SUMMARY of
  NOISE CONTROL
  ACT of 1972
               (PL 92-574)
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                 % PRCfl^


J.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY*WASHINGTON, D.C. 20460

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    Noise is a growing menace,  not just to boilermakers and jackhammer
operators, but to all of us.   We are all using more tools and household
appliances, and, as their power has increased, so has the noise.  In
fact, noise levels in apartments and private dwellings, particularly in
kitchen areas, are beginning to approach those in factories.  The typical
American citizen is constantly bombarded with noise  on the job, in his
home, and at play.  No longer confined solely to conjested urban areas,
noise is now spreading to suburban and rural areas that were relatively
quiet just a few years ago.   An average community now has noise levels
in excess of the 70 decibels scientists now tend to designate as the
minimum threshold for potential hearing loss.  Clearly, strong compre-
hensive action is needed to protect the public health and welfare from
this increasing noise.

    Accordingly, the President has recently signed into law the first
comprehensive noise control legislation in this country's history.
This new law, based upon the President's proposal to Congress in
February of 1971, gives EPA that authority.  For the first time, the
Federal government is empowered to establish emission standards for all
noise sources the Administrator of EPA determines to be a threat to the
public health and welfare.  EPA will require labeling of products to
allow the consumer an informed choice as to that product's noise genera-
tion characteristics.  Further, EPA is mandated to coordinate all
existing Federal noise programs to ensure a maximum Federal effort
toward a quieter environment.  Aircraft noise will receive special at-
tention in this coordination role through an EPA study culminating in
the recommendation of proposed regulations to the Federal Aviation
Administration.  FAA, after public hearings and further public consul-
tation with EPA, may then either adopt, modify, or reject the proposed
regulations consistent with FAA's mission to ensure the highest degree
of safety in  air commerce.  Also included in the new act is a strong
citizen suit  provision identical to such provisions in the Clean Air Act.

     The Congress has responded to this Administration's request for strong
noise legislation in a positive and forceful manner.  EPA will now respond
to that mandate in a similar spirt.
                                      William D. Ruckelshaus
                                           Administrator
                            United States Environmental Protection Agency

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                 SHORT TITLE

Sec. 1     This Act may be cited as the Noise Control
           Act of  1972.

              FINDINGS & POLICY

Sec. 2     F i nd i nqs.  That  inadequately controlled
           noise presents a growing danger to the health
           and welfare of the Nation's population;
           and that Federal action is essential to
           deal with major noise sources  in commerce,
           and other products, control of which require
           national uniformity of treatment.

           PoI i cy.  It is the poI icy of the United States
           to promote an environment for all Americans
           free from noise that jeopardizes their health
           or welfare by:  effectively coordinating
           Federal research and activities  in noise
           control; establishing Federal noise emission
           standards for products distributed in
           commerce; and providing infortration to the
           public  respecting the noise emission and
           noise reduction characteristics of such
           products.

                 DEFINITIONS

Sec. 3     Defines "Administrator," "person," "product,"
           "ultimate' purchaser," "new product," "manu-
           facturer," "commerce," "state," "Federal
           Agency," and "environmental noise."

               FEDERAL PROGRAMS

Sec. 4     (') Directs Federal agencies to administer
           programs in a manner to reduce noise consistent
           with their authorities; (2) requires each
           Federal agency to comply with Federal, State,
           interstate and  local requirements for noise
           control unless exempted by the President;
           (3) requires EPA to coordinate all Federal
           programs relating to noise research and
           noise control; (4) requires that other
           agencies consult EPA before prescribing noise
           regulations and allows EPA to require public
           review  of any regulations thought insufficient
           to protect public health and welfare to the
           extent  EPA thinks feasible;  (5) requires
           EPA to  periodically report on the status and
           progress of Federal noise control activities.

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IDENTIFICATION OF MAJOR NOISE SOURCES, NOISE CRITERIA
              AND CONTROL TECHNOLOGY

   Sec.  5     (l) requires EPA to publish criteria  which
              reflect the kind and extent of alI
              i dent ifiable effects on the public  health  or
              welfare resulting from differing  quantities
              and qualities of noise (within 9 months);
              (2) requires EPA to publish  information  on
              levels of environmental noise which  in  defined
              areas under various conditions are  requisite
              to protect the pub)ic health and  welfare
              with an adequate margin of safety  (within
              12 months); (3) requires EPA to publ ish  a
              report identifying major sources  of noise,
              and giving information on techniques  for
              control of noise (within 18 months).

  NOISE  EMISSION STANDARDS FOR PRODUCTS DISTRIBUTED
                     IN COMMERCE

   Sec.  6     EPA  is given authority to prescribe  and  amend
              standards  limiting noise generation  charac-
              teristics for any product or class  of products
              which has been identified as a major  source
              of noise and which fa I Is in the foI lowing  cate-
              gories:  construction equipment,  transportation
              equipment (including recreational  vehicles),
              any motor or engine, and electrical  or
              electronic equipment.  EPA may  issue  regulation
              for products in other categories  if it  is
              necessary to protect the public health  or
              welfare.  The standards must be ".... based
              on criteria published under Section 5,"  and
              "requisite to protect the public  health  and
              welfare, taking  into account the  magnitude
              and conditions of use of such product (alone
              or  in combination with other roise  sources),
              the degree of noise reduction achievable
              through application of the best available
              technology, and the cost of compliance."
              The manufacturer of regulated products must
              warrant that its product  is  designed and built
              so as to conform at the time of sale with
              such regulation.  The cost of this warranty
              cannot be  passed on by the manufacturer.
              States and political subdivisions are prohibite<
              from setting noise  emission  levels different
              from those promulgated by EPA, but  remain  able
              to regulate use, operation or movement  of
              product s.

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           AIRCRAFT  NOISE  STANDARDS

Sec. 7     (l) EPA  is  required to do a study of:  the
           adequacy  of FAA flight and operational
           noise controls;  adequacy of present aircraft
           noise emissions standards (including
           recommendations on  retrofit);  implications
           of achieving levels of cumulative noise
           exposure  around airports; and  additional
           measures  ava i I ab I e  to airport  operator's and
           local governments to control  noise.  (2) The
           FAA's power to  prescribe and  amend aircraft
           noise measurement and noise emission regula-
           tions under Section 61 I  of the FAA Act of
           1958  is preserved.   However,  EPA is required
           to submit recommendations for  regulations to
           FAA which EPA  feels necessary  to protect the
           public health  and welfare.  A  detailed process
           for public  dissemination of information
           regarding FAA's action on
           i s spec i f i ed.

                   LABELING

Sec, 8     For any product which (a) emits noise capable
           of adversely affecting the public health or
           welfare,  or (b) is  sold wholly or  in part on
           the basis of its effectiveness in reducing
           noise, the  EPA  must require the manufacturer
           of such product to  give notice of the noise
           level or  its effectiveness in  reducing noise  to
           the consumer.   EPA's  regulations  must  indicate
           the form of such  notice  and the method and  unit
           of measurement  must  be  prescribed.

                    IMPORTS

Sec. 9     The Secretary  of the Treasury  shall,  in consul-
           tation with EPA, issue regulations to carry
           out the provisions  of this Act with respect to
           new products imported or offered for  impor-
           tation,

                 PROHIBITED ACTS

Sec.  10    Manufacturers are prohibited  from  distributing
           products  which do not conform with an
           applicable   labeling or noise  emission regulation
           after the effective date of such applicable
           regulation.  All persons are  prohibited from
           removing  a  noise reduction device from a product
           in compliance  with  a noise emission regulation
           and from  removing a label before  sale  to
           the ultimate purchaser.   All persons are prohibited

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           from relusing to  comply with an order of the
           Administrator specifying relief under Sec.  II
           (d) or roiusing to  make required i ntor mut i on
           available to the  Administrator, or  importing
           a product  in violation  of the  import, regula-
           tions of Sec. 9.   Under certain circumstances,
           the Administrator may  exempt certain products
           from compliance for a  specified period of time,

                 ENFORCEMENT

Sec. II    Manufacturers or  importers of non-conforming
           or mis-labeled products are subject to fines
           of up to $25,000  per day for each violation
           and to imprisonment of  up to I  year.  The
           penalties may be  doubled for subsequent
           convictions.  The Administrator may issue orders
           specifying  such re I ief  as he deems  necessary
           to protect  the pub I ic  health and welfare.  The
           District Courts of  the  United States have
           jurisdiction to restrain violations of the
           act.

                CITIZEN SUITS

Sec. 12    Any person  may commence a civil action on his
           own behalf  against  any  person (including the
           United States) for  violation of this act or
           against tlie Administrator of EPA or FAA for
           failure to  perform  any  non-discretionary
           duty under  this act.  No action may be
           commenced unti I 60  days after notice of violation
           or  if the Administrator is already  diligently
           prosecuting a civil action.  The Administrator
           may  intervene as  a  matter of right  in costs
           of  Iitigatior (including reasonable attorney
           and expert  witness  fess) to any party.  Nothing
           in the section restricts any right  which  any
           person may  have under  any other statute or
           the common  law to enforce a noise control
           requ i rement.

       RECORDS, REPORTS  AND  INFORMATION

Sec. 13    Every  maim facturer  of a product for uhich
           standards or  labeling requirements have
           been prescribed must maintain  records, make
           reports  and provide information (including

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           supplying  products  coming off the assembly
           line  for testing)  as may reasonably be required
           to determine  compliance, and must permit
           access to  such  information and copying of
           such  records.   Information obtained relating
           to trade secret sunder Section I 90 S of T i t | e !  ,  IISC .
           will  be confidential, but can be confidentially
           disclosed  to  other  Federal officers, or dis-
           closed when relevant to any proceeding under
           the Act.   Such  information cannot be withheld
           from  Congress.   Violation of this section  is
           punishable by  fine  of up to $10,000 and
           imprisonment  of  up  to 6 months.

    RESEARCH, TECHNICAL  ASSISTANCE AND PUBLIC
                  INFORMATION

Sec. 14    EPA is authorized to:  (l) conduct and finance
           research on psychological and physiological
           effects on humans,  on the effects of noise on
           animals, wildlife  and property,  and to
           determine  acceptable levels of noise,
           development of  improved methods for
           measurement and  monitoring of noise, and
           determination  of the most effective and
           practicable means  of controlling noise   (2)
           provide technical  assistance to State and
           local  governments  to facilitate, their develop-
           ment  and enforcement of ambient noise standards
           including  advice on training of personnel
           and on selection and operation of noise-
           abatement  equipment, and preparation of model
           legislation    (3)  disseminate public information
           on effects, acceptable  levels and techniques
           for measurement  and control of noise.

   DEVELOPMENT OF LOW-NOISE EMISSION PRODUCTS

Sec. 15    Provides for  Federal procurement of and
           pub I i c not i ce abiout product s cert i f i ed as  "I ov\ -
           noise-emission  products" (defined as:  any
           product which emits noise  in amounts signi-
           ficantly below  the   levels specified  in noise
           emission standards  under regulations applicable
           under Sec. o  at  the time of procurement to
           that  type  of  product).  1 he Administrator  is
           allowed to establish a  Low-Noise-Emission
           Product Advisory Committee to assist him  in
           determining which  products qualify.  Once  an
           application for  certification is received  and
           the produce  is  determined to bo a  low-noise

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           emission product, the  Administrator must
           certify the product  as such  if he determines
           that the product  is  a  suitable substitute for
           a type of product at that  time in use by
           agencies of the  Federal  government.  Various
           instructions  as  to when the  Federal government
           is required to pruchase such  products and when
           the EPA  is required  to publish information
           about  its determinations are  given.

           JUDICIAL REVIEW:  WITNESSES

Sec. 16    The U.S. Court of Appeals  (D.C. Circuit)  is
           given  jurisdiction over petitions for review
           of the Administrator's actions in promulgating
           regulations under Sections 6,  8,  17 and  18,
            including the power  to require the Administrator
           to hear  new evidence not avai  I able at the time
           of the Administrator's action.  However,  no
           stay  of  an agency action mav be granted  unless
           the party seeking review (l)  is  IiekIy to
           prevai I  on the merits  and (2) wi  I I  suffer
            irreparable harm.   The Administrator may  issue
           subpenas  for  the attendance and testimony of
           witnesses and production of documents, and
           U.S.  District Courts have power to require
           such  person to appear.

       RAILROAD  NOISE EMISSION  STANDARDS

Sec. 17    After  consultation  with the Department of
           Transportation,  EPA  is required to promulgate
           regulations for  surface carriers engaged in
            interstate commerce,  including regulations
           governing noise  emission from the  operation
           of equ i pment  and fac i  I i t i es of such  carriers.
           The effective date  for such regulations  must
           permit the development and application of the
           requisite technology.   The Secretary of  Trans-
           portation  is  charged with the responsibility
           of assuring compi ionce with EPA's  regulations.
           State and  local  governments are  prohibited
            from  establishing operational noise  emission
            limits d i fferent from appI icab Ie feder a I
            standards,  but  the Administrator may allow  a
            different  standard  if lie detent ines  in consul-
           tation w 11 li the  Secretary of Transportation
           that  local  conditions necessitate  such different
            reguI at ions.

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   MOTOR CARRIER NOISE EMISSION  STANDARDS

Sec. IS    The provisions of this  section  are  nearly
           identical to Sec.  17  except  that  they apply
           to "a common carrier  by motor vehicle,  a
           contract carrier by motor  vehicle,  and
           a private carrier  of  property by  motor
           vehicle as those terms  are defined  in the
           Interstate Commerce Act (49  LI.S.C.  303(a))."

        AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS

Sec. 19    There  is authorized to  be  appropriated to
           carry out this Act  (other  than  Sec. 15)
           $3,000,000 for fiscal year 1973;  $6,000,000
           for fiscal year  1974  and $12,000,000 for
           f i sea I year  I 975

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     Environmental Protection Agency
Region V, Library
230 South Dtarborn Street
Chicago,  Illinois  60604           . 

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