Noise Pollution


Noise Control Program

 In 1974, the EPA estimated that nearly 100 million Americans lived in areas where the daily average noise levels exceeded its identified safe Day-Night Level of 55 dB (EPA, 1974).  In 1990, that estimate had risen to 138 million people”. (Eldred, 1990)

Unregulated sources of noise can have impacts far beyond the obvious transitory nuisance, and complainants may be enduring more than simple annoyance.  Exposure to loud noise has been shown to result in uncontrollable stress which can result in alterations in moods as well as hormonal and nervous system changes in healthy subjects (Brier, 1987).  A lack of control over noise results in a variety of neurobiological and behavioral alterations, a phenomenon known as “learned helplessness” (Brier, 1987).  It has been demonstrated that blood pressure is reproducibly elevated in response to intermittent loud noise (Sawada, 1993).

The noxious stimulus of noise has long been used as a laboratory model for producing stress because it results in the same biological and physiological responses as other stressors (Suter, 1992).  Noise has been clearly implicated in sleep disturbance (Lukas, 1977), resulting in a cascade of negative effects (Suter, 1992).  The stress, tension and fatigue associated with long-term exposure to noise has destroyed marriages, cost people their jobs and forced other people to sell their houses at significant losses (RNTAC, 1991-2002).” *

Noise Regulations in New Jersey are designed to limit noise disturbances generated by fixed Commercial and Industrial facilities and a variety of other activities, as enumerated in  NJAC 7:29.

The Commission investigates complaints of noise disturbances on a 24 hour/day basis.

* Excerpted with permission of the author, Dr. Eric Zwerling, from the Introduction to the  “Community Noise Enforcement” training manual, The State University of Rutgers, Noise Technical Assistance Center, Department of Environmental Sciences and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, 2002.

Environmental Specialists Michael Fonzino and Thomas Longo take sound level measurements of an HVAC unit


2012 Complaint Investigations
Air Pollution Control 246
Noise Pollution Control 49
Water Pollution Control 32
Pesticide Control 3
Enforcement Actions 738
Facility Inspections 1383

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