Noise Action Plan
The Environmental Noise Regulations (S.I. No. 140 0f 2006) came into effect in April 2006 and designated the Environmental Protection Agency as the National Competent Authority for the purposes of the Regulations. The Agency’s role includes supervisory, advisory and coordination functions in relation to both noise mapping and action planning, as well as reporting requirements for the purpose of Directive 2002/49/EC relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise.
While the Environmental Protection Agency is the national competent authority, the Regulations include significant functions for Local Authorities in relation to the preparation of strategic noise-maps and as action planning authorities.
A two-stage approach to the assessment and management of environmental noise is provided for in the Regulations. Firstly, the preparation of strategic noise maps for areas and infrastructure falling within defined criteria, e.g. large agglomerations, major roads, railways and airports. Secondly, based on the results of the mapping process, the Regulations require the preparation of noise action plans for each area concerned. The fundamental objective of action plans is the prevention and reduction of environmental noise. This Noise Action Plan represents an update to a plan previously prepared in 2013 (2013-2018) and has been prepared by Sligo County Council in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Noise Regulations 2006, Statutory Instrument No. 140 of 2006. These Regulations give effect to the EU Directive 2002/49/EC relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise.
The aim of the document is to provide an overview of the requirements of the Regulations, to review the results of the strategic noise mapping within County Sligo and to set out an approach to the strategic management and control of environmental noise over the next five years.
The objectives of the Sligo County Council Noise Action Plan is to avoid, prevent and reduce, where necessary, on a prioritised basis, the harmful effects, including annoyance, due to long term exposure to environmental noise. This will be achieved by taking a strategic approach to managing environmental noise. This approach promotes action on environmental noise through three avenues, these being noise reduction at source, land use planning adapted to noise goals and procedures to reduce noise impact.
This Noise Action Plan primarily considers the long term environmental noise impact from road traffic noise sources, and sets out an approach to review noise impact levels near to the major sources assessed during the strategic noise mapping in 2017 with a view to identifying locations where noise reduction is deemed necessary in the first instance. The process then goes on to undertake an assessment of potential noise mitigation measures which are then subject to a cost benefit analysis in order to result in recommendations for viable, cost effective, noise mitigation action. The strategic noise mapping was undertaken in 2017, by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII)
for major roads within County Sligo. The results of this assessment have been presented as maps and summary tables of statistics showing the estimated area, number of dwellings and people exposed to long term road traffic noise within the area covered by the noise maps.
The noise action plan proposes noise levels for the onset of this assessment of 70 dB Lden, and 57 dB Lnight. An initial assessment indicates that there is exposure of up to 249 (a reduction of 182 from the 2013 NAP) people above the Lden threshold, and there is an exposure of up to an estimated 1045 (a reduction of 296 from the 2013 NAP) people above the Lnight threshold. In the interests of equality and promotion of best practice, the action plan also sets out a number of proposals for the prevention and avoidance of increasing levels of environmental noise considered detrimental to human health, to be implemented through the planning process, which are to be applicable throughout County Sligo.