oversight

The Slow Implementation of the Noise Control Act of 1972

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-04-19.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                         DOCUNENT   IBSUSE
01916 - [11112131]

The Slow I p:lementation of the Noise Control Act of 1972.   April
19, 1977. 15 pp.
Testirony before the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign
Commerce: Transportation and CoumeLce Sb:committee; by Henry
Eschwege, Director, Coosunity and Economic Development Div.
Issue Area: Environmental Protecticn Prograas: Environmental
    Protection Standards (220Q).
contact: Community and Economic Devielopment Div.
Budget Function: Natural Resourenst Bnviroanent, and Energy:
    Pollution Contrcl and Abatement (304).
Organization Concerned: Environmental Protection Agency;
    Department of Transportation; Federal Aviation
    Administration.
Congressional Belevanci: House Committee on Interstate and'
    Foreign Commerce: Transportation and Commerce Suiommit.tee.
Autho-ity: Noise Control act of 1972, Federal Aviation Act 'f
    195e. P.L. 90-411.
          The impleeentation of the Feder;;l Governsent's noise
pollution control ptcqram was investigated.
Findings/C:onclusions: The Noise Control act of 1972 was esieiged
to eliminate excess noise in the design stage of a wids varaie,:y
of new consuser rrodicts. Little has been accomplished by the
Environmental Protection Agency (BEA) in carrying out its
responsibilities under the act, and where action has been takeL,
the implementation has been very slow. With regard to sew
products, the EPA has identified 11 major sources of noise, but
final regulations have beer issued for only two of these. These
regulations were issued over 1 year late, and will not become
effective until 1978. Noise emission regulaticns for railroads
and motor carriers engaged in interstate commerce were also
issued late, and viclators of these regulations are not being
prcsecuted because the ac-: calls for criminal r4ther than civil
penalties. No final regual tions have been issued for labelling
any products as to ncise levels. Technical assistance to State
and local governments to aid develcpYent of noise standards has
been given low priorit,. EPA efforts to coordinate the noise
research and control programs of the Federal Government have not
been effective. an overall noise program strategy has been
drafted and submitted for comment. lhis strategy is a good first
effort in the development of a unified, national effort to
reduce noise pollution. Lack of coordination between the EPA and
the Federal Aviation Administration has seriously hindsred the
devolopment of aviation noise control regulations. {SCJ
           UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
                   WASHINGTON, D.C. 20548


                                       FOR RELEASE ON DELIVERY
                                       EXPECTED AT 2 P.M. EST
                                       TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 1977


                        STATEMENT OF
                 HENRY ESCHWEGE, DIRECTOR
        COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIVISION

                         BEFORE THE
         SUBCOMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND COMMERCE
     HOUSE COMMITTEE ON INTERSTATE AND FOREIGN COMMERCE

                              ON

              THE SLOW IMPLEMENTATION OF THE
                 NOISE CONTROL ACT OF 1972


MR. CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE S'JBCOMMITTEE:

     WE ARE HERE TODAY AT YOUR INVITATION TO DISCUSS OUR

MARCH 1977 REPORT TO THE CONGRESS ON THE   ~MPLEMENTaYION OF

THE NOISE CONTROL ACT OF 1972 TITLED "NOISE POLLUTION--

FEDERAL PROGRAM TO CONTROL IT HAS BEEN SLOW AND INEFFECTIVE."

MY STATEMENT WILL HIGHLIGHT THE FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS,

AND RECOMMENDATIONS INCLUDED IN THA.T REPORT.

     IN RESPONSE TO THE BASIC QUESTION OF WHETHER THE FEDERAL

GOVERNMENT'S NOISE PROGRAM HAS BEEN WORKING SMOOTHLY, WE HAVE

TO REPORT TO YOU MR. CHAIRMAN THAT IT HAS NOT.   AFTER MORE

THAN 4 YEARS, IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NOISE ACT HAS BEEN SLOW AND,

IN SOME CASES, INEFFECTIVE.   I DO HASTEN TO ADD THAT SOME

ACTIONS TAKEN HAVE BEEN SIGNIFICANT IN ADDRESSING THE NOISE

POLLUTION PROBLEM.
     TO DATE, ONLY FOUR NOISE EMISSION STANDA.DS HAVE BEEN

ISSUED UNDER THE ACT AND THESE WERE MANY MONTHS LATE.     LITTLE

PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE IN ISSUING FINAL AIRCRAFT/AIRPORT NOISE

REDUCTION REGULATIONS.   IMPLEMENTATION OF CE.TAIN SECTIONS OF

THL ACT, SUCH A_ LABELING, TECHNICAL ASSISTkNCE, AND RESEARCH

COORDINATION, HAS RECEIVED LOW PRIORITY BY THE ENVIRONMENTAL

PROTECTION AGENCY AND TFEREFORE, NOT MUCH HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED

IN THESE AREAS.

     OUR REPORT RECOMMENDED THAT THE APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL

COMMITTEES OR SUBCOMMITTEES HOLD OVERSIGHT HEARINGS TO EVALUATE

PAST PERFORMANCE AND PROVIDE GUIDANCE FOR FUTURE ACTIVITIES

AND WE ARE PLEASED THAT THIS SUBCOMMITTEE IS EXPLORING SOME

OF THESE PRCBLEMS.

     ABOUT 13 MILLION AMERICANS ARE LIVING IN PLACES WHERE

NOISE FROM CARS, BUSES, TRUCKS, AIRPLANES, CONSTRUCTION

EQUIPMENT, AND KITCHEN GADGETS MAY BE HARMING THEIR HEALTH.

AN ESTIMATED 16 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES SUFFER

FROM SOME DEGREE OF HEARING LOSS DIRECTLY CAUSED BY NOISE.

FURTHERMORE, AN ESTIMATFD 100 MILLION PEOPLE RESIDE IN AREAS

WHERE THE AVERAGE NOISE LEVEL EXCEEDS THE LEVEL WHICH TH:

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY SAYS IS CLEARLY IDENTIF'ED

WITH MARKED ANNOYANCE.

     THE NOISE CONTROL ACT OF.1972--THE FIRST COMPREHENSIVE

NOISE CONTROL LEGISLATION PASSED BY CONGRESS--WAS DESIGNED TO




                              2
ELIMINATE EXCESS NOISE IN THE DESIGN STAGE OF A WIDE

VARIETY OF NEW CONSUMER PRODUCTS.   THE OBJECTIVES OF THE

ACT ARE TC "'PROMaOTE AN ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL AMERICANS FREE

FROM NOISE THAT JFOPARDIZES THEIR HEALTH OR WELFARE" AND

"TO ESTABLISH A MEANS FOR EFFECTIVE COORDINATION OF FEDERAL

RESEARCH AND ACTIVITIES IN NOISE CONTROL."

     THE NOISE ACT DIRECTS THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

AGENCY (EPA) TO:

     -- COORDINATE ALL FEDERAL PROGRAMS RELATING TO NOISE

       RESEARCH AND NOISE CONTROL AND REPORT TO THE CONGRESS

       ON THE STATUS AND PROGRESS OF FEDERAL NOISE CONTROL

       ACTIVITIES.

     -- PUBLISH CRITERIA IDENTIFYING THE EFFECTS OF NOISE

       AND PROVIDE INFORMATION ON THE LEVELS OF NOISE

       NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE.

     -- IDENTIFY MAJOR SOURCES OF NOISE AND PRESCRIBE AND

       AMEND STANDARDS LIMITING THE NOISE-GENERATING.

       CHARACTERISTICS OF ANY PRODUCT OR CLASS OF PRODUCTS

       IDENTIFIED AS A MAJOR SOURCE OF NOISE.

     --PREPARE A COMPREHENSIVE REPOIh ON THE PROBLEM OF

       AIRCRAFT/AIRPORT NOISE AND SUBMIT REGULATORY

       PROPOSALS.TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION

       FOR CONTROL OF AIRCRAFT/AIRPORT NOISE.

     -- REQUIRE MANUFACTURERS TO LABEL PRODUCTS WHICH

       (1) EMIT NOISE CAPABLE OF ADVERSELY AFFECTING THE
       PUBLIC HEALTH-OR WELFARE,     OR (2)   ARE SOLD WHOLLY OR

       IN PART ON THE BASIS OF THEIR EFFECTIVENESS IN

       REDUCING NOISE.

     --CONDUCT AND FINANCE RESEARCH ON THE PSYCEOLOGICAL

       EFFECTS OF NOISE AND PROVIDE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

       TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS ON THE VARIOUS

      METHODS OF NOISE CONTROL.

     --PROMULGATE REGULATIONS LIMITING THE NOISE GENERATED

       FROM INTERSTATE RAIL CARRIERS AND INTERSTATE MOTOR

       CARRIERS.

     TODAY WE WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THE FOLLOWING PROBLEMS

PRESENTED IN OUR REPORT.

     --THE SLOW IMPLEtIENTATION OF THE NOISE CONTROL ACT,

     -- INEFFECTIVE EFFORTS BY EPA TO COORDINATE THE NOISE

       RESEARCH AND CONTROL PROGRAMS,

     --TEE NEED FOR DEVELOPMENT OF A COMPREHENSIVE NOISE

       ABATEMENT STRATEGY, AND

     --CONFLICTS IN RESOLVING THE PROBLEMS OF AIRCRAFT/AIRPORT

       NOISE POLIT JTION.


SLOW IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NOISE ACT

     UNDER THE ACT, EPA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR (1) ISSUING

NOISE E!IISSION.STANDARDS FOR NEW PRODUCTS AND FOR RAILROADS

AND INTERSTATE MOTOR CARRIERS, (2) REQUIRING THE LABELING

OF PRODUCTS WHICH CAN ADVERSELY AFFECT THE PUBLIC HEALTH




                                 4
AND WELFARE, AND (3) PROVIDING TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO

STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.

     OUR REVIEW SHOWED THAT LITTLE HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED

IN CARRYING OUT SOME OF THESE RESPONSIBILITIES.    WHERE ACTION

HAS BEEN TAKEN, THE IMPLEMENTATION HAS BEEN VERY SLOW.

    WITE REGARD TO NEW PRODUCTS, EPA HAS IDENTIFIED ELEVEN

MAJOR SOURCES OF NOISE--PORTABLE AIR COMPRESSORS, MEDIUM AND

HEAVY DUTY TRUCKS, WHEEL AND TRACK LOADERS, WHEEL AND TRACK

DOZERS, TRUCK REFRIGERATION UNITS, TRUCK-MOUNTED SOLID WASTE

COMPACTORS, MOTORCYCLES, BUSES, POWER LAWNMOWERS, PAVEMENT

BREAKERS, AND ROCK DRILLS.

     FINAL REGULATIONS HAVE BEEN ISSUED FOR ONLY TWO OF

THESE--POI.TABLE AIR COMPRESSORS AND MEDIUM AND HEAVY DUTY

TRUCKS--AND THESE WERE ISSUED OVER 1 YEAR LATE AND WILL NOT

BECOME EFFECTIVE UNTIL 1978.

     THE ACT SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED EPA TO PUBLISE    PROPOSED

NOISE EMISSION REGULATIONS FOR RAILROADS AND MOTOR CARRIERS

ENGAGED IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE WITH:N 9 MONTHS AFTER THE

DATE OF ENACTMENT.   IN BOTH CASES, FINAL REGULATIONS WERE TO

BE ISSUED 90 DAYS AFTER PROPOSAL.    REGULATIONS FOR THESE 2

NOISE SOURCES WERE ISSUED LATE--12 MONTHS FOR MOTOR CARRIERS

,ANDOVER 2 YEARS FOR RAILROADS.     THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY

                                                     'OF
ADMINISTRATION IS NOT SEEKING PROSECUTION OF VIOLATORS

THE REGULATION CONTROLLING NOISE ON INTERSTATE MOTOR CARRIERS

BECAUSE THE ACT PROVIDES FOR CRIMINAL PENALTIES RATHER THAN




                               5
CIVIL PENALTIES.   IN OUR REPORT WE RECOMMEND-D THAT THE ACT

BE AMENDED TO PROVIDE FOR CIVIL PENALTIES.

     THERE IS SOME DIFFERENCE OF OPINION BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT

OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT) AND EPA REGARDING THE EFFECTIVENESS

OF THE NOISE REGULATION CN INTERSTATE RAILROADS IN THAT IT

DOES NOT APPLY TO RAILROAD YARDS,     THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN
RAILROADS FILED SUIT ON APRIL 23,    1976, IN THE U.S. COURT

OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT, REQUESTING

A JUDICIAL REVIEW OF THE RAILROAD REGULATION ON THE BASIS

THAT IT DID NOT ADEQUATELY PROVIDE FOR NATIONAL UNIFORM

TREATMENT OF THE RAILROAD INDUSTRY.

     THE ACT PROVIDES THAT EPA REQUIRE ANY PRODUCT EMITTING

A NOISE CAPABLE OF HARMING THTe   PUBLIC HEALTH OR WELFARE BE

"LABELED" TO INDICATE ITS NOISE LEVEL.     EPA HAS ISSUED NO
FINAL REGULATIONS FOR LABELING ANY PRODUCtS AT THIS TIME.

THE LABELING PROGRAM HAS BEEN GIVEN A LOW PRIORITY AND HAS

RECEIVED MINIMUM RESOURCES.

     EPA IS AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO

STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO FACILITATE THEIR DEVELOPMENT

AND ENFORCEMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE NOISE STANDARDS.     SUCH
ASSISTANCE IS TO INCLUDE ADVICE ON TRAINING PERSONNEL,

SELECTING AND OPERATING NOISE ABATEMENT EQUIPMENT, AND

PREPARING MODEL NOISE LEGISLATION.    EPA HAS ALSO PLACED LOW
PRIORITY IN THE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AREA.     HOWEVER, EPA
OFFICIALS HAVE TOLD US.THEY REALIZE THE BURDEN OF THE
NATION'S NOISE CONTROL EFFORTS WILL EVENTUALLY FALL ON

STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND THAT ALTHOUGH THE OFFICE OF

NOISE ABATEMENT AND CONTROL HAS NOT BEEN TOO EFFECTIVE IN

THIS AREA, GREATER EMPHASIS WILL BE PLACED ON TECHNICAL

ASSISTANCE IN THE NEAR FUTURE.


EPA EFFORTS TO COORDINATE THE NOISE
RESEARCH AND CONTROL PROGRAMS OF THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT HAVE NOT BEEN EFFECTIVE

     THERE ARE 11 AGENCIES WITH SIGNIFICANT INVOLVEMENT IN

NO1SE CONTROL WITHIN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.          UNDER THE

1972 ACT THE CONGRESS CHARGED EPA WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY

FOR COORDINATING THE NOISE RESEARCH AND CONTROL PROGRAMS

OF ALL FEDERAL AGENCIES.     THESE 11 AGENCIES EXPENDED ABOUT

$170 MILLION FOR NOISE RESEARCH FROM FISCAL YEAR 1973

THROUGH FISCAL YEAR 1975.

     OUR REVIEW HAS SHOWN TEAT EPA HAS NOT BEEN EFFECTIVE

IN PROMOTING COORDINATION.   T HE       MAJORITY OF AGENCIES

CONTACTED TOLD US THAT COORDINATION OF THE FEDERAL NOISE

CONTROL PROGRAM HAS NOT BEEN EFFECTIVE SINCE EPA ASSUMED

THE RESPONSIBILITY.

     TO DISCHARGE ITS LEGISLATIVE MANDATE TO COORDINATE

FEDERAL AGENCY NOISE RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, AND DEMONSTRATION

ACTIVITIES, EPA ESTABLISHED.FOUR INTERAGENCY NOISE RESEARCH

PANELS IN FEBRUARY 1974.     IN ADDITION TO EXCHANGING INFORMATION,

THE PANELS WERE TO (1) REVIEW AND ASSESS THE CURRENT STATE OF




                                    7
TECHNOLOGY,   (2) REVIEW AND ASSESS THE STATUS OF RESEARCH ",ND

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT,    (3) PREPARE RECOMMENDATIONS CONCERNING

ONGOING RESEARCH ACTIVITIES,    (4) RECOMMEND NOISE RESEARCH

PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS .AND METHODS FOR THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENT,

(5) PREPARE REPORTS ON THE STATUS AND/OR PROGRESS OF ONGOING

NOISE RESEARCH ACTIVITIES, AND (6) CONSIDER SCIENTIFIC AND

PROGRAMMATIC ADVICE FROM OTHER SOURCES. THE FOUR RESEARCH

PANELS ESTABLISHED WERE AIRCRAFT, MACHINERY, NOISE EFFECTS,

AND SURFACE VEHICLES.

     EPA HAS STATED THAT THESE FOUR PANELS WERE TO PROVIDE

THE MECHANISM FOR COORDINATING THE NOISE RESEARCH ACTIVITIES

OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.     HOWEVER, EPA OFFICIALS AND OFFICIALS

FROM THE OTHER AGENCIES ON THE PANELS HAVE TOLD US THE PANELS

HAVE NOT BEEN EFFECTIVE.     IN FACT, THE PANELS FIRST MET IN

EARLY 1974 AND THEN WERE INACTIVE FOR OVER 2 YEARS.     THE PANELS

WEhE REACTIVATED IN THE LATTER PART OF 1976.

     IN JUNE 1975 EPA ISSUED ITS REPORT ON THE STATUS AND

PROGRESS OF FEDERAL ACTIVITIES ON NOISE RESEARCH AND NOISE

CONTROL, AS REQUIRED BY THE ACT.    THE REPORT, ACCORDING TO

EPA AND OTHER AGENCY OFFICIALS, DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS

OF THE ACT BECAUSE IT DOES NOT ADEQUATELY ASSESS THE CONTRI-

BUTIONS OF THOSE PROGRAMS TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S OVERALL

EFFORTS TO CONTROL NOISE.    OFFICIALS IN THE OFFICE OF NOISE

ABATEMENT AND CONTROL TOLD US THE REPORT IS ESSENTIALLY AN

INVENTORY OR LIBRARY OF INFORMATION,    AND THEREFORE DOES NOT
CONSTITUTE AN ASSESSMENT, AS CALLED FOR IN THE ACT.     EPA

OFFICIALS TOLD US, HOWEVER, THAT THEY PLAN TO UPDATE THE

STATUS REPORT AND INCLUDE THE REQUIRED ASSESSMENT.

     EPA IS AUTHORIZED TO CONDUCT RESEARCH ON TEE EFFECTS,

MEASUREMENTS, AND CONTROL OF NOISE.   HOWEVER, EPA'S EXPEN-

DITURES FOR NOISE RESFARCH HAVE DECLINED FROM ABOUT $545,000

IN FISCAL YEAR 1975 TO $45,000 IN FISCAL YEAR 1976.      EPA

DID NOT REQUEST FUNDS FOR NOISE RESEARCH IN FISCAL YEARS

1977 OR 1978.   RECENTLY, EPA'S OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND

DEVELOPMENT PUBLISHED A 5-YEAR PLAN FOR ITS TOTAL RESEARCH

AND DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES.    NO CONSIDERATION WAS GIVEN TO

NOISE RESEARCH IN THIS PLAN.

     IN COMMENTING ON OUR REPORT DOT STATED THAT THE NOISE

RESEARCH BUDGET FOR THE ENTIRE FEDERALJ GOVERNMENT HAD

DECREASED SINCE ENACTMENT OF THE NOISE ACT BECAUSE OTHER

AGENCIES HAVE LOOKED TO EPA FOP. LEADERSHIP AND GUIDANCE.

NEED FOR DEVELOPMENT OF A COMPREHENSIVE
NOISE ABATEMENT STRATEGY

     TWO MONTHS AFTER THE NOISE ACT WAS PASSED EPA PREPARED

A STRATEGY STUDY FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ACT.    THIS DOCU-

MENT PLACED PRIMARY EMPHASIS ON DEVELOPING STANDARDS FOR THE

CONTROL OF MAJOR NOISE SOURCES IN THE SURFACE TRANSPORTATION

AND CONSTRUCTION AREAS, PRODUCING THOSE DOCUMENTS WITH

MANDATORY DEADLINEE, PRODUCING AIRCRAFT/AIRPORT PROPOSALS
 FOR SUBMISSION TO FAA, AND PUBLISHING THE INTERSTATE

CARRIER REGULATION.   AREAS SUCH AS TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE,



                                9
FEDERAL PROGRAM COORDINATION, AND LABELING WERE GIVEN

LOWER PRIORITY IN THE NEAR TERM.

     EARLY IN 1974 EPA OFFICIALS RECOGNIZED TEAT THE

ORIGINAL STRATEGY STUDY NEEDED TO BE UPDATED AND A REVISED

STRATEGY WAS PREPARED IN JULY 1974.   EPA OFFICIALS HAVE
TOLD US, HOWEVER, IT WAS NOT AS COMPREHENSIVE AS IT SHOULD

HAVE BEEN, AND THEREFORE WAS NEVER APPROVED BY THE EPA

ADMINISTRATOR.   ALTHOUGH EPA RECOGNIZED THE NEED FOR A MORE

COMPREHENSIVE NOISE ABATEMENT STRATEGY, NONE HAS BEEN

FINALIZED TO DATE.

     IN OUR REPORT WE RECOMMENDED-THAT THE ADMINISTRATOR,

EPA, DIRECT THAT AN OVERALL STRATEGY FOR THE NOISE CONTROL

PROGRAM BE PREPARED SO THAT ALL PROVISIONS OF THE NOISE

CONTROL ACT APE IMPLEMENTED IN A BALANCED COORDINATED

MANNER.

     EPA COMMENTED THAT A DRAFT STRATEGY HAD BEEN CIRCULATED

FOR PUBLIC COMMENT IN NOVEMBER 1976 AND THAr THE STRATEGY

WOULD BE REDRAFTED IN THE SPRING OF 1977.

     WE BELIEVE THE OVERALL NOISE PROGRAM STRATEGY THAT

HAS BEEN DRAFTED AND SUBMITTED FOR COMMENT IS A GOOD FIRST

EFFORT IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A UNIFIED, NATIONAL EFFORT TO

REDUCE NOISE POLLUTION.   THIS STRATEGY SHOULD BE FINALIIZED
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE SO THE PROVISIONS IN THE 1972 ACT

CAN BE IMPLEMENTED EFFECTIVELY.




                              10
CONFLICTS IN RESOLVING THE
PROBLEMS OF AIRCRAFT/AIRPORT NOISE.

     IN 1968 THE CONGRESS PASSED PUBLIC LAW 90-411 THAT

ADDED TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ACT OF 1958 A NEW SECTION

ENTITLED "CONTROL AND ABATEMENT OF AIRCRAFT NOISE AND

SONIC BOOM."   THIS LAW GAVE FAA THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR

  . . . PRESENT AND FUTURE RELIEF AND PROTECTION TO THE

PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE FROM AIRCRAFT NOISE AND SONIC

BOOM . .   ." CONSISTENT WITH SAFETYt ECONOMIC R.ASONABLENESS,

AND TECHNOLOGICAL PRACTICABILITY.     THr NOIS'E CONTROL ACT

EXTENDED THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 90-411 AND FURTHER

DEFINED THE POLICY OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT REGARDING A.LRCRAFT

NOISE CONTROL.

     ALTHOUGH AVIATION REGULATORY AUTHORITY RESTS WITH THt

FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, UNDER THE ACT THE ENVIRON-

MENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY IS MANDATED TO PLAY A SIGNYTICANT

ROLE IN THE AVIATION REGULATORY PROCESS.     THE ACT REQUIRED

EPA TO STUad THE ADEQUACY OF FAA FLIGHT AND OPERATIONAL

NOISE CONTROLS; AND SUBMIT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR REGULATIONS

TO FAA WHICH EPA DEEMED NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC

HEALTH AND WELFARE,

     IT IS CLEAR THAT A COORDINATED JOINT EFFORT BETWEEN THE

TWO AGENCIES IS NECESSARx IF ANY PROGRESS IS TO BE MADE IN

ABATING AIRCRAFT NOISE.    HOWEVER, NEITHER THE FAA NOR THE

EPA FEEL THE OTHER IS EFFECTIVELY IMPLEMENTING THE AIRCRAFT

NOISE PROVISIONS OF TiE ACT.    FAA BELIEVES THE EPA PROPOSED



                               11
RECOMMENDATIONS CENTER TOO MUCH ON SAFETY-RELATED PROBLEMS,

AND DO NOT ADEQUATELY COVER THE HEALTH AND WELFARE ASPECTS

OF NOISE.    EPA OFFICIALS ON ThE OTHER HAND, TOLD US THEY

HAVE BEEN DISSATISFIED WITH THE COOPERATIVE EFFORTS OF FAA.

EPA BELIEVES THAT THE AVIATION NOISE PROBLEM IS ESSENTIALLY

THE SAME AS WHEN THE ACT WAS PASSED AND THEY SEE LITTLE

PROGRESS BEING MADE DURING THE NEXT FEW YEARS.

     DURING THF PERIOD FROM DECEMBER 6, 1974, TO OCTOBER 22,

1976, EPA SUBMITTED 11 PROPOSED REGULATIONS TO FAA.    THESE

DEALT WITH SUCH MATTERS AS PROPELLER-DRIVEN SMALL AIRPLANES,

MINIMUM ALTITUDES, RETROFIT, PRESENT AND FUTURE SUPERSONIC

CIVIL AIRCRAFT, MINIMUM FLAPS LANDING APPROACH, AND THE

AIRPORT REGULATORY PROCESS.

     AT THE TIME WE SUBMITTED OUR REPORT TO DOT FOR COhMENT

FAA HAD NOT TAKEN FINAL ACTION ON ANY OF THE EPA PROPOSALS.

SINCE THEN, HOWEVER, ACTIONS HAVE BEEN TAKEN ON 7 OF THE 11

PROPOSALS.    IT ADOPTED THE PROPOSED MINIMUM FLAPS APPROACH,

AND PORTIONS OF THE PROPELLER-DAIVEN SMALL AIRPLANES AND

THE RETROFIT PROPOSALS.    FAA HAS DECIDED NOT TO ISSUE FOUR

OF THE PROPOSALS AND NO FURTHER ACTION HAS YET BEEN TAKEN

ON THE REMAINING FOUR.

     ALTHOUGH FAA IS REQUIRED BY THE ACT TO ADOPT, MODIFY,

OR REJECT EPA'S PROPOSED REGULATIONS WITHIN A REASONABLE

TIME, I' HAS SOMETIMES TAKEN FAA 2 YEARS TO TAKE SUCH




                               12
ACTION.    THEREFORE, WE RECOMMENDED IN OUR REPORT THAT THE

ACT BE AMENDED TO REQUIRE THAT FAA ACCEPT, MODIFY, OR

REJECT EPA PROPOSED REGULATIONS WITHIN A SPECIFIED TIME

AND IF MODIFIED OR REJECTED FAA SHOULD PROVIDE THE REASONS

FOR SUCH ACTIONS.

LACK OF COORDINATION

     OUR ANALYSIS OF COORDINATION BETWEEN THE TWO AGENCIES

SHOWED THAT SERIOUS PROBLEMS RAVE HINDERED THE DEVELOPMENT

OF AVIATION NOISE CONTROL REGULATIONS.     AN EXAMPLE OF THE

LACK OF COORDINATION CONCERNS THE EFFORTS TO DEVELOP AN

AIRPORT NOISE REGULATION.

     IN JULY 1975, FAA PUBLISHED A SOLICITATION OF PUBLIC

COMMENT ON POTENTIAL DIRECTIONS FOR AN FAA AIRPORT NOISE

POLICY IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER.      EPA OFFICIALS TOLD US THEY

HAD NO PRIOR KNOLEDGE THAT FAA WAS GOING TO PUBLISH THIS

NOTICE.    A JULY 11, 1975, MEMORANDUM BY EPA'S DEPUTY ASSISTANT

ADMINISTRA'MOR FOR NOISE CONTROL PROGRAMS, CONCERNING THE LACK

OF COORDINATION WITH FAA REGARDING THIS NOTICE, STATED IN

PART:

        "I CAN ONLY VIEW THIS NOTICE (FAA'S AIRPORT PROPOSAL)

     WITH NC PRIOR CONSULTATION WITH EPA, AS BEING ONE

     MORE INDICATION THAT THE FAA HAS NO INTENTION OF.

     COOPERATING AND COORDINATING WITH EPA ON ACTIONS

     RELATIVE TC AVIATION NOISE ABATEMENT.      IN FACT,

     THE FAA ACTION, UNILATERAL AND NOT IN CONCERT WITH



                                13
     EPA, COULD BE VIEWED AS BEING AN EF'ORT ON THE PAA'S

     PART TC BUILD A POSITION TO COUNTER EPA'S PROPOSAL."


     ALTHOUGH RECENT CORRESPONDENCE INDICATES SOME IMPROVEMENT

IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TEE TWO AGENCIES IN DEALING WITH

THE AVIATION NOISE PROBLEM, EPA'S RESPONSE TO OUR REPORT

INDICATES THAT THE PROBLEM STILL EXISTS.        THERE IS AN OBVIOUS
FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE OF PHILOSOPHY ON BOW BEST TO CONTROL

AIRCRAFT NOISE AND WHETHER THE ACTIONS TAKEN HAVE BEEN

EFFECTIVE.   IN EPA'S 'iIEW,   FAA REGULATIONS APPLY ONLY TO
TO THE NOISE LEVELS BzING ALREADY ACHIEVED BY IN-USE AIRCRAFT,

RATHER THAN REQUIRING MORE STRINGENT STANDARDS THAT COULD BE

ACHIEVED BY INCORPORATING NEW TECHNOLOGY WHICH HAS BEEN

DEMONS T RATED AND IS AVAILABLE.     UNTIL THESE-FUNDAMENTAL POLICY
DIFFERENCES ARE SETTLED, PROGRESS IN THE AVIATION NOISE

AREA IS NOT LIKELY TO OCCUR.




     MR. CHAIRMAN, IN SPITE OF ALL THE PROBLEMS WE HAVE

DISCUSSED CONCERNING THE SLOW IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NOISE

CONTROL ACT AND THE LACK OF COORDINATION, IT IS IMPORTANT

TO RECOGNIZE THAT SOME OF THE ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE ENVIRON-

MENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY HAVE BEEN SIGNIFICANT IN ADDRESSING

THE NOISE POLLUTION PROBLEM.     FOR EXAMPLE:
    -- THE NOISE CONTROL REGULATIONS ON INTERSTATE MOTOR

      CARRIERS AND RAIL CARRIERS WILL IMPOSE LIMITS ON




                                14
      THE PREVIOUSLY UNCONTROLLED GROWTH OF THESE NOISE

      SOURCES UNTIL NEW PRODUCT NOISE EMISSION STANDARDS

      CAN BECOME EFFECTIVE.

    -- RESEARCH EFFORTS HAVE RESULTED IN IDENTIFYING THE

      KIND AND EXTENT OF EFFECTS OF NOISE ON THE PUBLIC

      HEALTH AND WELFARE, AND PROVIDED THE FRAMEWORK FOR

      ASSESSING, FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE NATIONAL IMPACT

       OF NOISE FROM VARIOUS TYPES OF PRODUCTS.

    -- EPA'S 1973 "REPORT ON AIRCRAFT/AIRPORT NOISE,"

       MENTIONED EARLIER, IDENTIFIED MAJOR ACTIONS WHICE

       EPA BELIEVED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD TAKE TO

       HELP SOLVE THE AVIATION NOISE PROBLEM.     SUBSEQUENTLY

       THE EPA DEVELOPED AND SUBMITTED 11 AIRCRAFT NOISE
       ABATEMENT PROPOSALS TO THE FAA.

     -- A MODEL STATE ORDINANCE AND A MODEL COMMUNITY

       ORDINANCE HAS BEEN PREPARED WHICH WILL BE USEFUL IN

       THE DEVELOPMENT OF NOISE CONTROL ORDINANCES OR

       LEGISLATION SUITED TO STATE OR LOCAL NEEDS AND

       CONDITIONS.


     MR. CHAIRMAN, THIS CONCLUDES MY PREPARED STATEMENT.

WE SHALL BE GLAD TO RESPOND TO ANY QUESTIONS YOU OR MEMBERS

.OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE MAY HAVE.




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