations in cases where there are doubts whether the calculations can properly describe the actual situation or in cases where there are special requirements for controlling the calculated data.

Outdoor noise levels and the sound passage through façades shall be measured using proper professional methods. Any deviations from these methods shall be documented.

§ 5-8. The duty to assess measures against indoor noise

If the mapping pursuant to section 5-7 shows that there is a risk that the limit value in section 5-4, point 1, will be exceeded within the next 5 years, the owner of the installation shall assess measures to bring the noise level under this limit value by 30 June 2008 at the latest. The measures shall be designed with adequate ventilation, cf. Regulations no. 33 of 22 January 1997 relating to requirements for construction work and products for construction work (the Technical Regulations).

The assessment of possible measures shall be updated every five years. In special cases, the competent authority may issue an order to update the existing assessment of possible measures.

§ 5-9. The duty to implement measures

The owner of the installation shall implement the necessary measures to prevent the installation from contributing substantially to the exceedance of the limit value in section 5-4, point 1.

The exceedance of the limit value in point 1 of section 5-4 when the mapping in accordance with section 5-7 is presented does not trigger a duty to implement measures in accordance with section 1 if updates show that the limit values will be complied with before any measures are implemented.

The competent authority may issue an order regarding the scope of the duty to implement measures if the owner of an installation does not comply with the duty to implement measures under this section. The competent authority may decide that the owner of an installation shall be considered to have fulfilled its duty to implement measures if conditions beyond its control prevent the implementation of the relevant measure. The competent authority may further order several owners of installations to co-operate with each other to implement measures, and order the party that contributes most to the exceedance of the limit value to co-ordinate the implementation work.

Decisions in accordance with subsection 3 shall follow the rules for processing cases given in chapter 3.6, the processing of permits under the Pollution Control Act.

Sections 6–8 of the Neighbouring Properties Act shall not apply to pollution that is considered permissible, under the terms of this chapter, also following decisions pursuant to section 5-19.

§ 5-10. Maintenance of measures

The owner of an installation is responsible for the operation and maintenance of measures that are implemented on the property of the owner of the installation and for noise barriers that are set up by the owner of the installation. Building owners are responsible for the operation and maintenance of measures that are implemented in their own buildings.

III. Strategic noise mapping

§ 5-11. Mapping of outdoor noise

A noise map shall be drawn up by 30 June 1997 showing the noise situation in the preceding calendar year for roads with over 6 million vehicle passages per year, railways with over 60,000 train passages per year, civilian airports with over 50,000 flight movements per year as described in more detail in Appendix 4, and agglomerations with over 250,000 inhabitants.

A noise map shall be drawn up by 30 June 2012 showing the noise situation in the preceding calendar year for roads with over 3 million vehicle passages per year, railways with over 30,000 train passages per year, civilian airports with over 50,000 flight movements per year as described in more detail in Appendix 4, and agglomerations with over 100,000 inhabitants.

The map shall include noise levels down to 55 Lden and noise levels down to 50 Lnight and shall comply with the minimum requirements as indicated in Appendix 2. The map shall be updated every five years.

The agglomeration map shall include noise from roads, railways, aircraft and ports as well as industry covered by Appendix I to chapter 36 of these regulations (companies covered by the IPPC directive).

§ 5-12. Responsibility for mapping outdoor noise 

Owners of installations are responsible for mapping noise from their installations in accordance with section 5-11.

In agglomerations, the municipality is responsible for collocating the mapping from the different noise sources. When the agglomeration consists of several municipalities, the municipality with the greatest number of inhabitants shall be responsible for this.

Duties under sections 1 and 2 may be fulfilled through a co-operative effort in which the owners of installations work together to map outdoor noise using a joint calculation model.

§ 5-13. Calculation of outdoor noise levels

The outdoor noise level shall be calculated using methods that satisfy the requirements imposed at any one time by Directive 2002/49/EC. Owners of installations are responsible for documenting that the method chosen satisfies the requirements for the noise source in question. In the event of a dispute, the Environment Agency shall determine whether the documentation provided by the owner of an installation is satisfactory.

§ 5-14. Action plans
A person or entity that is under an obligation to conduct mapping in accordance with section 5-12 shall ensure within one year following the deadline for mapping at the latest that action plans are drawn up to reduce the noise disturbance.

For action plans in agglomerations, the municipality is responsible for collocating the plans from the different noise sources. When the agglomeration consists of several municipalities, the municipality with the greatest number of inhabitants shall be responsible for this.

The action plans shall fulfil the minimum requirements listed in Appendix 3.

A person or entity that is responsible for drawing up the action plans shall work actively from an early stage in the process to inform the public concerning the planning work. Individuals and groups that are affected shall be given an opportunity to take an active part in the planning process.

IV. Concluding provisions

§ 5-15. Coverage of costs

The owner of an installation that contributes substantially to the exceedance of the limit value specified in section 5-4, point 1, and the mapping limit in section 5-7, subsection 1, shall cover the costs of mapping, of assessing possible measures and of implementing measures against indoor noise as mentioned in sections 5-5, 5-8 and 5-9. If several owners of installations co-operate in the mapping, assessment of possible measures or implementation of measures, they shall divide the costs in relation to the contribution each party makes to the total noise burden.

A person or entity that is under an obligation to conduct mapping under section 5-12 shall cover the costs of mapping its installations. The costs of any necessary co-ordination and compilation of strategic noise mapping in agglomerations shall be divided between the owners of installations in relation to the number of dwellings above the mapping limit specified in section 5-11, subsection 3. The costs for drawing up action plans under section 5-14 and for publishing information under section 5-18 shall be divided accordingly.

In situations where the exceedance of the limit value in section 5-4, subsection 1, is obviously due to poor maintenance, or where poor maintenance contributes to an increase in the cost of implementing necessary measures, this additional cost shall be covered by the persons or entity responsible for the inadequate maintenance.

If there is disagreement on the division of costs under this provision or if the division of costs will be unreasonable, the competent authority may determine how the costs are to be divided.

§ 5-16. Reversal

The competent authority may amend, supplement or rescind decisions to implement measures, cf. section 5-9, subsection 3, if

a) it is deemed necessary in order to comply with the limit value in section 5-4, point 1, or
b) it turns out that the measure cannot be implemented, or
c) the conditions for reversal under the terms of section 18 of the Pollution Control Act are present.

Subsections 4 and 5 of section 5-9 apply correspondingly to decisions made under the terms of this section.

§ 5-17. The competent authority

The competent authority under the terms of this chapter is the County Governor, who shall ensure compliance with the provisions. The Environment Agency remains the competent authority for industry in cases where the authority to issue a permit to conduct such activities under the terms of section 11 of the Pollution Control Act has not been delegated to the County Governor.

§ 5-18. Reporting and publication

The owners of installations that are under an obligation to conduct mapping under section 5-12 are responsible for making the results of the mapping of their installations and actions plans public in accordance with section 5-14. For mapping performed in agglomerations in accordance with section 5-11, subsections 1 and 2, the municipality shall help make the results public in co-operation with the owners of installations. Owners of installations shall also report results from the mapping of outdoor noise levels to the competent authority, clearly identifying the buildings involved.

Owners of installations are responsible for reporting to the competent authority the results from the mapping of indoor noise levels under section 5-5, the assessment of possible measures under section 5-8, and measures implemented in accordance with section 5-9, clearly identifying the buildings involved. Owners of installations are further responsible for establishing and maintaining a database of buildings that exceed the mapping limit specified in section 5-5, with information on the latest mapping, the assessment of possible measures and measures implemented.

§ 5-19. Exemptions

The Environment Agency, or any body that the Ministry of Climate and Environment authorises, may issue exemptions from this chapter. In special cases, measures may be approved or ordered, o the basis of a complete review, that will entail a departure from the limit value specified in section 5-4, point 1.

§ 5-20. Transitional provisions

Decisions made pursuant to Regulations no. 931 of 1 June 2004 relating to the restriction of pollution, chapter 5 (Limit values for noise), Regulations no. 1089 of 4 October 2002 relating to limit values for noise and Regulations no. 490 of 30 May 1997 relating to limit values for local air pollution and noise remain in force.

In cases where the provisions in the regulations mentioned in subsection 1 have not been complied with by 1 January 2005, the competent authority may issue orders to ensure compliance with the provisions by a specified date.


Appendix 1. Noise indicators

1. Definition of the Lden day-evening-night value
The Lden day-evening-night level in decibels (dB) is defined using the following formula:

 

in which:

Lday is the A-weighted long-term average sound level as defined in ISO 1996-2: 1987, determined over all the day periods of a year,

Levening is the A-weighted long-term average sound level as defined in ISO 1996-2: 1987, determined over all the evening periods of a year,

Lnight is the A-weighted long-term average sound level as defined in ISO 1996-2: 1987, determined over all the night periods of a year,

in which:

– the day period is from 07:00 to 19:00, the evening period is from 19:00 to 23:00 and the night period is from 23:00 to 07:00.
– one year is a relevant year in terms of the noise emissions and an average year in terms of meteorological conditions,

and in which:
– only the incident sound is calculated, which means that no account is taken of the sound that is reflected at the façade of the building in question (as a general rule, this implies a 3 dB correction during measurement).

The height of the Lden assessment point depends on the application:

– in calculations for strategic noise mapping in relation to noise exposure in and near buildings, the assessment points should be 4.0 ± 0.2 m (3.8 to 4.2 m) above the ground and at the most exposed façade; for this purpose, the most exposed façade will be the external wall facing onto and nearest to the specific noise source; other choices may be made for other purposes,
– in measurements for the purpose of strategic noise mapping in relation to noise exposure in and near buildings, other heights may be chosen, but they must never be less than 1.5 m above the ground, and the results should be corrected according to an equivalent height of 4 m,
– for other purposes, such as acoustic planning and noise zoning, other heights may be chosen, but they must never be less than 1.5 m above the ground, for example for:

– rural areas with one-storey houses,
– the design of local measures to reduce the noise impact on specific dwellings,
– detailed noise mapping of a limited area, showing the noise exposure of individual dwellings.

2. Definition of noise indicators for the night period
The noise indicator for Lnight is the A-weighted long-term average sound level as defined in ISO 1996-2: 1987, determined over all the night periods of a year,

in which:

– the night period is from 23:00 to 07:00, as mentioned in point 1,
– one year is a relevant year in terms of noise emissions and an average year in terms of meteorological conditions,
– only the incident sound is calculated, as mentioned in point 1,
– the assessment point is the same as for Lden.

3. Other noise indicators
In certain cases, in addition to Lden and Lnight and, where relevant, Lday and Levening, it may be advantageous to use special noise indicators and related limit values. A few examples are given below:

– the relevant noise source only operates for a small proportion of the time (for example less than 20% of the time over the total day periods in a year, the total evening periods in a year or the total night periods in a year),
– the average number of noise events in one or more of the periods is very low (for example less than one noise event an hour; a noise event may be defined as noise that lasts less than five minutes; noise from a passing train or aircraft is an example),
– the low-frequency content of the noise is strong,
– LAmax or SEL (sound exposure level) for protection during the night period in the event of noise peaks,
– extra protection at the weekend or a specific part of the year,
– extra protection during the day period,
– extra protection duringhe evening period,
– a combination of noises from different sources,
– quiet areas in the countryside,
– the noise contains strong tonal components,
– the noise has an impulsive character.

 

Appendix 2. Minimum requirements for strategic noise mapping

1. Strategic noise maps shall be used for the following purposes:– as a basis for the data to be sent to the EU Commission in accordance with Directive 2002/49/EC,

– as a source of information for the public in accordance with section 5-18.
– as a basis for action plans in accordance with section 5-14.

Different types of strategic noise maps are required for each of these areas of application.

2. A strategic noise map shall provide data on:– exceedance of the limit values specified in section 5-4, subsection 1,
– the estimated number of people who live in dwellings that are exposed to noise with Lden values in each of the following bands: 55–59, 60–64, 65–69, 70–74, > 75, separately for noise from roads, railways and air traffic and from industrial sources
– the estimated total number of people who live in dwellings that are exposed to noise with Lnight values in each of the following bands: 50–54, 55–59, 60–64, 65–69, > 70, separately for noise from roads, railways and air traffic and from industrial sources
– in addition, where appropriate and where such data is available, it should be stated how many people in the above-mentioned categories live in dwellings with:
–- special insulation against the type of noise in question; i.e. special insulation of a building against one or more types of environmental noise, combined with such ventilation or air condition facilities that high values of insulation against environmental noise may be maintained,
– a quiet façade; meaning the façade of a dwelling which the value of Lden 4 m above ground, and 2 m in front of the façade, for the noise emitted from a specific noise source, is more than 20 dB lower than at the façade with the highest value of Lden.

It should also be stated how roads, railways and airports contribute to the above

– the estimated number of dwellings, schools and hospitals in a specific area, where the noise levels are higher than the specific noise values
- the total area (in km2) exposed to Lden values higher than 55, 65 and 75 dB respectively from major roads, major railways and major airports. The estimated total number of dwellings and people (in hundreds) in these areas shall be given. The 55 and 65 dB contours shall be shown on one or more maps, and the map shall give information on cities and built-up areas within the contours.

3. Strategic noise maps may be presented to the public in the form of graphical presentations, numerical data in tables or numerical data in electronic form. For information provided to the public in accordance with section 5-18 and the drawing up of action plans in accordance with 5-14, further, more detailed data must be given in the form of:

– a graphical presentation,
– exceedance of the limit values in section 5-4, 
– difference maps, in which the existing situation is compared with various possible future situations,
– maps showing the value of a noise indicator at a height other than 4 m, where this is appropriate.

4. A strategic noise map for local or national use must be drawn up for an assessment height of 4 m and with the 5 dB range of Lden and Lnight as defined in point 2.

5. Strategic noise maps for agglomerations shall be drawn up for noise from road traffic, rail traffic, air traffic and industrial activity, including ports. Maps can also be drawn up for other sources. When using a graphical presentation, the 55, 60, 65, 70 and 75 dB contours shall be displayed.

 

 


Appendix 3. Minimum requirements for action plans

1. An action plan must include the following elements as a minimum:

– a description of the built-up area, the major roads, the major railways or the major airports, as well as other noise sources that have been taken into account,
– the competent authority,
– the legal context,
– any valid limit values, especially with regard to the limit value specified in section 5-4,
– a summary of the results of the noise mapping,
– an evaluation of the estimated number of people exposed to noise, identification of problems and situations that need to be improved,
– a record of the public consultations organised in accordance with sections 5-14 and 5-18,
– any noise reduction measures already in force and any projects in preparation, including all measures to reduce indoor noise levels,
– actions that the relevant authorities intend to take within the next five years, including actions to preserve quiet areas,
– long-term strategy,
– financial data (if available): budgets, cost-effectiveness studies,
– provisions envisaged for evaluating the implementation and the results of the action plan.

2. The actions that the competent authorities intend to take in the fields within their competence may for example include:

– traffic planning,
– land-use planning,
– technical measures at noise sources,
– selection of quieter sources,
– reduction of sound transmission,
– regulatory or economic measures or incentives.

3. Each action plan should contain estimates of the expected reduction in the number of people affected (annoyed, suffering disrupted sleep, etc.).

 


Appendix 4. Provisions relating to the traffic basis at airports

 

Directive 2002/49/EC covers “major airports”; i.e. according to the definition in article 3 p):

“A civil airport, designated by the Member State, which has more than 50,000 movements per year (a movement being a take-off or a landing), excluding those purely for training purposes on light aircraft.”

This definition has been implemented in the chapter in section 5-3.

Purely military airports are not covered by article III, but are included under the provisions of article II. Military airports with civil traffic are covered by the entire chapter. The definition entails that military traffic and training flights are not incorporated in the traffic basis when determining whether the airport is under an obligation to conduct mapping or not under the terms of chapter 3.

If there are over 50,000 civil air movements, military traffic and training flights shall nevertheless be included in the noise calculation, such that this noise is given in maps and action plans.