European Parliament repeats its demand for Noise Framework Directive

The European Parliament has repeated its demand for tough a Noise Framework Directive, previously rejected by the European Council, but has not specified the types of noise to be covered.

During a vote on the second reading of the draft directive on noise on 3 October, MEPs voted to beef up the proposal into a Noise Framework Directive, to be followed by proposals for specific directives laying down binding quality standards to be implemented by the European member states. The proposed directive’s aim is to “avoid, prevent or reduce harmful effects on human health due to exposure to environmental noise”. The vote comes despite insistence by both the Commission and the Council that it is too early to consider EU-wide noise limits. Both institutions state that a standard system must first be established to measure and map out the degree of noise pollution suffered in member states, followed by national noise abatement plans.

Partly in light of the recent terrorist attacks in the US, Parliament is no longer seeking to include noise from military aircraft in the directive, and is not opposing a Council amendment that adds a new exemption for military activities in military areas.

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