EPA’s draft Construction Noise Guideline to drive reduced impact on community

New guidelines are being introduced to reduce construction noise impacts on the community and require increased community transparency and consultation prior to projects kicking off.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has published a draft Construction Noise Guideline for public consultation, that improves and modernises the current Interim Construction Noise Guideline.

EPA Director Environmental Solutions Michael Hood said the draft guideline, which is now open for consultation, provides a robust framework for assessing and managing noise from major construction projects regulated by the EPA.

“This new guideline sets out clear expectations to hold the people in charge of construction projects to account for their environmental performance by ensuring that construction noise is assessed, planned and managed, to minimise noise impacts on the community,” Mr Hood said.

“This includes credible community engagement and transparent justification of proposed impact mitigation measures.”

Some of the key changes in the draft Construction Noise Guideline include:

  • emphasis on the need to engage with the community, to ensure that the community’s views are considered when planning how to manage construction noise impacts
  • improved guidance for managing noise from construction activities taking place outside the recommended standard hours of work
  • alignment of the level of assessment required with risk of noise impact
  • a simplified assessment path for routine activities undertaken by public authorities on public infrastructure through industry management procedures
  • increased emphasis on the need for proponents to justify the selection of noise mitigation measures to improve transparency.

When finalised, the Construction Noise Guideline is intended to replace the Interim Guidelines.

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Members of the community can:

The guideline will be used by EPA officers to guide their regulation of construction sites, and by public and private organisations who build and manage infrastructure to assist in planning construction activities in a manner that minimises noise impacts on the community.

Other noise management tools include: the NSW Road Noise Policy; the Rail Infrastructure Noise Guideline; the Noise Policy for Industry; and the Noise Guide for Local Government. For more information on these, and the draft Construction Noise Guideline visit www.epa.nsw.gov.au/noise.