Noise pollution

New EPA Noise Policy

The EPA’s new noise policy is now open for consultation

On 22 September 2022, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) released a draft Environment Protection (Commercial and Industrial Noise) Policy 2022 and associated draft Indicative noise level guidelines for consultation. The new policy will replace the EPA’s existing Environment Protection (Noise) Policy 2007.

Broadly, while the existing policy regulates noise from both domestic and non-domestic sources, the new policy seeks to regulate only noise from non-domestic sources.

The update to the existing noise policy has come as a result of the introduction of the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016 (LNLC Act). The LNLC Act now regulates domestic noise nuisances which were covered by the existing noise policy.

Further, there was a need to accommodate for the update to the South Australian planning system via the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (PDI Act) and associated legislative mechanisms.

The significant amendments to the policy include:

  1. Removal of Domestic Sources – Part 6 and other associated references within the existing noise policy dealt with “special noise control provisions” involving noise sources outside of licensed EPA sites (i.e. domestic noise nuisances). As the LNLC Act now regulates these aspects of noise control, Part 6 of the existing noise policy has been removed to avoid duplication. References to the Audible Bird Scaring Devices Environmental Noise Guidelines 2007 were also removed as this is now regulated by the LNLC Act and Council by-laws.
  2. Updating Legislation and Standards – Updating references to the old Development Act 1993 to the new PDI Act and associated legislative mechanisms. Further, the draft policy replaces references to expired Australian and New Zealand standards and guidelines with current ones. This is to ensure the policy can be interpreted and applied with sufficient certainty to make the policy effective.
  3. New Definitions – The creation of independent noise policy definitions to separate the noise policy from the PDI Act and the Planning and Design Code.
  4. Intermittent Noise – The introduction of the concept of ‘intermittency’ when measuring noise. Intermittent noise was seen as an important aspect to regulate as it can have the effect of increasing the nuisance caused by the noise, as opposed to a steady consistent noise.

The draft policy is open for consultation until 23 November 2022. The EPA is holding various information sessions on the draft policy as follows:

  1. Thursday 13 October 2022 at 2:00pm – 3:30pm (in person) at Level 2, 211 Victoria Square, Adelaide SA 5000.
  2. Tuesday 18 October 2022 at 2:00pm – 3:30pm (virtual).

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