Environmental Noise Monitoring

Environmental noise monitoring
Environmental noise monitoring involves the measurement and assessment of noise levels in outdoor and indoor environments to evaluate the impact of noise pollution on human health, well-being, and the environment. This monitoring typically includes the measurement of sound pressure levels, frequency spectra, and other parameters to characterize noise sources, identify trends, and assess compliance with regulatory standards. In South Africa, several laws and standards apply to environmental noise monitoring
  • National Environmental Management Act (NEMA): NEMA is the primary legislation governing environmental management in South Africa. It provides the legal framework for regulating activities that may have environmental impacts, including noise pollution. NEMA requires the establishment of norms and standards for environmental quality and empowers authorities to take measures to prevent or control pollution, including noise pollution.
  • Noise Control Regulations, 2009: These regulations, issued under NEMA, prescribe permissible noise levels for various land uses and time periods. They set out standards for noise emissions from industrial, commercial, residential, and other activities, as well as for ambient noise levels in urban and rural areas. The regulations specify measurement methods, criteria for assessing noise impacts, and enforcement mechanisms for addressing non-compliance.
  • South African National Standard (SANS) 10103:2008: SANS 10103 is the national standard for environmental noise assessment and measurement in South Africa. It provides guidelines and procedures for conducting noise surveys, monitoring noise levels, and assessing noise impacts on communities and the environment. The standard specifies measurement techniques, equipment requirements, and criteria for evaluating noise exposure and annoyance.
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA): OHSA regulates health and safety in the workplace and includes provisions related to occupational noise exposure. The Act requires employers to assess and control noise hazards in the workplace to protect workers from hearing loss and other health effects associated with excessive noise exposure. Noise monitoring may be conducted to ensure compliance with occupational noise exposure limits and to implement appropriate control measures.
  • Local Government By-Laws: Municipalities may enact by-laws to address noise pollution within their jurisdictions. These by-laws may include provisions for regulating noise from construction activities, outdoor events, vehicle traffic, and other sources. Noise monitoring may be conducted to enforce by-law provisions and address complaints related to noise nuisance.