Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Target Shooting Ranges: Application Note for Assessing Noise Compliance

This application note has been developed to make the assessment of compliance with noise limits for shooting ranges more transparent and consistent. It also improves certainty for the community, regulators and range operators. It does not introduce new policy or change noise limits for existing or future ranges.

Download: Target Shooting Ranges: Application Note for Assessing Noise Compliance (PDF 289KB)

Questions and answers

Is this a new policy?
No. The proposed application note does not introduce new policy, or change noise limits for existing or future shooting ranges. The note consolidates and clarifies the EPA’s current guidance and makes it more readily available.

Why has the application note been written?
Prior to the application note, the EPA’s guidance on noise limits for shooting ranges was captured in a variety of documents. The application note collates relevant information into one area and adds further technical detail for measuring and determining compliance at shooting ranges.

Does it relax requirements?
No, current requirements remain in place. The application note maintains the EPA view that an arithmetic average of the noise levels of multiple shots should be used to determine the measured noise level at a shooting range. Determining the arithmetic average can be complex as some shots can be inaudible, or can be audible but not measurable. The application note provides advice on how to determine compliance in a consistent manner.

Why doesn’t the EPA set limits based on the absolute maximum of any single shot?
The noise of a gunshot is measured as a linear peak level (LZpeak), which is susceptible to being increased by wind or noise other than the shot. The measured level of a single gunshot can never be less than the actual LZpeak, but it can be higher if the measurement is influenced by wind or noise other than from the shot. Averaging the levels of a sufficient number of shots reduces the potential for a compliant shooting range to be incorrectly found non-compliant.

Can compliance be assessed without the shooting range being notified?
Yes. As with compliance assessment for other regulated activities, the appropriate regulatory authority can determine compliance with or without notification.

Can compliance be assessed under windy conditions?
The LZpeak noise measurement is sensitive to gunshot noise but is also highly susceptible to influence from wind gusts and environmental conditions need to be suitable to determine compliance with noise requirements.

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Page last updated: 28 July 2015