European Commission publishes progress report on Environmental Noise Directive
CNOSSOS-EU methodological framework to be used for strategic noise mapping in Europe
|Contact Name||JRC-IHCP, Health and Environment|
In June 2011, the European Commission published a report on the implementation of the Environmental Noise Directive (END). This report, the first since the Directive was adopted in 2002, identified a number of achievements and remaining challenges for the implementation of the Directive.
Towards common noise assessment methods in Europe
Among the areas for improvement identified is the harmonisation of noise assessment methods in EU, a process which is known as CNOSSOS-EU.
CNOSSOS-EU is co-ordinated by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (JRC-IHCP) in liaison with the EU Member States. Once CNOSSOS-EU will be put in place, the comparability of the number of citizens exposed to excessive noise levels across Europe will be significantly improved.
CNOSSOS-EU will provide the technical basis for a Commission Implementing Decision which will lead do an amendment of Annex II of the Directive. This is supposed to happen in early 2012. As part of this decision, the Commission intends to propose a work programme involving the Commission, the European Environmental Agency (EEA) and the Member States in the implementation of CNOSSOS-EU during 2012-2015 with the view to making it operational for the third reporting cycle in 2017.
On 23-24 June 2011, the 2nd CNOSSOS-EU Technical Meeting took place in Brussels, organised by JRC-IHCP. During this meeting, the core of the CNOSSOS-EU methodological framework to be used for strategic noise mapping in Europe was presented and discussed with more than 40 experts nominated by the EU Members States. Wide consensus was reached concerning the description of most elements of the core framework which is therefore expected to be finalised in the last quarter of 2011 and published as a JRC Reference report.
Assessing burden of disease from environmental noise
The same implementation report points out the health impact of environmental noise as recently documented by the latest publication of the World Health Organisation and JRC-IHCP. The joint WHO-JRC report on "Burden of disease from environmental noise" (2011) shows that exposure to traffic-related noise in Europe leads to a disease burden which, among several environmental factors considered, is second in magnitude only to that from air pollution.
The purpose of the Environmental Noise Directive is to define a common approach across all EU Member States to avoid, prevent or reduce the harmful effects (on a prioritised basis) resulting from the exposure to environmental noise. Annoyance from environmental noise is also included among the harmful effects.
To achieve this, the EU Member States have to carry out a number of actions, in particular:
determine the exposure to environmental noise through noise mapping,
adopt action plans based upon the noise mapping results and
ensure that the information on environmental noise is made available to the public.
The Directive also provides a basis for developing further EU measures to reduce noise emitted by different sources. This implementation report is prepared in accordance with Article 11 of the END which required the Commission to assess in particular:
the need for further EU actions on environmental noise (article 11.2) and
a review of the acoustic environment quality in the EU based on the data reported by the Member States (article 11.3).
COM(2011) 321 final. Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of the Environmental Noise Directive in accordance with Article 11 of Directive 2002/49/EC.