About Noise Maps and Action Plans
Dublin city noise maps
Under EU Directive 2002/49/EC and transposed by SI number 140 of 2006, Environmental Noise Regulations 2006, the four local authorities within Dublin (Dublin City Council, Fingal, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and South Dublin County Councils) are required to produce ‘maps’ every five years which show noise originating from major industry and transport.
This directive was implemented on foot of an EU green paper on ‘Future Noise Policy’ which highlighted the need for a high level of health and environmental protection against noise. In this green paper, noise in the environment was addressed as one of the main environmental problems in Europe.
The aims of the directive are:
- To monitor environmental noise problems by requiring competent authorities in member states to draw up "strategic noise maps" for major roads, railways, airports and agglomerations, using the harmonised noise indicators Lden (day-evening-night equivalent sound levels) and Lnight (night equivalent sound levels). These maps are to be used to assess the number of people annoyed and sleep-disturbed respectively throughout each member state in the European Union.
- To inform and consult the public about noise exposure, its effects, and the measures to be considered to address noise problems.
- To address local noise issues by requiring competent authorities to draw up action plans to reduce noise where necessary and maintain the environmental acoustic quality where it is good. The directive does not set any limit value, nor does it prescribe the measures to be used in the action plans, which remain at the discretion of the competent authorities.
- To develop a long-term EU strategy, which includes objectives to reduce the number of people affected by noise in the longer term, and provides a framework for developing existing community policy on noise reduction from source.