Community Noise – Awareness and Management

Did you know that in most communities, there are no noise requirements besides those established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)?  Depending upon the jurisdiction, there may or may not be regulations established regarding noise impact to your community from various sources, including industrial sources.

Even though there may not be existing regulations on noise impacting communities, companies who plan on operating in rural areas need to be aware of the potential impact noise they generate may have on neighboring communities.  Managing relations with the community surrounding the site in advance of construction and operation is paramount.

Be a good neighbor in the community.  To prevent or minimize complaints, stay in touch with your new neighbors.  Keep them informed during each step of your project from initial site scoping, groundbreaking to final installation and operations.

Implement controls during construction to minimize noise impacts including:

  • Scheduling work hours between 8am-6pm
  • Using electric equipment versus diesel- or gas-powered equipment
  • Using equipment with mufflers/noise dampening equipment
  • Shutting off idling equipment
  • Conducting loudest work during middle of the day
  • Setting up noise barriers around noise sources
  • Notifying neighbors when loud activities will take place

Maintain good relations and minimize your impact to the community in advance by:

  • Collecting existing or background noise levels before construction begins
  • Retaining a natural noise buffer zone by keeping the foliage intact between your operating site and neighbors
  • Implementing a “Buy Quiet” program
  • Collecting noise measurements after equipment is up and running on-site and at the fence lines of your neighbor’s properties
  • Installing noise barriers/controls if needed
  • Procuring additional land between site and community to maintain buffer zone

When are controls needed?

  • You will receive complaints if new noise levels exceed original background readings over 10dBA.
  • You may receive complaints If post-installation noise levels exceed the original background readings by 5 dBA at the homeowner fence lines.

If you have an upcoming project where you think community noise could be an issue, we would love to be an expert resource to help you.  Our team of Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIHs) have extensive experience assessing a project’s potential impact on surrounding communities.  From conducting noise level assessments to strategizing and implementing tailored noise control measures, our professionals offer a comprehensive roadmap to ensure sustainable development and an amicable relationship with surrounding communities.  Contact us at or at 832-403-2135 to request a free consultation.