Response to the draft noise framework directive

March 25, 2000

As noise is a major environmental and public health problem, the EEB and T&E warmly welcome the development of a Framework Directive on Noise.

The legislative framework across the EU is scattered and very diverse with respect to measurement methods, limit values and abatement measures. Furthermore, only a minority of Members States have fully integrated noise policies and none of them have implemented a consistent noise abatement plan in recent years.

This state-of-the-art is difficult to understand if one compares the initiatives taken in other equivalent issues like air quality. Taking the same evaluation and risk analysis methods as a basis, we can easily conclude that the risk of major health problems induced by noise is much more visible and numerically observable than for other pollutants.

Our general assessment of the draft Framework Directive on Noise is therefore generally positive. However, we believe there are certain details that need to be addressed, particularly in the case where positive elements of earlier drafts have been removed. The following are preliminary comments, regarded by T&E and the EEB to be of particular importance, for version Dir28 of the draft Framework Directive on Noise, distributed 1st March 2000. Our work in this area is ongoing and more detailed comments will follow later. (Please refer to our earlier comments of October 1999 for our general view of the process and our basic positions regarding the issues).