Mon, Dec 15, 2008 - Page 2 News List

EPA to tackle noise pollution with new set of regulations

By Meggie Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Starting on Jan. 1, people could get relief from noise pollution resulting from construction work around their residence or office, as the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) will begin to issue fines, the administration said yesterday.

“Starting next year, whether it is regular or low-frequency noise, as long as people feel that construction work may exceed levels stipulated in regulations, they can call 080-0066666 and request EPA inspection at the source,” the administration’s Director-General of Air Quality Protection and Noise Control Yang Ching-shi (楊慶熙) said.

The EPA receives about 40,000 complaints of noise pollution every year, Yang said. In the past year, 27 percent of noise complaints concerned noise coming from construction work, he said, adding that the greatest irritant could be low-frequency noise.

“Because low-frequency noise has a longer wavelength, it can go through walls and into buildings. In construction, low-frequency noise mostly comes from motors or generators. To control it, the source needs to be regulated and turned down,” Yang said.

He said low-frequency noise is also prevalent in other forms of noise pollution.

“Among the 15,160 inspections made by the EPA since 2005 at entertainment establishments and factories, 4 percent failed to comply with regular noise regulations while 12.7 percent failed to abide by low-frequency noise regulations,” he said.

The administration set low-frequency noise limits to between 20Hz to 200Hz, Yang said.

Offenders will face fines of between NT$18,000 and NT$180,000, and could be forced to cease construction work, he said.

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