Authors: Jon-Paul Faulkner, Enda Murphy, Henry J. Rice and John Kennedy
Summary: This guide addresses noise pollution from transport as a significant environmental pressure and public health concern. The guide is primarily targeted at practitioners charged with implementing the 5-yearly strategic noise mapping requirements of the Environmental Noise Directive (END). The guide also supports relevant authorities by providing robust analysis and instruction on how to implement strategic noise mapping under CNOSSOS-EU.
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In the European Union (EU), 113 million people are estimated to be exposed to noise pollution from transport sources and that is detrimental to their health and quality of life. Internationally, there is a growing evidence base that links noise from transport sources to health issues, including sleep disturbance, annoyance, heart disease, cognitive impairment, quality of life and mental health and wellbeing. This report addresses noise pollution from transport as a significant environmental pressure and public health concern by providing guidance that assists with the practical implementation of recent revisions to the Environmental Noise Directive (END; 2002/49/EC). Given that Ireland has a statutory obligation to meet the requirements of the END, this is a strategic national environmental priority. This guide outlines research conducted to assist with the objective of implementing regulations set out in the END and, in doing so, assists with developing future national capacity that contributes towards meeting Ireland’s legislative obligations under EU law.
Internationally, this guide contributes to improving the implementation of the END and utilises the new CNOSSOS-EU (Common Noise Assessment Methods in Europe) methodology from 2019 onwards. This document provides a comprehensive good practice guide for implementing CNOSSOS-EU in Ireland. The aim of the guide is to support the fourth round of noise mapping guidance for implementation of the END using the CNOSSOS-EU methodology. The guide is primarily targeted at practitioners charged with implementing the 5-yearly strategic noise mapping requirements of the END. Thus, the guide supports relevant authorities by providing robust analysis and instruction on how to implement strategic noise mapping under CNOSSOS-EU. The guide is based on research carried out from February 2018 to May 2020. Therefore, it does not reflect some policy developments relevant to the fourth round of strategic noise mapping, such as the anticipated revisions to CNOSSOS-EU by means of a delegated directive amending Annex II of Directive 2002/49/ EC, and the revised European Environment Agency (EEA) Reportnet 3 reporting mechanism as a result of Regulation (EU) 2019/1010, introduced in November 2020.
The development of strong guidance for implementing environmental legislation has the potential to assist with transitioning to more sustainable environmental practices, which can benefit the health and wellbeing of the wider population. The current shift towards the CNOSSOS-EU methodology for strategic noise mapping provides Irish authorities with the opportunity for a “reset moment” with respect to implementation of the END. In this sense, Ireland has the potential to be a European policy leader in the area. This guide outlines solutions and advice on how to implement the new CNOSSOS-EU noise modelling and mapping methodology from 2019 onwards. It utilises practical examples and explanatory visuals that can be referred to at each step of the process. In this respect, the guide provides instruction regarding road and rail source calculation using commercial software, the generation of strategic noise maps using data interpolation and the estimation of population exposure under CNOSSOS-EU.