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Assessment of the equivalency of the national noise mapping methods against the interim methods

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Author IHCP: M. Paviotti, S. Kephalopoulos

The IHCP is technically supporting the Directorate General for the Environment (DG ENV) concerning the implementation of the European Noise Directive 2002/49/EC. This is being performed through the Administrative Arrangement no. 07-0307/2007/477794/MAR/C3, stipulated on 22nd October 2007, on “Technical advice on the equivalence of the national assessment methods used by the EU Member States for strategic noise mapping against the interim methods, as specified in Annex II of the Directive 2002/49/EC and the EC guidelines adopted on 6 August 2003”.

This report summarises the work performed under Task 3 on “Member State
results using JRC protocols” and Task 4 on “Review and assessment of the National methods” during the last six months period of the execution of the Administrative Arrangement (1st June 2008 – 22nd December 2008). This report (‘Final Technical Report no. 2’) can be considered as the final report of the Administrative Arrangement no. 07-0307/2007/477794/MAR/C3 (22 October 2007 to 22 December 2008).

Overall, based on the assessment performed by the JRC on the official replies received from the EU Member States it was concluded that:

Concerning the noise assessment methods used:

  • 7 MS provided partial or no information about the methods used;
  • 8 MS used either their national methods or the interim ones depending on the noise source (i.e., road traffic, railway traffic, aircraft, industrial);
  • 5 MS used their own national methods for all four noise sources;
  • 7 MS used the interim noise assessment methods as established in Annex II of the European Noise Directive 2002/49/EC for all four noise sources.

Concerning the compliance of the EU MS to Art. 6 of the Environmental Noise
Directive (END):

  • 7 MS were assessed to be compliant with Art. 6 of the END for all noise assessment methods used
  • 5 MS were assessed to be non-compliant with Art. 6 of the END for at least one noise assessment method
  • For 15 MS it was impossible to determine their compliance with Art. 6 of the END for at least one noise assessment method because they did not provide enough information to allow assessing whether their national methods are equivalent to the interim ones. Between these, two reported that they are going to provide information by means of the JRC protocols during the month of December 2008.

In absence of implementation of the protocols by the EU Member States by the deadlines set by this Administrative Arrangement, JRC implemented the protocols using the interim methods and evaluated statistically what part of the differences may due to software implementation of the methods and not on the methods themselves, and also prepared some indicators to describe the different results the national methods could eventually give, both in terms of change in noise levels and in the number of people exposed to environmental noise.

It was observed that in most situations for road traffic noise, railway traffic noise and industrial noise the software implementation would be relevant but not necessarily the major cause of differences (a standard deviation less than 3 dB) since the implementation in three of the most used software to predict noise levels give consistently close results.
Only in the case of aircraft noise large differences between implementation of the interim method were found, depending whether the European Commission’s Recommendation of 6 August 2003 (2003/613/EC) is or is not taken into account.

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