Increasing noise pollution in Irish urban areas highlighted by EPA
Noise pollution complaints from the Irish public have been increasing and current control measures “do not always allow for them to be adequately addressed”, according to the EPA.
Local authorities “need to take a much stronger leadership role in dealing with noise issues, particularly in more urban areas”, it concludes in its latest detailed evaluation of Ireland’s environment.
The report by the EPA, which is the national authority for overseeing the implementation of the environmental noise regulations, confirms 2018 findings by the World Health Organisation, which showed noise pollution in towns and cities was increasing – and “how excessive noise, particularly from transport sources, has negative impacts on human health and wellbeing, adversely affecting sleep and cardiovascular and metabolic function”.
A 2019 study found night-time exposure to high levels of road traffic noise affects more than 78 million people in the 33 member countries of the European Environment Agency.
Noise complaints around Dublin Airport “have become a more significant issue in recent years, with the Dublin Airport Authority logging 1,453 noise-related complaints in 2018, although there has clearly been a major reduction in airport activities during the Covid-19 pandemic”, it adds.
Responsibility for preparation of “strategic noise maps” lies with designated noise mapping bodies, including Transport Infrastructure Ireland; local authorities, Irish Rail and the Dublin Airport Authority. They can be viewed on the EPA website maps section under “environment and wellbeing – noise”.
Strategic noise maps show noise exposure levels. They are prepared using computer modelling techniques that include various types of source data to estimate noise levels including traffic flow, types of road and rail, types of vehicles and vehicle speeds.
“National noise planning guidance for local authorities are needed,” the EPA report concludes. “This will support and promote the proactive management of noise where it is likely to have significant adverse impacts on health and quality of life.”
Source: Irish Times. To read the article in full click here.