Wednesday, 10 November 2010
Dáil Éireann Debate
249. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to any local authorities who are in breach of the environmental noise regulations 2006; the progress made towards the implementation of a noise action plan regarding the south city link road, N27; if he will confirm that Cork City Council is in conformity with the noise regulations in regard to the N27; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41816/10]
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Deputy John Gormley): The Environmental Noise Regulations 2006 give effect in Ireland to EU Directive 2002/49/EC relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is designated as the National Authority for the purpose of the Regulations. The Agency’s role includes supervisory, advisory and coordination functions in relation to noise-mapping, action planning, and fulfilling reporting requirements.
The Directive and Regulations provide for a two-stage approach to the assessment and management of environmental noise, and the preparation of strategic noise maps for areas and infrastructure falling within defined criteria, e.g. large agglomerations, major roads, railways and airports. Responsibility for the preparation of such maps lies with the designated noise-mapping bodies, i.e., the relevant local authorities, Dublin Airport Authority, the National Roads Authority, Iarnród Éireann and the Railway Procurement Agency. Based on the results of the mapping process, the designated action planning authorities, i.e. the local authorities are required to prepare noise action plans for their functional areas. Both the noise maps and noise action plans are required to be reviewed at least every 5 years with the next reviews scheduled for 2012 and 2013 respectively.
In relation to the implementation of the Environmental Noise Regulations 2006, the EPA has informed my Department that the following County Councils have submitted draft noise action plans, but have yet to submit finalised plans to the Agency, following the completion of public consultation:
Cork City Council has submitted its finalised Noise Action Plan to the Agency. Assessment of progress made in relation to the implementation of the plan will form part of the review due in 2013. The Council is required, as per the provisions of Regulation 11(7) of the Environmental Noise Regulations 2006, to review, and if necessary, revise an action plan in the event of a material change in environmental noise in the area concerned, if requested by the Agency, or every five years as indicated above.
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