Noise is simply unwanted or unpleasant sound. Too much noise can cause annoyance and stress. It can disturb sleep and disrupt simple day-to-day activities, such as reading or watching TV. In the longer term it may cause adverse health effects.
The Department of Environment and Conservation, through its regional offices deals with noise from large industries. The Department also has a section within its head office that sets noise policy, and helps local governments and Departmental regional offices with complex issues.
Environmental noise in Western Australia
The Department of Environment and Conservation works both independently and with other State Government agencies to develop and implement environmental noise policy.
The Department utilises data from community noise surveys and local government noise complaint surveys to uncover trends in environmental noise, enabling the Department to write and implement environmental noise policy accordingly.
As Perth and other WA regional areas grow, urban densities increase and the potential for land use conflict arises. Hence, WA environmental noise policy focuses on strategically and pro-actively addressing potential environmental noise impact before it arises.
Major Project Assessment
The Environmental Noise Management Section plays an important role in reviewing major projects and providing expert technical advice to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
Further information related to the Environmental Impact Assessment process is available by clicking on the assessment menu above or by visiting the EPA website at www.epa.wa.gov.au.
Regulation and Enforcement
The Environmental Protection Act 1986 and the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 are administered by local government Environmental Health Officers. The legislation aims to protect people from unnecessary noise while letting them carry out their business and social activities.
Although both the Act and Regulations are readily available from the State Law Publisher, a more succinct and readable alternative of the regulations was prepared by the Department of Environmental Protection, and is available by clicking on the publications menu above.