The European Parliament and Council adopted Directive 2002/49/EC in June 2002 to provide a common basis for addressing environmental noise issues in all Member States. The principle obligations of this directive for Member States covered the development of:
- Strategic noise maps – to be drawn up by competent authorities in Member States for major roads, railways, airports and agglomerations using harmonised noise indicators for estimating the number of people affected by noise in Member States;
- Public consultation – to inform the public about noise exposure, its effects and mitigation options;
- Action plans – to address local noise issues and to reduce noise where necessary and maintain environmental noise quality where it is good.
The Directive included a requirement for the Commission to submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council on its implementation and the need for any additional Community actions. DG Environment of the European Commission commissioned a project in December 2008 to review the experiences of Member States and has recently approved final reports for consultation on the following three specific tasks:
Task 1: Review of Implementation
The Commission is currently reviewing Directive 2002/49/EC and taking into account the recommendations of the World Health Organization on noise and human health, with the overall aim of reaching the objectives of the 6th Environmental Action Programme adopted by the Council and the European Parliament. This Programme identifies ‘Environment and Health and Quality of Life’ as one of four environmental priorities and states that the Community’s environmental policy should take account of World Health Organization (WHO) standards, guidelines and programs.
Southdowns provides specialist technical advice on noise mapping and mitigation options, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any specific projects or require further advice on noise mapping, mitigation and policy either at local, national or European level.