A. Aircraft noise control:
(1) In 1992, the EPA invited the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the Ministry of National Defense, and the Ministry of the Interior to jointly draft the Airport Environs Aircraft Noise Control Regulations. The regulations were promulgated and went into effect in 1994. According to Article 9, aviation competent authorities should provide subsidies for noise abatement equipment prior to the promulgation of designated aircraft noise control zones.
(2) Revisions to the aviation noise related articles in the Noise Control Act were approved in 2003. The revisions stipulate that no schools, libraries or hospitals shall be built within Class 2 or Class 3 aviation noise control zones and that no new residential zones shall be established within Class 3 aviation noise control zones. After the revisions to the Noise Control Act take effect, aviation competent authorities will be legally obligated to improve aircraft noise.
(3) The Aircraft Noise Control Funding Allocation and Use Regulations and the Airport Compensation Fund Allocation and Use Regulations were promulgated by the Civil Aeronautics Administration, Ministry of Transportation and Communications in 2000. The nation's major airports, as well as city/county governments, have established “aircraft noise-control enforcement task forces” to implement funding allocation. In the future, airports will be subject to penalties for violating the "ambient noise level standards," for failure to report improvement plans, and for failure to follow improvement plans. Moreover, responsible agencies will be required to create a publically-accessible aircraft noise control and prevention database in order to disclose the status of aircraft noise control funding and to promote more effective noise monitoring and control at each airport. According to the Civil Aviation Act, the Airport Compensation Fund Allocation and Use Regulations have been amended by the Civil Aeronautics Administration, Ministry of Transportation and Communications over the past decade. The latest revision of the regulation was amended in 2015 and went to effect in 2016. The main content of the amendment is the use of the noise compensation by each airport and amending the controversial implementation.
B. Motor vehicle noise control:
(1) Phase 1 motor vehicle noise control standards took effect in 1991. The standards were further tightened, and in 1993, Phase 2 motor vehicle noise control standards took effect.
(2) The EPA worked with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to promulgate Phase 3 and Phase 4 motor vehicle noise control standards in 2002. These standards went into effect in 2005 and 2007, respectively. These standards pushed the automobile industry to research and develop quieter vehicles. The progressively stricter standards strengthen the effectiveness of controls and work to gradually improve traffic noise.
(3) Phase 5 and Phase 6 motor vehicle noise control standards were promulgated in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Phase 5 amends the control criteria for in-use vehicles, and Phase 6 conforms to EU standards.
(4) The drafts of Phase 7 motor vehicle noise control standards were announced in 2013 and will be implemented in 2021. Phase 7 conforms to Euro 5 standards.
(5) The EPA worked with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to revise and promulgate the In-use Motor Vehicle Noise Control Regulations in 2004. To reinforce noise control of in-use motor vehicles, city/county environmental protection bureaus (EPBs) carry out vehicle noise inspection checkpoints at roadsides, parking lots, dynamometer inspection and testing stations for exhaust emissions from diesel engine automobiles, and other appropriate sites. In 2009, the EPA launched an online web portal that allows citizens to report in-use vehicle noise. Anyone who wants to report a noisy car can do so within 30 days from the day of sighting the vehicle. After the case is checked and confirmed by local EPB officials, the owner of the vehicle will be summoned to bring in the vehicle to a designated site for a stationary noise test.
C. Traffic noise control:
(1) Regarding the sound emitted by in-use vehicles on land transportation systems such as expressways, freeways, railways, and mass rapid transit systems, the Noise Control Act stipulates that whenever the competent authority measures the sound level of an area in question and finds that it exceeds the land transportation system’s noise control standard, the transport operations and management agencies shall submit traffic noise improvement plans to local competent authorities within 180 days of receiving an official notice. They shall follow the improvement plans accordingly.
(2) The Noise Control Act also includes a regulation that stipulates penalties for failure to submit noise improvement plans or failure to adhere to noise improvement plans. The regulation aims to increase the accountability of land transport system management agencies and other related agencies in fulfilling their legal obligations for noise improvement.
D. Low frequency noise control:
Since July 1, 2005, the EPA has reinforced its control measures by including stipulations for low frequency noise (20Hz-200Hz) arising from business and recreational premises. In addition, in order to effectively control ambient noise, the EPA has also reinforced its control of low frequency noise in factory plants and sites since January 1, 2008. The EPA has reinforced its control measures for low frequency noise arising from construction projects since January 1, 2009.
In 2013, the Noise Control Standards were revised. The main points for the revisions on low frequency noise control are as follows:
‧ The maximum, permitted, low frequency noise volumes have been decreased by 3 dB(A) for factories, entertainment venues, retail or wholesale outlets, and construction sites in noise control zone Classes 1-3.
‧ The maximum, permitted, low frequency noise volumes have been decreased by 3 dB(A) for all frequencies for construction sites in noise control zone Classes 1-3.
‧ The maximum, permitted, low frequency noise volumes have been decreased by 3 dB(A) for all frequencies for factories, entertainment venues, and retail and wholesale outlets in noise control zone Classes 2 and 3.
‧ The maximum, permitted, low frequency noise volumes have been decreased by 3 dB(A) for loudspeakers in all noise control zone classes at all times, with the exception of nighttime hours in Class 1 zones. Concerning wind turbines, the EPA has created a standard protocol for inspectors to assess the level of noise pollution caused by wind turbines. An incremental measurement method is used to compare the difference between the total environmental noise level, when the wind turbine is not in operation, and the total environmental noise level, when the wind turbine is in operation. This incremental measurement method helps to determine the increase in the overall noise level caused by the operation of the wind turbine. At present, the permitted decibel increase in the overall environmental noise level for areas with wind turbines is set at 5 dB(A). Setting specific standards for permitted increases in the noise level around wind turbines should help to reduce the number of noise complaints.
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)