a National
                                           for  Noise
                U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                Office of Noise Abatement and Control
                    Washington, D.C. 20460

               April 1977

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface 	     v
Summary	    vii

     Background Data	      1
     Purpose of Publishing this Document  	      2
     Nature of This Document	      3

     Effects of Noise   	      5
     The Pervasiveness of Noise Exposure  	      6

     Regulatory Measures to Control Noise 	      9

     General and Specific Goals 	     13

     Interrelationship of Specific Program Components 	     21
     National Source Regulations and State and Local Programs ...     22
     Labeling	     25

     Recommended National Programs  	     27
     The Role of Technology Research and Development	     29
     Development of Cost and Economic Impact Data	     33
     National Source Regulations  	     33
     State and Local Control Programs 	     38
     Labeling and Consumer Decision Making  	     41
     Community Awareness and Public Information 	     43
     Aircraft/Airport Noise 	     43
     Enforcement	     46
     Other Federal Programs 	     51


     This document is a revision of the October 1976 draft of Toward

a National Strategy for Noise Abatement and Control.  The draft was

made available to the public for comment through a notice published

in the Federal Register on November 10, 1976.  The comment period closed

on January 10, 1977.  The Agency found that there was substantial

agreement demonstrated by the comments with the general direction of

the draft.  For this reason fewer changes were necessary in this edition

than expected, based on the volume of responses.  Nevertheless, many

comments were detailed, extensive, and challenging.  EPA has endeavored

in this revision to review and give recognition to those comments which

could be answered or incorporated without considerable further study and

research.  There were, of course, complicated questions which were not

feasible to resolve in a short period time.  The more complex questions

are addressed in an Addendum to this document which is entitled, Policy

and Implementation Questions.   These issues will be dealt with more

substantively in the future.  It is the Agency's intention to use this

document as a stepping stone to the completion of a comprehensive noise

strategy.  The Agency will continue to seek public participation and

involvement as the strategy is shaped.


     This document has been developed to continue the dialogue on the

overall goals of the noise program, the role of government, the role of

consumers, and the role of industry in noise control, along with the

selection of specific abatement and enforcement activities for EPA.  It

establishes a general framework for making decisions on the best strategy

that EPA can employ to combat noise pollution.  The primary goal of the

Agency in the noise pollution area is to promote an environment for all

Americans, free from noise that jeopardizes their health or welfare.  In

order to reach this legislatively mandated objective five specific

operational goals have been formulated. These are:

     A.   To take all practical steps to eliminate hearing loss resulting

          from noise exposure;

     B.   To reduce environmental noise exposure to an Ldn value of no

          more than 75 dB immediately;

     C.   To reduce noise exposure levels to Ldn 65 dB by vigorous

          regulatory and planning actions;

     D.   To strive for an eventual reduction of noise levels to an

          Ldn of 55 dB; and

     E.   To encourage and assist other Federal, State and local agencies

          in the adoption and implementation of long range noise control


     The complexity of the noise problem, combined with the large array

of complementary control authorities, make possible a considerable number

of alternative approaches to a national program.  Numerous regulatory

measures are available to control noise, although many of them have

not yet been utilized to their full potential.  The ultimate shape of

the national noise control effort will be greatly influenced by the

programatic emphasis among three specific components of the program:

(A) Federal noise emission regulations for new products; (B) State and

local controls; and (C) Federal regulations requiring labeling of

products.  EPA's strategy for the implementation of the Noise Control

Act in the first few years after its passage was to attack the most

serious noise sources first and to meet the mandatory requirements for

which the Act established specific deadlines.  Specifically, top priority

for the short term was placed on developing source standards for major

sources of noise in the surface transportation and construction areas;

producing the other documents with mandatory deadlines, such as the

Airport/Aircraft Report, and the criteria and environmental noise level

documents; and publishing the two interstate carrier regulations.

Technical assistance, Federal program coordination, and labeling were

given lower priority.  EPA has now promulgated all standards and published

all reports for which there were specific deadlines.  Consequently, it

has been possible for EPA to become more flexible and to broaden its

approach to national noise control.

     On the basis of the directives of the Noise Control Act of 1972,

EPA's experience in the implementation of that Act, and the goals and

policy considerations discussed in this document, EPA has designed a

program intended to maximize the effectiveness of the authority given

to the agency, as well as to encourage other parties to use their

authority effectively.

     This strategy recognizes the essentiality of State and local

programs, other Federal programs, and informed consumer choice through

labeling for the national noise control effort.  Increased efforts

in these areas are therefore planned for FY 1977 and 1978.  Starting

in FY 1977, EPA began to shift resources and attention to other areas

of the Noise Control Act which had not been emphasized previously.  One

major area of emphasis will be expanded assistance to State and local

agencies, which is essential to provide more immediate relief from

noise, to provide control of "nuisance" and other non-federally regulated

sources of noise, and to assist in the enforcement of EPA standards.

     Another area of increased activity is the coordination of Federal

noise control and research programs.  Emphasis will also be placed on

the implementation of a labeling program.  Labeling offers an alter-

native, or at least a desirable supplement, to Federal noise emission

limits. Product labeling will offer consumers an opportunity to deal

directly with noise pollution by enabling them to make informed choices.

     Development of noise emission limits for appropriate sources will

continue in the construction area and the surface transportation area.

Additionally, EPA is examining other categories including household

products and consumer products for possible emission regulations or

labeling requirements.

                               SECTION I



     During the last several years, the abatement and control of noise

has become a major area of activity in many sectors of American society

as indicated by the following:

     A)   During the late 1960's several agencies of the Federal Government

          spearheaded an effort to increase the country's activities in

          the area of noise control;

     B)   In 1972, the Congress passed the Noise Control Act directing the

          U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to set national noise

          source standards and otherwise promote "an environment for all

          Americans, free from noise that jeopardizes their health or welfare;"

     C)   Loss of hearing caused by occupational exposure to noise has become

          a major ground for workmen's compensation claims today.  The

          prevalence of such noise-induced hearing loss has resulted in

          examination by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration

          of more stringent noise standards for the workplace, and in

          additional pressures on American industry to protect workers

          from noise;

     D)   The number of State and local noise control programs have increased

          from 288 in 1973 to 665 in 1976;

     E)   Noise control has become an increasingly important component

          of other Federal agencies' programs (e.g., the building of noise

          barriers has become a significant element of the Department of

          Transportation's National Highway Program);.

     F)   In some cases, American industry is increasingly producing quieter

          products and is advertising "quiet" as a positive feature of its


     G)   In October 1976,  President Ford approved a Federal Aviation

          Administration (FAA) proposal for retrofit or replacement of

          existing jet aircraft which do not meet the 1969 standards.

     All this activity stems from a growing awareness of the adverse

effects of noise on public health and welfare and from the realization

that no single organization or group can alone provide the necessary

relief. The abatement and control of noise is an extremely complex task

that will require the coordinated efforts of all segments of society,

and a national strategy must be designed and implemented to achieve this



     This document represents the continuation of the effort to define a

unified national noise abatement and control strategy.  It is hoped the

details of the strategy will be improved and that the activities of all

participating groups will begin to coalesce into a common effort.

     The Environmental Protection Agency has only a portion of the

authority necessary to carry out the national noise abatement effort.

The Noise Control Act of 1972, however, directs EPA to serve as the

coordinator of all the Federal Government's noise abatement activities

and to give technical assistance to State and local agencies and to the

general public.  Therefore, it seems appropriate for EPA to take the

lead in coordinating the preparation of a strategy and then to ask the

other organizations and individuals concerned with noise control to

assist in refining this strategy.  This procedure is designed to develop

a national dialogue, leading to an agreed-upon unified national strategy

that will serve as a general guide for the major noise control activities

in this country.



     In order to stimulate a national dialogue, EPA believes it is

desirable that this general strategy be concise and non-technical.

This document sets out in summary form the general principles by which

the national effort should be guided, the division of responsibilities,

and the areas of emphasis.  It also identifies the major outstanding

policy and implementation questions.  The purpose of the document is to

provide an overview rather than to supply the details of how the effort

should be carried out.  As a follow-up, EPA is developing for publication,

 a surface transportation strategy and will develop specific program

strategies in several other areas (such as construction, household,

and consumer products) in which more detailed activities will be discussed.

                              SECTION II



     Noise, like other pollutants, is, to a very substantial degree a

waste product generated by the activities of a modern industrialized

society.  It is defined in the EPA Report to the President and Congress

on Noise (1972) as "any sound ... that may produce an undesired phy-

siological or psychological effect in an individual ... or group."

Noise is an extremely pervasive pollutant.  In one form or at one time,

noise adversely affects virtually the entire U.S. population.

     Certain noise effects are well documented as follows:

     A)   Noise can cause damage to the inner ear, resulting in

          permanent hearing loss that may range from mild to severe,

          depending upon the level and duration of exposure;

     B)   Noise can interfere with spoken communication and

          with the enjoyment of watching television, or listening to the

          radio or phonograph;

     C)   Noise can disturb and prevent sleep;

     D)   Noise can disrupt learning and teaching activities as well as

          other activities that require mental concentration or spoken


     E)   Noise can be a source of annoyance;

     F)   Even the detectability of man-made noise in pristine environments,

          such as national forests, may be of significant annoyance to people.

     Other effects of noise are less well documented but may become

increasingly important as more information is gathered.  They include

the non-auditory health effects (the "stress" diseases), the combined

effects of noise with other pollutants, and adverse social and economic

     Annoyance caused by noise is a particularly complex phenomenon,

governed by a composite of factors that vary from individual to

individual, and from time to time.  Although hard to quantify or

predict, community annoyance caused by noise is very prevalent, and in

many instances, it has provided a powerful impetus to the noise abatement

movement.  The Bureau of the Census' 1974 Annual Housing Survey found

that although Americans in approximately four out of every five households

felt that they lived in good or excellent neighborhoods, almost half

(49 percent) considered their neighborhoods too noisy.  In this survey,

noise ranked first of all the undesirable conditions listed, surpassing

many other factors that are usually considered to be significant

in people's perception of the quality of their lives.


     Noise-induced hearing loss is a recognized problem in the highly

mechanized industries, the military, and other high noise-exposure

occupations.  An estimated 14.7 million American workers are exposed

to an Leq(8)* of 75 decibels (dB) or greater, a level above which

there is a risk of hearing damage.  An additional 13.5 million Americans

are estimated to be exposed to an Leq  (8) of 75 (dB) or greater in

transportation or recreational vehicles.
* Leq, equivalent sound level, is the average energy  level  of  sound
  over a given period of  time.  The period of time is  shown in parenthesis,
  in  this case, 8 hours.

     Much less is known about the levels of noise associated with non-

auditory health problems, but it is generally assumed (although not

proven) that significant adverse effects do not occur below the noise

level considered safe the the purposes of hearing conservation.

     Noise levels above Ldn* 55 dB may interfere with normal activities

such as speech communication, sleep, relaxation, and privacy. An estimated

103 million Americans - virtually half the Nation's population - are

exposed to an Ldn of 55 dB or greater.

     Noise levels will increase significantly unless effective and

coordinated Federal, State and local noise control programs are implemented.

For example:

     A)    Urban noise intensities will increase roughly in proportion to

           growth in population density;

     B)    A three-to-four fold  increase is projected in the number of

           residents adjacent to freeways and major highways who will be

           exposed to noise levels of Ldn 65 dB or greater, by the year


     C)    A 50 percent increase will occur in the number of person-hours

           of exposure to construction noise by the year 2000;

     D)    Occupational hearing loss and other adverse effects can be

           expected to increase as the number of exposed workers increases.
* Ldn, day-night sound level, is the energy-averaged equivalent level
  (Leq) for 20 hours adjusted to include a 10 dB penalty for noise exposures
  during night-time hours (10 p.m.  to 6 a.m.).

                              SECTION III



     Numerous regulatory measures are available to control noise, although

many of them have not yet been utilized to their full potential.  EPA

already has promulgated regulations for interstate motor and rail carriers

for new medium and heavy duty trucks, and portable air compressors.  Pro-

posed regulations will be issued in the spring of 1977 for motorcycles,

buses, truck-mounted refrigeration units and solid waste compactors, and

wheel and crawler tractors used as loaders and dozers.  Proposed regulations

for the labeling of hearing protectors will also be published in 1977.

     The following are examples of regulatory controls:

     A)   Federal Government

          1)   Environmental Protection Agency

               o    Regulations on the operation of interstate motor

                    and rail carriers;

               o    Regulations on new products that are major sources of

                    noise,  including such controls as anti-tampering,

                    warranty,  and useful life provisions;

               o    Labeling of products that produce noise capable of

                    adversely  affecting public health or welfare, or

                    products that are marketed for their noise attenuation


     o    Providing technical assistance to State and Local

          units of government desiring to develop and enforce

          noise abatement and control programs;

     o    Public information dissemination to inform citizens

          of the hazards of noise to public health and welfare;


     o    Certification of Low Noise Emission Products.

2)   Department of Transportation

     o    Enforcement of EPA's interstate motor carrier and

          rail carrier noise emission standards (FHWA/FRA);

     o    Procedures for abatement of highway noise and highway

          construction noise (FHWA);

     o    Standards limiting in-cab truck and locomotive noise

          levels (FHWA/FRA);

     o    Standards limiting shipboard crew noise levels (USCG);

     o    Policies for land retention around audible aids to

          navigation (fog signals) (USCG);

     o    Standards for railroad employee sleeping quarters (FRA);

     o    Noise abatement features in; airport development and

          improvement (FAA); regulations controlling aviation

          noise; and grants to airports for noise planning; and

     o    Noise specifications and design standards for bus and

          rail rapid transit systems  (UMTA).

3)   Department of Labor

     o    Standards for control of occupational noise  (OSHA).


     4)   Department of Interior

          o    Enforcement of noise standards in mines (MESA);

          o    Research, development and demonstration programs

               in mining equipment noise control (Bureau of


     5)   Housing and Urban Development

          o    Limitation of mortgage guarantees and assistance

               to housing and other noise sensitive uses in areas

               with high noise levels, such as near airports and

               major highways;

          o    Noise requirements in comprehensive planning.

     6)   Other Federal Agencies

          o    Development of noise control methodologies and

               requirements by Department of Defense, Department

               of the Interior, Department of Health, Education and

               Welfare, and the Department of Agriculture.

          o    Implement the purchase of low-noise emission products

               up to 25% premium; and

          o    Develop methods for abatement of noise at Federal

               facilities and from Federal equipment.

B)   State and Local Agency Regulatory Measures

     1)   Permit programs (construction sites, manufacturing plants);

     2)   Controls on use and operation of noisy products;

     3)   Economic incentives (e.g., noise-related fees at  airports,

          for motor vehicles, etc.);


          4)    Zoning;

          5)    Property line standards;

          6)    Curfews;

          7)    Labeling;

          8)    Enforcement of the above;  and

          9)    Regulation of large stationary sources such as

               power plants, cooling towers, etc.

     C)    Consumers

          1)    Purchase of low-noise products.

     D)    Industry

          1)    Reduction of occupational  noise exposure;

          2)    Production of quieter products;  and

          3)    Provision of noise information to purchasers of


     Each of  the above regulatory and program tools is exercised to

varying degrees and with little coordination.  If the tools were used

together in a unified program, their effectiveness would be greatly


                              SECTION IV

                     GOALS FOR THE NATIONAL EFFORT


      The complexity of the noise problem combined with the vast

array of complementary control authorities listed in the previous

section, raises the prospect of a large number of alternative

approaches to a national program.  In order to give some structure

to the strategy planning process, some tentative goals have been

established for the program.  Our purpose is to design the program around

these goals and then to subject them to examination in this general

strategy and in the specific program strategies to  decide whether or

not they remain reasonable.  If further review and  evaluation indicates

they are reasonable, then timetables for their achievement can be

established and the program monitored for progress  toward achieving


     Congress has stated a general goal in the Noise Control Act which

we suggest for the entire noise control effort.  Reference this general

goal in the Noise Control Act of 1972, Section 2, as follows:

          "To promote an environment for all Americans free from

          noise that jeopardizes their health or welfare."

     In order to achieve this general goal, specific goals based on

our knowledge of what levels of noise jeopardize health and welfare

are needed.  The following tentative specific goals are recommended:

     A)   Take all practical steps to eliminate hearing loss as a

          significant consequence of noise exposure both in the work-

          place and in the- general environment.

     B)    Reduce  environmental  noise  exposure of  the  population

          to an Ldn value of  no more  than 75  dB immediately,

          utilizing all  available  tools,  except in those isolated

          cases where  this would impose severe hardship.   This

          will essentially eliminate  risk of  hearing  loss due

          to environmental noise,  and reduce  the  extreme

          annoyance and  activity interference for the population

          most severely  affected.

     C)    Through vigorous regulatory and planning actions,

          reduce  environmental  noise  exposure levels  to Ldn

          65* dB  or lower, and  concurrently reduce noise

          annoyance and  related activity interference caused

          by intrusive noises.

     D)    In planning  future  programs concerned with  or affecting

          environmental  noise exposure, to the extent possible,

          aim for environmental noise levels  that do  not exceed

          an Ldn  of 55 dB. This will ensure protection of the

          public  health  and welfare from all adverse  effects  of

          noise based  on present knowledge.

     E)    Encourage and  assist  Federal, State and local agencies

          in the  adoption and implementation of a long-range  noise

          control policy designed  to prevent significant degradation

          of existing  noise levels or exposure in designated

          areas.   Such a "non-degradation" policy could be

          incorporated into land-use and development  planning
*  Technically, this should be expressed as Ldn=65, however, hereafter
   in this document it will be shown as Ldn 65 for purpose of simplification.


              processes in an effort to reduce potential increases

              of noise levels or exposure in areas where quiet is

              at a premium, e.g., hospital zones, quiet residential

              areas, and wilderness areas.

     The choice of these specific goals involves many value judgments,

which should receive critical review.  For instance, goal C specifically

focuses on Ldn 65 dB rather than 55 dB.  Although activity interference

may occur as low as Ldn 55, the Agency believes the greatest emphasis

of the noise control program should be on levels of noise of Ldn 65 and

above until the problems of the higher levels are solved.  Nevertheless,

regulatory action to reduce levels below Ldn 65 will be  necessary in

some cases, and Ldn 55 should be the goal of future planning,  especially

since noise control is often so much easier to achieve if it is  built

in from the beginning.

     EPA recognizes that it would take a long time to achieve a national

environmental noise level of Ldn 55.  In fact, it may be impossible and

undesirable from the point of view of all our national needs to do so in

all situations.

     It must be emphasized that these are goals and are not intended as

regulations, since EPA has no authority to regulate ambient noise levels.

In promulgating specific source regulations, EPA does a thorough study

of both the specific benefits to be achieved and the cost to society of

achieving these benefits.  These same costs and benefits will be examined

in the development of specific program strategies in such areas as surface

transportation and construction.

     All the details of exactly how these goals can and should be achieved

and the associated cost to society for the efforts as a whole remain to

be developed.  However, many of the details of the component programs

have been developed.  For some types of problems other than noise, the

development of such a total strategy is relatively simple and can be done

quickly.  However, in an area as complex as noise, where there are so

many unknowns and where very little in-depth planning has been done up

to now, strategy planning must be an evolving and flexible process.

     The strategy questions that should be answered in the noise area

(and the alternatives available) occur on many different levels.

Figure 1 illustrates one way in which these alternatives can be

categorized.  The more general choices are shown at the top of the

triangle; the more concrete and specific ones are shown at the bottom.

     This strategy document concentrates on the first four levels of

choices shown in Figure 1.  The specific program strategies to follow

will deal with  the choices shown on Levels V and VI.  While the formal

documentation  of these specific program strategies is only now beginning

to be developed within EPA, initial descriptions of three such program

strategiessurface transportation, construction, and aviation,can be

found in other documents  already published by the Agency.*
*Surface Transportation:  Identification of Major Sources, June 21, 197A,
 and May 28, 1975; Preamble and Background Document for New Heavy and
 Medium Truck Regulation, March 31, 1976.
 Construction:  Identification of Major Sources, June 21, 1974  ,
 May 28, 1975 and February 3, 1977; Preamble and Background Document for
 Portable Air Compressor Regulation.
 Aviation:  Report to Congress on Aircraft/Airport Noise, July  27, 1973;
 Preambles ?.nd Brckground Documents for proposed regulations sent to
 FAA under Section 7 of the Noise Control Act  (December 6, 1974 through
 October 1, 1976).  April 5, 1976 Speech of the Administrator to Inter-
 Noise '76.



                            SPECIFIC GOALS

                    Hearing   Interference   Other


                           GENERAL APPROACH

           ''Source     In-Use    Consumer     Other  including
          ^Standards   Control   Decisions  Public Information

                        PRINCIPAL PARTICIPANTS

         Federal   State   Local     Consumer
          Govt.    Govt.   Govt.     & Local
Industry   Other

                             MAJOR  SOURCES

       Surface       Construction    Industrial   Aviation   Other
   Transportation      (Loaders,       Sites
 (Truck, Motorcycles  Compressors)


                          SPECIFIC  APPROACHES

  Inspection  EPA New  Product   Labeling   Permits   Property   Other
   Programs       Standards                             Line

                               Figure 1.

     In formulating a strategy for its own activities since the passage

of the Noise Control Act of 1972, EPA has sought to use its finite

noise control resources to achieve the maximum initial progress toward

its goals.  Most of its activities resulted frojp program decisions that

flowed directly from the structure of the Noise Control Act and the

legislative discussions that preceded the passage of that Act.

     Specifically, EPA has:

     A)   Published regulations for in-use control of interstate motor

          carriers, to reduce further escalation of the noise from these

          sources (goals B and C);

     B)   Formally recommended to OSHA, under Section 4 of the Noise

          Control Act, that OSHA establish a stringent workplace

          standard to reduce substantially, noise exposure that is damaging

          workers' hearing (goal A);

               Note:  Although the new product regulatory provisions

               of the Noise Control Act could be used to some extent

               to eliminate hearing loss as a significant consequence

               of noise in the workplace, the authority under the

               Occupational Safety and Health Act seems the most

               effective means for this purpose.

     C)   Began a process of establishing new product standards for

          the most serious contributors of noise to the environment,

          concentrating initially on  those in surface transportation

          and construction (goals A,  B, and C).

     D)   Recommended eleven regulatory proposals to the Federal Aviation

          Administration (goals B, C, and D).

     To achieve its initial goals, EPA had to concentrate its finite

noise control resources on these basic activities.  As a consequence,

EPA gave less emphasis to other authorities in the Act, and to important

organizations in the Federal government and to State and local agencies

who can and should play an important role in the total national effort.

Now that these initial actions are completed or well under way, the

Agency has reviewed its program and is attempting, with the resources

available, to foster a more comprehensive and carefully integrated

national program.

                               SECTION V



    The ultimate shape of the national noise control effort will be

greatly influenced by the programatic emphasis among three specific

components of the program:  (A) Federal noise emission regulations for

new products, (B) State and local controls, and (C) Federal regulations

requiring labeling  of products.  The relative emphasis given to each of

these  components of a national effort is an important issue because, to

some extent,  each component can substitute for the other two.  In other

words, a national  strategy could be fashioned that placed almost all

the emphasis on new product  regulations and gave very little attention

to State, local and consumer  actions.  Alternatively, Federal new

product regulations could be given  less emphasis, with State, local,

and consumer actions filling at least  part of the void.

    For instance, if one were concerned with urban traffic noise, one

could attempt to provide most of the needed control through new product

regulations limiting the noise produced by new vehicles (trucks, motor-

cycles, buses, etc.) coming off the assembly line.  Or, this approach

could be supplemented and to some -extent replaced by State and local

controls limiting the noise emitted by these vehicles when they were

being operated.   As another alternative, consumers could be given information

about the noise emitted by the specified model of vehicle which might result

in market-induced noise control, and would substitute to some degree for

the other two efforts.

    The effectiveness of each of these components varies according to

the product and the situation.  For instance, the effectiveness of labeling

would be much greater in cases where the buyer is also the person most

adversely affected by the noise.  In situations where the principal person

affected is a third party, there is less incentive for the purchase

of quieter products.

    In many cases, it would not be beneficial to develop State and local

programs to handle the problems caused by a single product.  Consequently,

general policy decisions should be made regarding the relative roles of

Federal new product regulations, State and local controls, and labeling,

in order to lay the groundwork for individual product-by-product decisions.


    Since the passage of the 1972 Noise Control Act, EPA has focused its

noise control resources on the development, promulgation, and enforcement

of national source regulations, and has not emphasized assistance to

State and local programs and labeling.

    This strategy was appropriate during the beginning years because national

source standards were (and still are) clearly needed, and because the Act

places primary emphasis on them.  Such standards are capable of producing

significant noise reductions that, to a large degree, are not obtainable

by other means, such as State and local controls and labeling.  It now

appears, however, to be time to initiate another phase in the national

effort.  National source regulations, specifically new product standards,

must continue to be the major component of the Federal effort, and EPA

has studies under way that will lead to such regulations for a number of

additional products.  (See Table I, Pages 36 and 37).


    However, it is clear that the abatement and control of noise is such

a complex process that new product regulations cannot provide for the

degree of abatement and control necessary to achieve the goals discussed

above.  The growth in the quantity of a particular product in use, and

degradation once it leaves the factory, combine to make the Federal new

product regulations a necessary, but not totally sufficient, portion of

a national noise control program.  The problem is compounded by the fact

that the EPA's new product standards will not actually produce a benefit

until a substantial number of the old noisy products are replaced by the

quieter new ones.  For many products, this replacement cycle will take

eight to ten years and in some cases much longer.

    Therefore, EPA has concluded that strong State and local noise

control programs are an essential element of the national noise control

effort, particularly in the following areas:

     A)   Enforcement of Federal new product regulations as an extension

          of the Federal enforcement program: The effectiveness of any

          new product standard after the product has left the factory is

          dependent on the enforcement of the provisions of the Federal

          regulations that cover the product - namely, the anti-tampering,

          warranty, and useful life provisions. For example, it is

          planned that the Federal standard for motorcycles will specify

          noise level requirements and labels for replacement exhaust

          systems.  Without effective enforcement of these provisions,

     the full effect of the rest of the regulation may be vitiated.

     EPA's enforcement of these provisions would be greatly assisted

     by an active field enforcement effort on the part of State and

     local governments.

B)   Implementation of additional controls on the use and operation

     of products for which EPA has promulgated new product regulations.

     Given our knowledge of technology today, it is impossible to

     set new standards for many products that would fully protect

     public health and welfare.  These standards must be complemented

     by additional use and operational controls administrated by

     State and local authorities.  A multitude of control alternatives

     is available to these authorities, many of them beyond the

     normal reach of Federal authority. For instance, the effective

     enforcement of local ordinances controlling the time and place

     of off-road motorcycle operation would greatly enhance the

     effectiveness of any Federal requirements for noise level

     reductions at the time of manufacturing.

C)   Achievement of immediate control of noise.  National new

     product regulations are designed to bring relief in the long

     term.  In-use and operational controls are essential to provide

     some immediate relief.  Except in the case of air, rail, and

     motor interstate carriers, State and local agencies are the

     only levels of government with the authority to enforce this

     type of immediate control.


     The use of labeling and associated consumer choice in the control of

noise are also critical components of the national control effort.  It

is impractical and undesirable to establish Federal new product regulations

for all products which are deemed to be "noisy."  When the principal

impact of a product is on the buyer or user rather than on third parties,

labeling may prove to be as effective a regulatory approach as the

promulgation of a new product standard.  The consuming public is beginning

to request quieter products as they sense noise intrusion.  If easily

understood noise comparison information could be provided to the consuming

public in the form of a simple label, consumers could choose quieter

products when quiet is important to them.  Labeling of certain products,

including those with third-party effects, may also enable State and

local agencies to implement simpler control programs  related to the

label.  For instance, a community could prohibit the use of a product

emitting more than X dB in certain sensitive areas, and this prohibition

could be enforced without the use of a sound level meter by simple

examination of the label.

    In the coming years, EPA plans to continue its emphasis on new

product regulations, and also to increase its work on assistance to

State and local noise control programs and, relying to a lesser extent,

on labeling.

    In determining the appropriate mix of Federal, State, local, and

consumer tools to use in specific cases, EPA will consider:

     A)   The relative effectiveness of the various tools in meeting the

          goals of the national program;


B)   The need for national uniformity where products cross

     State lines and where differing standards applicable to

     manufacturers would be unduly disruptive;

C)   The Agency's general preference for the control of problems

     at the State or local level rather than the Federal, where it

     is feasible;

D)   The Agency's general preference for the allocation of national

     resources by the marketplace rather than through Federal

     regulations, if the marketplace can be sufficiently effective;


E)   The need to provide immediate relief from some of the more

     serious noise problems while working on long-range solutions

     to the rest of the problems.

                              SECTION VI

                           NATIONAL PROGRAMS


     On the basis of the directives of the Noise Control Act of 1972,

EPA's experience in the implementation of that Act, and the goals and

policy considerations discussed above, EPA has designed a program

intended to maximize the effectiveness of the authority given to the

agency, as well as to encourage other parties to use their authority

effectively.  This section of the document sets forth EPA's program in

summary fashion.  The program represents the present thinking of the

Agency, but is subject to modification as the national strategy evolves

or as additional Federal legislation is enacted.  This description of the

program is focused primarily on EPA activities.  However, on the basis

of comments and contributions submitted during the review period for

this document, EPA has expanded this section somewhat to include more

comprehensive description of noise control activities of other organizations.

It is clear that the roles and contributions of other Federal agencies,

State and local agencies, manufacturers and consumers still needs

considerable delineation.

     The national program is discussed below under the following categories:

     A)   Health and Welfare Investigations

     B)   The Role of Technology Research and Demonstration

     C)   Cost and Economic Impact Data

     D)   National Source Standards

     E)   State and Local Control Programs


     F)   Labeling and Consumer Decision Making

     G)   Community Awareness and Public Information

     H)   Aircraft/Airport Noise

     I)   Enforcement

     J)   Other Federal Programs

     A)   Health and Welfare Investigations

     The Noise Control Act places great emphasis on the protection of

public health and welfare as the primary purpose of Federal action to

control noise.  One of the first actions under the Noise Control Act,

was two documents EPA developed and published on this subject.  First,

the Criteria Document,* set forth a summary of all the information then

known about the effects of noise on public health and welfare. The other,

known as the "Levels Document,"** further refines noise effects criteria

and uses this information to derive levels  protective of public health

and welfare with an adequate margin of safety.  When combined with data

on technical feasibility and costs, this information forms the framework

for regulatory decision-making.  EPA plans to revise and update the

Criteria and Levels documents to reflect the most recent information

concerning the effects of noise.  Based on studies and investigations,

currently underway, it is expected that issuances on the following topics

will occur beginning in FY 1978: (A) The effects of noise on  the cardio-

vascular system, sleep disturbance, speech disruption, intrusiveness, and

wildlife,  (B) community annoyance related to levels of exposure; and  (C)

new information on noise induced hearing loss.
* Public Health and Welfare Criteria, July 1973  (#550/9-73-002).
**Information on Levels of Environmental Noise Requisite  to Protect
  Public Health and Welfare With An Adequate Margin of Safety, March
  1974  (#550/0-74-004).


     EPA is now assessing the most pressing health and welfare information

needs in the context of its present and projected regulatory actions.  The

Agency has convened a Federal interagency research panel on health and

welfare effects to assess the research programs and priorities of other

Federal agencies and then to plan a coordinated research program to address

the most pressing needs.  When these studies are completed in the Spring of

1977, EPA, in coordination with other agencies, will re-evaluate its role

on health and welfare effects research.  In the past, EPA has depended on

other agencies and organizations to carry out the requisite research in

this area because of finite resources.   Discussions have also been

held with members of the scientific community on this same subject.

     B)  The Role of Technology Research and Demonstration

    It is generally accepted that the most cost-effective method of

reducing noise is to control it at the source.  In other words, noise

reduction should be an intrinsic design criterion in the pre-development

phase of any new product.  The apparent lack of technological means of

controlling noise from specific products is proving to be a constraint

in establishing national source standards that can provide the desired

level of protection of the public health and welfare.  The noise

reduction benefits to be derived from technological developments are

directly related to the state-of-the-art of the available technology and

the speed in which it can be incorporated into production hardware.

     The primary responsibility for developing this technology should

rest with the industry; however, investment by the Federal Government

in technology development, particularly in the demonstration stage, is

needed in some cases to help bring new technology into the marketplace,

or to stimulate industry development.  In the area of noise technology,

the Federal Government's efforts have been focused primarily on aviation

and secondarily on surface transportation.  EPA has recently  reconvened

three interagency noise technology research panels (surface  transportation,

aviation, and machinery) to review the status of Federal  research in

noise abatement and control, assess priorities, and develop  a cooperative

research plan for the future.  The Federal Agencies represented on these

panels include National Aeronautics and Space  Administration (NASA),

Department of Defense (DOD), Department of  Transportation  (DOT)  (including

the functional administrations within  DOT, i.e., Federal Aviation

Administration (FAA), Federal Highway  Administration (FHWA), and Urban

Mass Transit Authority  (UMTA)), Department of Interior (DOI) (Bureau of

Mines), Department of Commerce (DOC)  (National Bureau of Standards),

Department of Health, Education and Welfare (DHEW) (National Institute

of Occupational Safety  and Health  (NIOSH),  Department of Housing and

Urban Development (HUD), and the Energy Research  and Development

Administration (ERDA).

     Even if new technology is developed  there is no assurance that  it

will be incorporated into new products.   The most effective way to ensure

that it will be is through regulatory action.  One cannot expect  a

manufacturer, operating in a competitive  environment,  to do more than

that which is minimally required to maintain or increase  his market

position.  Only when all of the competitors are required to  meet comparable

standards, can significant environmental progress be  made in an equitable

fashion.  The guidance provided to the manufacturers in the form of

regulations reflecting the implementation of "enabling" technology will

provide the manufacturers with the necessary leadtime to adjust their

design and production process to meet market and environmental require-


     There are at least two approaches for regulating the noise of

new products:

     1)   Putting a lid on the allowable noise limits of all

          new products, based upon available, demonstrated

          technology as it is applied to some products in

          production and operational use, in some industries.

          The same technology may be equally applicable to other

          products in other industries.  This, in effect, prevents

          an escalation of single-event noise in the environment,

          as additional products enter the market place.

     2)   The establishment of noise targets for products

          or equipment to be produced in the future.  These

          targets would be based upon demonstrations of

          components or systems that are not yet in production.

          As the technology development programs proceed, the

          targets may be modified to be more, or less, strin-

          gent as indicated by the "enabling" technology.

EPA has adopted both of these approaches in its program.

     The objectives of the technology program are to:

     1)   Illuminate the state-of-the-art of available technology to

          provide the basis for Federal, State and local regulatory

          actions that limit the allowable noise of products identified

          as requiring noise control actions.

     2)   Ensure the availability of an advanced technology base to

          permit the gradual reduction of allowable source noise on

          a timely basis.

These short and long range objectives will be implemented by:

     1)   Establishing and implementing an effective Federal coordination

          program to identify on-going noise research, development and

          demonstration programs and to assess their contribution to

          meeting the National Noise Control Strategy objectives.  In

          addition to the Federally sponsored noise research activities,

          privately funded industry and university noise research will

          be included in a comprehensive assessment.

     2)   Identifying noise research needs that are currently under-

          funded or nonexistent in order to expand the required technology base

          for future regulatory action.  This will include participation

          in joint research component or system technology demonstration

          programs as required, both domestically and internationally.

          One joint project already underway is the EPA/DOT demonstration

          program concerned with noise  reduction of heavy duty trucks.

     3)   Encouraging the transfer and  use of technology developments

          across product and industry lines.

     C)  Development of Cost and Economic Impact Data

     The Noise Control Act requires the Administrator to take the cost

of compliance into account when promulgating standards.  Data are

collected for each new product regulation on the cost of meeting various

alternative noise control levels and on the impact of these costs on the

affected industry and in the marketplace.  The results of these studies

are published in the background document issued with each regulation.

In order to assist in the analysis of these impacts, EPA is developing

improved forecasting techniques, and accounting and finance models.

     Assigning dollar values to benefits achieved by noise reduction is

an extremely complex procedure, which EPA has not attempted in its

presentation of noise regulations.  Some economic measures which have

been suggested as proxies for noise benefits are land value changes,

settlement values of legal suits on noise, and workman's compensation

benefits.  However, each of these dollar figures has an extremely wide

range.  Rather than assigning dollar values, EPA has stated its noise

benefits in health and welfare terms.

     D)  National Source Regulations

     Except, in the area of aviation, the Noise Control Act of 1972

leaves to the judgment of the Administrator the identification of the

limits on product noise emissions that are necessary to protect the

public health and welfare, taking into account the extent and conditions

of use of the particular product (alone or in combination with other

noise sources), the degree of noise reduction achievable through the

application of the best available technology, and the cost of compliance.

Potentially, several thousand classes of products come within the

Administrator's authority to prescribe regulations for new products.

     The essential data required for setting national  source standards

for noise control are limited.  The setting of a national noise  source

standard requires the collection and analysis of data (most of it

never developed or accumulated before) on such factors as; the contri-

bution of the particular product to noise exposure resulting   in adverse

health and welfare effects; the technology available to  control that

product; the cost of applying that technology to control  the noise;

the impact of the regulation on the economy (including effects  on

employment and inflation); and the alternative ways of controlling the

noise from the product.

     By reviewing groups of products in terms of the health and welfare

goals of the national program, EPA selected nev medium and heavy trucks

(in the surface transportation category) and portable air compressors

(in the construction equipment category) as initial new products to be

regulated.  The intent of these regulatory actions was to set limits on

the noisiest items of transportation and construction equipment at the

earliest possible date.*

      In a multiple source noise environment, such as that associated

with  construction sites, it is necessary to quiet many major sources to

achieve  a significant reduction of site noise level.  To this end,

present regulation development activities are directed toward such

products as  wheel and crawler tractors, to supplement the regulations

already published  for portable air compressors and trucks (including

dump trucks, cement  mixers and other construction related trucks).
*  The specific basis for these and later choices of products to
   regulate under EPA's new product standards authority are given in
   Identification of Major Sources, June 21, 1974, May 28, 1975,
   January 12, 1977, and February 3, 1977.


      Similarly, in the surface transportation category, regulation

development activities are currently underway for buses, motorcycles,

truck mounted solid waste compactors, and truck mounted refrigeration

units.  Concurrent with the above regulation development actions, EPA is

conducting  in-depth studies of the contributions that automobiles, light

trucks, and  guided mass transit systems make to the total noise environment.

      Vehicular replacement components, which are critical for pre-

vention  of increased noise emissions, are also possible subjects of

regulation.  Two principal replacement components currently under study

are tires and muffler/exhaust systems.

     The United States is not, of course, alone in developing noise

abatement strategies involving noise standards.  Many other countries are

similarly pursuing the goal of providing a satisfactory noise environment

for their citizens.  To maintain uniformity in international commerce

the EPA believes that it is necessary to cooperate with other nations in

the harmonization of noise standards and measurement procedures for products

where it is considered desirable and possible.  EPA will maintain a

continuous technical liaison with these other nations.  Acknowledging the

necessity of these actions, however, does not imply that EPA will sacrifice

the stringency of its own noise standards, unless a case-by-case review

indicates that the benefits of such a sacrifice would outweigh the


     Table I shows EPA's present plans in the new product standards area.


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     E)  State and Local Control Programs

     There has been an increase in State and local programs for noise

control over the past several years, although in many communities recent

budget crises have restricted the growth of programs and in some cases

have led to their termination.

     These State and local programs are highly varied in their scope

and level of activity, but a large number are focused on the abatement

of noise from surface transportation, the enforcement of laws prohibiting

the intrusion of noise above certain levels across property lines, and

the resolution of general nuisance problems.

     Unlike similar Federal environmental legislation, the Noise Control

Act places no specific requirements upon State and local governments.

Except as limited by certain Federal preemption provisions of the Act,

full discretion is left to these governments as to whether to become

involved in noise control, and as to what degree.  Moreover, assistance

from the Federal Government is limited to technical assistance; there are

no grants to help fund local programs.

     The actual delivery of person-to-person technical assistance by

the Federal Government is a manpower-intensive activity.  Because of

limited personnel resources in the noise program, EPA has concentrated its

efforts on producing general guidance documents such as model laws

and ordinances, and on conducting technical workshops for State and

local  officials.  These approaches have been reasonably effective in

documenting and communicating the combined knowledge of the relatively

few individuals and groups around the country who deal with

the noise problem on the local level.  However, with the increase in the

number of communities initiating noise programs, and with the need to

solve problems of actual implementation and enforcement, it is necessary

to find new ways to assist communities.

      Consequently, EPA has designed a new approach to the delivery of

noise control technical assistance to State and local communities.  This

approach will be implemented in a phased manner over the next several years

as resources allow.  The new effort is composed of two related programs:

the Quiet Communities Program (QCP) and the ECHO (Each Community Helps

Others) Program.  The Quiet Communities Program plans to select a limited

number of test communities around the country and establish an intensive

and close working relationship between EPA's Regional Offices and those

communities in the development of either a comprehensive noise control

program or a program in one of several different alternative functional

areas, such as construction site noise, motor vehicle noise, boundary

line standards, or railroad noise.  These test projects would be carefully

evaluated and documented with regard to both success and failure in order

to serve as guides for the future efforts of other communities.

      Under the ECHO program, EPA will assist these communities, as

well as other communities,  with well-developed and successful noise

control programs, to provide  direct, person-to-person technical assistance

to other communities with  similar problems.  ECHO utilizes the willingness

of some communities to proceed with the establishment of strong noise

control programs without Federal grant assistance and capitalizes on

the strong affinity that exists among local levels of government.

      The two programs recognize the need to make the maximum use of

personnel experienced in noise control, no matter where they are located,

in order to improve the magnitude and quality of the noise control effort

at the State and local level.  They also recognize that the Federal

Government does not have, and may never have, enough personnel resources

to provide extensive person-to-person technical assistance in the noise

control area.

      In preparation for this new approach, EPA will produce during FY 1977

a series of technical assistance and public education materials to serve as

the basis for the Quiet Communities  and ECHO Programs.

      To complement this effort, EPA is also developing methodologies and

guides that will assess environmental noise levels and trends more accurately,

State and local governments will then be in a better position to evaluate

their noise problems and determine the effectiveness of programs designed

to solve these problems.  A limited Federal effort to collect assessment

data on a national basis will also be carried out.

     F)  Labeling and Consumer Decision Making

     The Noise Control Act directs EPA to label products falling into

two categories:

          1)   Products that are capable of adversely affecting public

               and welfare; and

          2)   Products sold wholly or in part on the basis of their

               effectiveness in reducing noise.

     The intent of the Agency's product noise labeling program under

Section 8 of the Noise Control Act, is to provide accurate, uniform, and

readily understandable information concerning the noise generating

and noise reducing qualities of specific products to potential purchasers

and end users in a manner minimizing Federal involvement.  The program

will be initiated in as simplified a form as possible and, along with

its effects, be continually evaluated as to the need for revisions to

the various elements of the regulatory approach being taken.

     The program will utilize a regulatory structure consisting of both

general and product specific provisions.  The Agency has recently completed

the development of the general provisions, which contain basic labeling

requirements, such as minimum label information content, format, graphical

design, and guidelines concerning the acoustic descriptors and rating

schemes to be utilized.  These proposed provisions will be made available

to the public for their comment in the Spring of 1977.

     Product specific labeling provisions will be promulgated as additional

subparts of the general labeling regulation, and will contain requirements

concerning label size and location, rating scheme specifications, test

methodologies and enforcement procedures.

     The first product specific regulation will be for hearing

protective devices and will be proposed concurrently with the general

provisions in the spring of 1977.   The selection and prioritization

of products for future labeling action is dependent upon the results

of studies currently underway.  EPA has recently awarded contracts

for technical support for the assessment of various products and classes

of products to identify principal candidates on the basis of their

acoustical properties, typical use environments, usage cycles, health or

welfare impacts, and their eligibility for regulatory action under

Section 6 of the Act.  Also included in these studies are (A) audience

analysis, through surveys of public preference for and the effectiveness

of various approaches to labeling format, content, and graphical design,

(B) analysis of the potential economic impact of proposed labeling

requirements for a representative range of products and industries

likely to be regulated under Section 8, and (C) the analysis of the

appropriateness of various acoustic descriptors and rating schemes for

the same representative range of product and industries.

     The products being considered for noise labeling action are:

household appliances (of particular interest are blenders, vacuum

cleaners, air conditioners, and dishwashers), home shop tools, powered

lawn care equipment, and acoustical tiles and building materials.

Studies are also being initiated for tires and mufflers, and it is

planned that the Federal standard for motorcycles will include a re-

quirement for muffler/exhaust system labeling.  In addition, studies are

completed and a decision will be made shortly as to the possible

labeling of snowmobiles.

     G)   Community Awareness and Public Information

     Clearly, labels on products will only be as effective as the public's

understanding of the information communicated.  It is therefore essential

to a successful labeling program that the public be made aware of the

inherent detrimental effects of noise on their health and welfare.

For this reason product labeling should be preceeded by an effective

educational effort to inform the public of the intent and meaning of

"noise labels."

      The Agency is now in the process of planning such a program.

     H)   Aircraft/Airport Noise

      The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the authority and

responsibility to control aircraft noise by the regulation of source

emissions, by flight operational procedures, and by management of the

air traffic control system and navigable airspace in ways that minimize

noise impact on residential areas, consistent with the highest standards

of safety.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also provides

financial and technical assistance to airport proprietors for noise

reduction planning and abatement activities, and, working with the

private sector, conducts continuing research into noise abatement


     Under the Noise Control Act, EPA has a special role in the area of

aircraft/airport noise.  EPA is required to propose to the FAA these

regulations which EPA believes to be requisite to protect the public

health and welfare from aviation noise.  The FAA must then respond

either by concurring or by explaining its disagreement with the proposal.

EPA has sent eleven such proposals to the FAA.

     FAA has prescribed EPA proposals on:

          1)   Reduced flap setting noise abatement approach for


          2)   Civil subsonic turbojet engine-powered airplanes noise

               retrofit requirements (except for business jets).

     FAA has chosen not to promulgate the following EPA proposals:

          1)   Propeller driven small airplanes (except for several

               minor provisions);

          2)   Minimum altitudes for turbojets;

          3)   Fleet noise levels requirements;

          4)   Visual two-segment approach; and

          5)   Two segment 1LS approach.

     FAA has not responded (beyond holding public hearings) to  the EPA

proposed regulations on supersonic transports, modifications to FAR Part 36,

and airport planning.

     The FAA's retrofit-replacement proposal  accepted by President Ford

in November was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration December 23

(41 FR 56046).  This rule applies to about 1,600 noisy subsonic aircraft

that do not now meet 1969 FAR Part 36 noise standards.

      Under the timetable contained in  the rule, airplanes must comply

with FAR Part 36 according to the following schedule:

          1)  By January 1, 1981:  At least one quarter of an air carrier's

              707's and DC-8's and at least one half of a carrier's 727's,

              737's, DC-9's, and early 747's;

          2)  By January 1, 1983:  At least one half of the carrier's 707's 

              and DC-8's and all other airplanes; and

          3)  By January 1, 1985:  All airplanes.

      Under the new authority granted in the 1976 Amendments to the Airport

and Airway Development Act, the FAA plans to establish a high priority for

the allocation of discretionary Airport and Airway Trust Funds for airport

land acquisition to ensure compatible use of land near airports, the purchase

of noise suppressant equipment, the construction of physical barriers and

other noise reduction activities.

      Much of the solution to the problem of aircraft/airport noise is

institutional rather than technological.  A substantial portion of the

problem can be solved if the parties involvedaircraft manufacturers,

air carriers, pilots, airports, local communities and various agencies

of the Federal Government would work cooperatively.*

      The proposals which EPA has submitted to the FAA are designed to

abate aviation noise on a nationwide basis.  However, many of the abate-

ment solutions are to be applied on an airport-by-airport basis because

site-specific solutions are necessary once the Federal Government has

acted on a national basis.
*  EPA's assessment of the nature, causes, and remedies of the aviation
   noise problem was summarized in an April 5, 1976, speech by Administrator
   Russell Train on Aviation Noise which is available upon request.

       EPA has developed a systematic noise abatement planning process

  that can be applied at individual airports.  The process reduces complex

  technical data into a format that is understandable and usable in its

*  end form by persons in the community who are not technically trained in

  aviation noise abatement.  The process therefore makes possible the much

  needed dialogue between the airport operator, the citizens living

  immediately around the airport, those who use the airport  (both airlines

  and local industries), local governments, and land use planners.  EPA

  is now working with airport proprietors at a number of airports to

  demonstrate the  implementation of this planning methodology.  This

  effort should result  in several airport noise abatement plans which

  will demonstrate significant  relief from local aviation noise problems

  and the utility of the planning  process for airport noise problems.

       I)   Enforcement

       Enforcement is a necessary part of any national program to abate

  and control noise.  Because noise control may increase the cost of

  regulated products, though often by only a small amount, those who

  choose not to comply with the standard may gain a competitive economic

  advantage over those who comply in good faith.  In addition, even a  few

  noisy  non-complying products can undermine the control effort in a

  local  community, since individual intrusive noise events,  even if small

  in number, can be  a significant source of community annoyance.

       As with  the other components of the national noise control program,

  an effective  enforcement effort requires the integration of Federal,

  State, and local activities.  The success of the noise control program

requires in the first instance some level of visible and effective

Federal enforcement at the new product stage.  With an established

level of enforcement at the Federal level directed at the manufacturers

as a starting point, the States will be encouraged to establish their

own enforcement programs to assure that owners of the regulated products

operate and maintain them so as to preserve the noise control

characteristics of the products. State and local agencies may assist EPA in

enforcing the Federal requirements for warranty, maintenance instructions,

labeling and anti-tampering.  Without an effective Federal program directed

at the product manufacturers, the likelihood and potential effectiveness of

substantial State participation in enforcement of the in-use program would

be diminished.

     EPA has developed an enforcement plan for the first two national

source standards:  medium and heavy duty trucks and portable air compressors.

The enforcement plan for future products must be individually tailored

to the special circumstances of the particular industry; nevertheless, the

truck and portable air compressor enforcement plan will serve as a

prototype for future new product enforcement activities.  The plan consists

of the following three primary elements:  product verification, selective

enforcement auditing, and in-use controls.  Product verification (PV) is

the testing by a manufacturer (or by EPA at the option of EPA) of early

production models to verify the manufacturer's ability to comply with

the regulation prior to substantial distribution of the products into

commerce.  Manufacturers are required to submit the PV test results to

EPA prior to distribution of the products in commerce.


     Selective enforcement auditing (SEA) is the testing by a manu-

facturer or by EPA, pursuant to an administrative request, of a statistical

sample of products from a particular category or configuration to determine

whether those products conform to the noise standards, and to provide

the basis for further enforcement actions, such as recall and cease-to-

distribute orders, in the case of nonconformity.

     The essential feature of this enforcement strategy is that it

requires no action by EPA (e.g., no issuance of a certificate or permit)

before a manufacturer may proceed to market his product,s if his products

conform to the noise emission standards.  The plan requires a manufacturer

to do a minimal amount of testing and provides mechanisms by which EPA

can monitor or remedy non-compliance with standards.  The strategy

seeks to maximize deterrence to the production of non-complying

products while minimizing Federal involvement.  Moreover, the level

of EPA enforcement resource commitment can change in response to

perceived levels of compliance/non-compliance without restructuring

or reissuing regulations.

     A very important feature of the Federal enforcement program is the

EPA Noise Enforcement Facility  (which is located outside of Sandusky, Ohio).

The ability of EPA to perform tests using the regulatory measurement

methodology is an indispensable part of  the enforcement strategy.  Without

that ability, the Agency is left in the  position of depending on the efforts

of others to interpret the performance standard.  It is not essential for

the Agency to conduct all emission testing.  However, some Federal testing by

the Noise Enforcement Facility will permit EPA to monitor and reassess

baseline technology and enforcement measurement methodology.  The product

manufacturer should be required to perform the bulk of the compliance testing.

However, testing upon which the ultimate determination of compliance will be

based must be conducted by the Agency.

     EPA's authority to control products in use includes the respon-

sibility to promulgate regulations regarding manufacturers' warranties,

anti-tampering provisions, maintenance instructions, and labeling

requirements.  The Act requires that the manufacturer of each new

product regulated by EPA shall warrant to the consumer that, at the time

of sale, the product conforms to the noise regulations.  The Act also

prohibits the removal of any noise-attenuating device from a new

product and the use of a new product after such removal or tampering.

The EPA truck and portable air compressor regulations require that

the manufacturer affix a label to each product, indicating, among

other things, that the product conforms to the EPA noise emission

regulations.  These regulations also require that the manufacturer

provide with each new product a set of instructions for proper main-

tenance, use, and repair in order to minimize the degradation of the

noise emission reduction features of the product.   In addition, EPA

plans to promulgate and enforce regulations, which will require labels

for some products.  Moreover, EPA will  encourage States and localities

to assist the field enforcement of these in-use regulations.

      Under the Noise Control Act, States and localities may promulgate

source regulations for any product not regulated by EPA.  This will be

unnecessary in most cases since the State and local governments will have

authority to deal effectively with localized problems through use controls.

For new products that EPA has regulated the State and local governments may


adopt and enforce regulations identical to EPA's regulations.   Existing

State and local new product regulations that are different from the

Federal standards are automatically preempted on the effective date of

the Federal regulations.

    In addition, EPA has  promulgated noise emission standards  for inter-

state motor carriers and  railroads.  The U.S. Department of Transportation

has the primary responsibility to enforce these two sets of standards.

The Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety is currently enforcing the  motor carrier

compliance regulations, which became effective on October 15,  1975.  The

Federal Railroad Administration will promulgate compliance regulations to

enforce EPA's railroad noise regulations, which became effective

December 31, 1976.  EPA and DOT will continue to cooperate in  monitoring

the level of compliance and the effectiveness of the total program.

    Moreover, State and local governments may adopt and enforce inter-

state railroad and motor  carrier noise emission standards if they are

identical to the Federal  standards.  In addition, upon application by

a State or local jurisdiction, the Administrator of EPA may grant a

waiver of this Federal preemption and permit additional State  and

local controls on noise from these two sources if the Administrator

determines that such controls are necessitated by special local conditions

and are judged to be not  in conflict with applicable Federal regulations.

    In addition, as discussed above, State and local jurisdictions have

extensive authority to establish and enforce controls on environmental

noise through the licensing, regulation, or restriction of the use,

operation or movement of  noise sources.


      J)  Other Federal Programs

      The noise-related roles and activities of agencies within the

Federal Government are varied and complex.  For example, regulatory

and grant authorities include those that have specific mandates

to control noise, as well as those whose mandates fall under more

general environmental quality control legislation.  In both cases,

programs administered under such authorities should, to the extent

feasible, protect the public from noise levels that affect their

health and welfare.  In addition, these programs should be mutually

supportive and consistent with the national goals for the abatement

and control of noise.

      The Federal Government owns and operates a significant number

of mobile and stationary noise sources that impact communities.

Each agency, therefore, has the authority and responsibility to control

noise emissions of the sources it owns, both through product noise

procurement specifications and in the use restrictions it imposes

on mode or period of operation.  In addition, as an employer of a

large segment of the American work force, the Federal Government is

directly responsible for protecting its workers from hazardous

occupational noise environments.

     During the next year, EPA hopes to increase the dialogue among

Federal agency officials concerning the relationship of their programs

to national noise abatement goals and to discuss ways in which their

programs and those of EPA can be integrated into a more effective and

comprehensive national effort.  The following issues are among those

that need to be addressed:

     A)   Air and Surface Transportation Noise.  What might be done to

          noise control policies used in the administration of Federally

          funded programs and those established for regulating individual

          vehicular sources to insure that they are consistent and mutually


     B)   Land Use Control.  Are all Federal activities influencing land

          use appropriately designed to discourage noise sensitive development

          in noise-impacted areas around airports and other major noise

          generators and are local governments provided with sufficient

          incentives and guidance to ensure land use compatibly with noise?

     C)   Construction Noise.  Can the agencies conducting or supporting

          construction activities incorporate noise control techniques as

          a complement to the regulations established on specific items of


     D)   Occupational Noise.  Are all appropriate Federal authorities

          administered in a way that adequately protects the Federal and

          non-Federal workers from hazardous occupational noise levels?

     E)   Household Noise.  Are Federal activities directed  at

          influencing building construction and operations for

          the purpose of energy conservation also providing  for

          maximum noise abatement as well?

      EPA is required under the Noise Control Act to coordinate  the

activities of the Federal Government so that a consistent and effective

noise control effort is mounted by the Federal establishment.  EPA plans

to increase its efforts in this regard in the coming year and to seek a

common effort on a cooperative basis.

      Emphasis will be placed on:

      A)  Coordination of Federal research, as previously discussed.

      B)  Obtaining consistency in the noise assessment methodologies

          employed by various Federal agencies.

      C)  The use of joint Federal agency special studies and

          demonstration noise control programs that exemplify how

          various Federal authorities can be effectively combined

          to bring about reductions in specific noise environments.

      D)  Discussions with individual Federal agencies to seek

          improvements in their policies and programs.

      E)  Workshops and the publication of manuals that will help

          guide the noise abatement activities of the Federal Government.
       -.US GOVMNMEN1 PRINTING OFFICE lS77-?20-117/l'-)y9