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Noise Limit Guidelines

​​​​About these Guidelines

These Guidelines are mainly for use by council officers and noise consultants who want to measure the noise output of various vehicles and other equipment and compare these against the noise limits in Table 1 that have been endorsed by the Director, EPA. The Guidelines are not directly enforceable. However, they may assist in demonstrating compliance with:

  • The 'environmental nuisance' provisions in section 53 of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994
  • The Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Noise) Regulations 2016
  • The general common law requirement for owners and users of noise-producing vehicles and equipment to respect the health, amenity and values of other members of society.​

The Guidelines may also be indirectly enforced through issuing an 'approved instrument' (as defined in the Noise Regulations 2016) that refers to all or part of the Guidelines.

Alternative noise limits or measurement parameters that can achieve an equivalent or better level of environmental protection may also be used where appropriate. However, such alternative approaches should be fully justified and documented if legislative compliance is being assessed. Further details on measurement procedures are given in the Noise Measurement Procedures Manual.

​Note that in Table 1, the 'Mobile Machinery' category includes:

  • Tractors, graders, rollers, scrapers, dump trucks and other wheel-driven mobile machinery other than front-end loaders, forklift trucks and similar mobile machinery
  • Front-end loaders, mobile machinery based on front-end loader chassis and backhoes other than crawler mobile machinery 
  • Mobile cranes and excavators
  • Crawler mobile machinery other than cranes and excavators
  • Agricultural machinery other than general-purpose tractors
  • Forklift trucks and other industrial vehicles

The 'Portable Apparatus' category in Table 1 includes:

  • Power tools
  • Gas or air compressors, AC or DC generators, pumps, cement mixers and their drives

​​​Table 1 - Noise Limits and other Measurement Parameters

​Motor ​​Vehicles

  • Measured from exhaust outlet​
  • Measurement circumstances: Vehicle being operated, but stationary
Item
​Noise Limit (dB(A))
​Measurement Distance (m)
​Motor Bikes and Trikes
​94
​0.5
​Cars
​90
​0.5

​​Other Motor Vehicles (positive ignition)
≤3.5 GVM​ (tonnes)
​89
​1.0

​​Other Motor Vehicles (positive ignition) >3.5 GVM (tonnes)
​95
​1.​0


Mobile Mac​​hin​ery​

  • Measured from the piece of machinery or apparatus
  • Measurement circumstances: Item being operated

​Item
​Noise Limit (dB(A))
​Measurement Distance (m)
​<100 NEP (kW)

​83
​7.5

​100 to 200 NEP (kW)
​85
​7.5

​221 to 450 NEP (kW)
​88
​7.5

​>450 NEP (kW)
​92
​​7.5

​​

Portable​​ Apparatus

  • Measured from the piece of machinery or apparatus
  • Measurement circumstances: Item being operated
​Item
​Noise Limit (dB(A))
​Measurement Distance (m)
​Portable Apparatus
50m from residence, shop or office
​74
​7.5

​Portable Apparatus >50m from residence, shop or office
​92
​​7​.5


​Power Lawnmowers <5 NEP (kW)
​74
​7.5

​​Power Lawnmowers ≥5 NEP (kW)
​77
​7.5

​Chainsaw (petrol)
​95
​7.5
​Chainsaw (electric)
​77
​​7.5


Vessels an​​d Motors

  • ​Measurement circumstances: Being operated on water

​Item
​Noise Limit (dB(A))
​Measurement Distance (m)
​Vessels
​74
​25
​Outboard Motors
​74
​25
​Vessel at an Organised Racing Event
​95
​30​


Other Ve​hic​​le - Land

  • Measurement circumstances: Being operated on land
​Item
​Noise Limit (dB(A))
​Measurement Distance (m)
​Other Vehicle at an Organised Racing Event
​95
​​25


Other Vehicle - ​​Land or Water

  • Measurement circumstances: Being operated on land or water
Item​
​Noise Limit (dB(A))
​Measurement Distance (m)
​Air-cushioned Vehicles
​84
​2​5


Notes:

  1. GVM means Gross Vehicle Mass, or maximum loaded mass of the vehicle.
  2. NEP means Net Engine Power, determined in accordance with Australian Design Rule 28/01 under the Commonwealth Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989.
  3. dB(A) means decibel expressed as A-weighted sound pressure level, which is used as an approximation to the subjective human perception of loudness at low sound pressure levels.


Download this information:

  Noise Limit Guidelines 2016   (265Kb)


Noise Specialist
134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: 03 6165 4599
Email: Enquiries@epa.tas.gov.au

The Environment Protection Authority acknowledges the Tasmanian Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians of lutruwita (Tasmania) and pays respect to their Elders, past and present.