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The Environmental Noise Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006

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EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations implement Directive 2002/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 June 2002 relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise (O.J. No. L 189, 18.07.2002, p. 12) (the ‘Directive’).They extend to Northern Ireland only.

Strategic noise maps

The making of strategic noise maps will occur in two rounds, the first in 2007 and the second in 2012. In the second round a larger number of the same type of noise sources will have to be mapped than in the first round. Subsequently strategic noise maps will have to be made every five years.

Regulation 3 requires the Department to identify the noise sources for which strategic noise maps shall be made.

Chapter 2 of Part 2 names the Department for Regional Development as the competent authority responsible for the preparation of strategic noise maps for major roads.

Chapter 3 of Part 2 names the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company as the competent authority responsible for the preparation of strategic noise maps for major railways.

Chapter 4 of Part 2 names the airport operators as the competent authorities responsible for the preparation of strategic noise maps for major airports.

Chapter 5 of Part 2 names the Department of the Environment as the competent authority responsible for the preparation of noise maps for industrial noise sources within agglomerations.

Chapter 6 of Part 2 requires the competent authorities from regulations 7, 10, 13, 16 and 19(5) to make strategic noise maps showing the situation in the preceding calendar year for any agglomerations, and names the airport operators as the competent authorities responsible for the preparation of strategic noise maps for airports within agglomerations.

Chapter 7 of Part 2 requires the Department to make a consolidated strategic noise map for all sources within agglomerations.

From time to time, and whenever a major development occurs, the competent authorities shall review (and if necessary, revise) strategic noise maps. Once made or revised, the competent authorities, for sources other than industry, will have to submit all strategic noise maps to the Department for adoption or approval.

All strategic noise maps shall meet the minimum requirements set out in regulation 4.

Regulation 4 and Schedule 3 specify which noise indicators and supplementary noise indicators shall be used in making the strategic noise maps. Schedule 2 sets out the assessment methods to be used in calculating the values of noise indicators. Different methods are specified for each noise source.

Regulation 40 requires the Department to identify quiet areas in agglomerations.

Action plans

Action plans shall be drawn up in two rounds (the first in 2008 and the second in 2013) following the two rounds of strategic noise maps upon which the action plans will be based.

Regulation 23 requires the Department to publish guidance on how the priorities in action plans should be identified.

Regulation 24 sets out the general requirements for action plans.

Regulations 27 and 28 require the Department for Regional Development to draw up action plans for places near to major roads and roads within agglomerations. The Department for Regional Development shall review (and revise, if necessary) the action plans every five years, or sooner if a major development occurs.

Regulations 31 and 32 require the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company to draw up action plans for places near to major railways and places near to railways within agglomerations. The Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company shall review (and revise, if necessary) the action plans every five years, or sooner if a major development occurs.

Regulations 35 and 36 require airport operators to draw up action plans for places near to major airports and airports within agglomerations. The airport operators shall review (and revise, if necessary) the action plans every five years, or sooner if a major development occurs.

Regulation 39 requires the Department of the Environment to draw up action plans for industrial activity sites, including ports within agglomerations. The Department for the Environment shall review (and revise, if necessary) the action plans every five years, or sooner if a major development occurs.

Regulation 42 requires the Department of the Environment to draw up a consolidated action plan for all sources within agglomerations, using the action plans submitted under regulations 28, 32, and 36.

Regulation 43 specifies the public participation required during the preparation and revision of action plans.

Regulation 44 requires public authorities to treat action plans as policy insofar as the action plan identifies them as being responsible for a particular action. Public authorities may depart from such policies in specified circumstances.

Other provisions

Regulation 45 requires competent authorities in Northern Ireland to cooperate with their counterparts in the Republic of Ireland, England, Scotland or Wales when necessary to do so in order to meet obligations under these Regulations or the Directive.

Regulations 46 and 47 set out the mechanism by which the Department adopts and approves strategic noise maps and action plans respectively.

Regulation 49 provides the Department with the power to require competent authorities to provide information in relation to their obligations under the Regulations or to step in and carry out the functions of competent authorities under specified circumstances.

Regulation 50 gives the Department power to reclaim certain expenses from competent authorities.

Regulation 52 sets out requirements for the publication of strategic noise maps and action plans.

Regulation 53 requires competent authorities to have regard to any guidance published by the Department.

A Regulatory Impact Assessment in relation to these Regulations has been placed in the library of the Northern Ireland Assembly and copies can be obtained from Environmental Policy Division, 20-24 Donegall Street, Belfast BT1 2GP.

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