Wed, Aug 07, 2013 - Page 4 News List

EPA sets stricter standards to control noise pollution

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday said it has amended its standards for noise control — including extending the time period for stricter controls and lowering permitted noise levels — which are to be enacted today.

Air Quality Protection and Noise Control Bureau Director-General Hsieh Yen-rui (謝燕儒) said noise pollution complaints have always been the most reported public nuisances, reaching more than 50,000 cases a year since 2009. However, according to the EPA’s statistics, only about 8 percent of the cases led to the situation improving or somebody being punished for noise pollution, he said, adding that repeated reports of the same noise pollution have also increased in recent years.

“Three main amendments made to the standards are adjustments made to the regulated time periods, stricter permitted noise levels and adding specific regulations for wind-driven electric generators,” he said.

The “evening period” for all four types of noise control area is to be moved ahead one hour, to between 7pm and 10pm, and the “night period” for the first and second types of noise control — mainly in residential areas — is to be extended by one hour, to between 10pm and 7am the following day.

“So if some people are used to turning their radio speakers up in the park when they dance or exercise in the morning, they should consider doing it after 7am or turn the volume down,” he said, as an example.

The permitted noise levels for the second and third types of noise control — mostly in residential and business-residential areas, where most noise pollution reports originate — are to be cut by three decibels.

Additional regulations have been added for wind-driven electric generators, as currently they most follow the regulations for factories, Hsieh said, adding that the permitted levels have been set at 50 decibels for daytime and evening periods, and 40 decibels at night.

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