Noise Pollution:

Federal Program to Control It Has Been Slow and Ineffective

CED-77-42: Published: Mar 7, 1977. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 1977.

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Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made some progress in fulfilling the requirements of the Noise Control Act of 1972, implementation of many of the Act's provisions has been slow and sometimes ineffective.

Since passage of the Act, only four noise sources have been regulated: newly manufactured portable air compressors, medium and heavy duty trucks, interstate motor carriers, and interstate railroads. Serious problems of coordination between the Federal Aviation Administration and EPA have hindered development of noise control regulations. Little progress has been achieved in labeling noisy products. EPA has placed low priority on technical assistance to State and local governments. Four interagency research panels exist to study aircraft, machinery, noise effects, and surface vehicles, but they have not been effective. An assessment of research done by other Federal agencies has not been completed by EPA, although it is required by the Noise Control Act.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: Congress should hold hearings to evaluate past performance and to provide guidance for future activities of the noise control program. Both the two major agencies involved (EPA and the Department of Transportation) agree that hearings are appropriate and timely. EPA should prepare an overall strategy for a Federal program, setting forth goals, timing, and priorities for action to ensure that all provisions to the Act are implemented. Federal noise research done to date must be assessed, as specifically required by the Act, and areas for future research must be identified.


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