Review of the Environmental Noise Directive
Client: European Commission / DG Environment
Environmental noise "pollution" is generated by ambient sound at levels that cause discomfort resulting from traffic, construction, industry, and some recreational activities.
. The World Health Organization (WHO) has found that noise pollution can result in serious direct as well as indirect health effects, including sleep disturbance, cardiovascular and psycho-physiological effects. Noise can reduce performance and provoke annoyance responses and changes in social behaviour.
In 2008, Milieu Ltd, Risk and Policy Analysis Ltd (RPA) and TNO were commissioned by DG Environment to review the experiences of Member States in implementing Directive 2002/49/EC relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise. The project was undertaken in response to Article 11 of the Directive, which requests an assessment of implementation with the objective of feeding into a review of the Environmental Noise Directive. As such, the objectives of the project were to:
1. review the implementation of the key provisions of the Directive by the 27 Member States; To develop proposals for the amendment of the Directive, as appropriate;
2. develop an Action Plan outlining further implementation strategies and Community action on environmental noise, as appropriate.
In undertaking the review of implementation, Milieu gathered and evaluated the experiences gained by Member States over the first five years of implementing the Environmental Noise Directive. Member State officials were asked for feedback on key aspects of the implementation process, including methodologies, timeframes, developing noise maps and action plans and the associated costs and benefits.
They were encouraged to identify any problems in implementing the requirements of the END and to propose possible elements for revision. Based on the material gathered, the project team developed a toolbox of possible policy proposals and recommendations which could form part of a Commission Action Plan. The development of the Action Plan involved two steps, the identification of possible measures and policies and an assessment of their expected impact.
Project outputs informed the First Implementation Report published by the Commission in 2011. The Commission report summarises progress to date with implementation and outlines possible ways forward to improve implementation and enhance the effectiveness of EU's environmental noise policy. All comments are incorporated in the final report (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/noise/milieu.htm) .