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Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Noise) Regulations

Overview

The Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Noise) Regulations 2016 are made under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA). In general the Regulations are implemented by local government and Tasmania Police.

The previous regulations EMPC (Miscellaneous Noise) Regulations 2014 expired on 21 July 2016 and have been replaced by the EMPC (Noise) Regulations 2016 which apply from 17 August 2016. This followed an extensive review of the previous EMPC (Miscellaneous Noise) Regulations 2014 and public release of a regulatory Impact Statement and Draft Regulations.

The main objective of these Regulations is to limit the amount of community noise in residential neighbourhoods by setting out prohibited hours of use for common noise sources such as off-road motor vehicles,  motor vessels, appliances, power tools, garden equipment, heating and cooling devices, pumps, chainsaws, sound systems and musical instruments.  They also extend to noise from equipment and machinery used on building construction and demolition sites (not road construction) which can be heard in any neighbouring residential premise.

Noise emission limits have also been set for fixed equipment such as heat pumps as these are relatively easy to measure. 

The new 2016 Noise Regulations also now include the penalties for prescribed offences under these regulations. Previously these offences were contained in the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Environmental Infringement Notices) Regulations 2016.  

Legislation online

The regulations are available on line at Tasmania’s The Law website.

Provisions

The Regulations outline the following prohibited times* for the use of various types of machinery and equipment at residential premises, construction and demolition sites:

Lawnmowers and other power garden maintenance equipment Monday to Friday: Before 7am and after 8pm
Saturday: Before 9am and after 8pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: Before 10am and after 8pm
Chainsaws powered by internal combustion engine operated within 300 metres of residential premises.
(Note: May be used for domestic garden maintenance on only one day in any 7 consecutive days)
Monday to Friday: Before 7am and after 6pm
Saturday: Before 9am and after 6pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: Before 10am and after 6pm
Musical instruments and sound amplifying equipment Monday to Thursday: Before 7am and after 10pm
Friday: Before 7am
Saturday: Before 9am
Sunday and Public Holidays: Before 10am and after 10pm
Motor vehicles, motor vessels & outboard motors
(unless moving in and out of residential premises or a construction or demolition site)
Monday to Friday: Before 7am and after 6pm
Saturday: Before 9am and after 6pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: Before 10am and after 6pm
Mobile machinery, forklift trucks and or portable equipment 
(e.g. tractors, graders, rollers & cranes; power and percussion tools, compressors, pumps, generators and cement mixers)
Monday to Friday: Before 7am and after 6pm
Saturday: Before 8am and after 6pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: Before 10am and after 6pm

* refer to regulation 6 for conditions applying to use of machinery outside these hours.

Supporting Documents

Any measurement of noise or test of a noise source for the purposes of the Regulations should be made in accordance with the Noise Measurement Procedures Manual.

Background

The previous Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Miscellaneous Noise) Regulations were made in 2004, following a period of public consultation which included the release of draft regulations and a Regulatory Impact Statement

Draft Amendments to the Regulations, including a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS), were released for public consultation in March 2009.

As a result of the consultation the draft amendments were revised and the amended Regulations came into effect on 17 February 2010.

The 2004 Regulations then expired in 2014 and were replaced by the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Miscellaneous Noise) Regulations 2014 in July 2014. These Regulations mirrored the 2004 Regulations and had a two year life.

Over this two-year period, the Regulations underwent a comprehensive review with assistance from Local Government and Tasmania Police.  Following a period of public consultation that included the release of the draft regulations and Regulatory Impact Statement the new Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Noise) Regulations 2016 were made and came into operation on 17 August 2016.