The Approved Methods for Measurement and Analysis of Environmental Noise in NSW (PDF 792KB) (Approved Methods) sets out minimum requirements and good practice methods for the measurement and analysis of environmental noise. It may be referred to in environment protection licences and other statutory instruments issued by the EPA when measurement of environmental noise is required.
The Approved Methods supplements but does not replace the advice in EPA noise policies and guidelines and in Australian or international standards.
The Approved Methods provides greater certainty to industry and the community and improves the consistency of the information provided. It does not place any new requirements on licensees and other regulated persons.
We held a public consultation on the draft Approved Methods in April and May 2021. The response to submissions (PDF 237KB) summarises stakeholder views we considered.
What’s in the Approved Methods
- Minimum requirements for measuring and analysing environmental noise, including
- the competence of the person making the measurement or analysing it
- Good-practice methods for measuring and analysing noise
When does the Approved Methods apply?
Licensees and other persons we regulate must use the Approved Methods when required to do so. This requirement might be in, for instance:
- an environment protection licence
- a notice issued by the EPA under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997
- an instrument such as a planning consent issued by another government organisation.
Who will use the Approved Methods?
- Acoustic consultants appointed by licensees to carry out statutory monitoring requirements
Why is the Approved Methods needed?
We issue environment protection licences under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act).
Some of these licences have conditions for managing noise, such as
- noise limits
- restrictions on when or where a defined noise-making activity can operate
- requirements for audits, to show conditions for managing noise are being complied with
- performance reporting requirements.
The Approved Methods outlines how environmental noise must be measured and analysed. By using the procedures in the Approved Methods, licensees can make sure their noise data will be
- based on clear evidence
- a reliable basis for EPA regulatory decisions.
This is consistent with the matters that the EPA must take into consideration in its licensing function as set out in section 45 of the POEO Act – specifically:
45 (c) the pollution caused or likely to be caused by the carrying out of the activity or work concerned and the likely impact of that pollution on the environment; and
45 d) the practical measures that could be taken
(i) to prevent, control, abate or mitigate that pollution, and
(ii) to protect the environment from harm as a result of that pollution.
What the Approved Methods does not replace
The Approved Methods does not replace the general advice on the measurement and analysis of environmental noise described in standards such as Australian Standards 1055:2018 Acoustics – description and measurement of environmental noise (AS 1055).
Specific requirements in EPA noise polices and guidelines
The Approved Methods does not replace the specific requirements for the measurement and analysis of environmental noise in EPA noise polices and guidelines.
Approved Methods for Testing Noise Emissions
The Approved Methods for Testing Noise Emissions (PDF 993KB) specifies
- test procedures for establishing maximum noise levels for equipment labelling
- methods to determine compliance with prescribed noise limits for certain articles
The new Approved Methods instead covers the measurement and analysis of environmental noise.
- For more information, see frequently asked questions.