Noise Control Act
42 USC 4901-4918 Index
This index lists the sections under U. S. Code Chapter 65, known by popular title as the Noise Control Act.
42 USC 4901 Congressional findings
and statement of policy
This section is a general statement of policy identifying noise as a growing danger to public health and welfare. The policy states that while primary responsibility for noise control rests in state and local government, federal action is necessary for control of noise sources in commerce. This section authorizes the establishment of noise emissions standards for products in commerce and provides for the collection of public information with respect to noise reduction.
42 USC 4902 Definitions
This is the definition section of the Act. Terminology used throughout the Act is clarified in this section.
42 USC 4903 Federal programs
This section further elaborates the congressional policy on noise pollution. Specifically, Congress describes the role of Federal Agencies and the President with respect to the establishment of noise emissions control standards. Each agency is responsible for compliance with local, interstate, state and federal noise pollution requirements. The President has the authority to exempt specific activities or facilities from compliance requirements, which must be reported to Congress.
The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is instructed under this section to coordinate the programs of all Federal Agencies relating to noise research and control. All Federal Agencies must consult with the EPA Administrator in the establishment of specific regulations concerning noise. Changes in noise emissions standards and other regulations concerning noise may be required by the Administrator of the EPA if at any time she/he believes they do not protect public health and welfare to the extent feasible. Any changes must be published in the Federal Register with detailed information on which the decision to change the regulation is based. The Administrator must allow 90 days from that time before changing the rule. The Administrator of the EPA is also required to publish a report from time to time on the status of Federal action relating to noise research and control.
42 USC 4904 Identification of major
This section directs the Administrator of EPA to develop and publish criteria within 9 months of October 27, 1972 with respect to levels of noise and other conditions that are necessary to protect the public health and welfare with an adequate margin of safety. This section further directs the Administrator to publish reports identifying products that are major sources of noise and information on techniques for the control of noise. Reports must be revised from time to time and published in the Federal Register.
42 USC 4905 Noise emission
standards for products distributed in commerce
This section lists types of industrial machinery, requiring the EPA Administrator to develop noise emission standards for equipment that is identified as a major noise source under 42 USC 4904. In addition, the Administrator may regulate noise from unlisted products if necessary to protect the public health and welfare. Noise regulations must be performance standards, and must consider the nature of the product, noise reduction from best available technology, and the cost of compliance with the standards. The code allows for the consideration of other standards where appropriate and participation by interested persons. It requires the manufacturer to warrant that its product conforms with regulations.
42 USC 4906 Omitted
This section was omitted.
42 USC 4907 Labeling
This section demands that the EPA Administrator require labels on products that reduce noise or that emit noise capable of producing adverse effects. Labels must state the level of noise that the product emits, or its effectiveness in reducing noise. The Administrator's regulations must specify the manner in which the purchaser will receive notice of the product information, the form of the notice, and the units of measurement used.
42 USC 4908 Imports
This section directs the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Administrator of the EPA, to issue similar labeling regulations with respect to imported products.
42 USC 4909 Prohibited acts
This section identifies actions that are prohibited by the Act. Prohibited actions include:
(1) Distribution in commerce, products manufactured after effective date of regulations, that are not in conformity with noise emissions standards.
(2) Removal by any person, devices designed to put products in compliance with noise emissions standards prior to the sale of the product to the ultimate purchaser.
(3) Distribution in commerce, products manufactured after the effective date of regulations, that are not in conformity with the labeling regulations.
(4) Removal by any person, of any notice affixed to a product in conformity with labeling regulations.
(5) Importation of products in violation of the standards prescribed in the Act.
(6) Failure or refusal of requirements of manufacturers to furnish information and other data to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, or of any Orders issued to protect public health and welfare under the Act, or compliance with railroad noise emissions standards or motor carrier noise emissions standards.
The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency may grant exemptions from these requirements for the purposes of research.
These limitations do not apply to products manufactured solely for export.
42 USC 4910 Enforcement
This section sets out criminal and civil penalties for willful, knowing violations of section 4909. Criminal penalties for violation of section 4909 subsection 1,3,5 and 6, dealing with the distribution of products or importation for distribution products in violation of labeling requirements or emissions standards and other requirements of the Act, include fines of up to $25,000 per day, imprisonment for up to one year, or both. For second violations, the criminal penalties escalate to fines of up to $50,000 per day, imprisonment for up to two years or both. Persons in violation are also subject to civil penalties of not more than $10,000 per day.
This section continues to clarify that each day of violation constitutes a separate violation.
Section 4910 also outlines the procedure for actions to restrain violations of the Act. The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency may issue an order to protect public health and welfare. Orders may be issued only after adequate notice and opportunity for a hearing. The U.S. District courts have jurisdiction over actions brought by and in the name of the U.S. to restrain violations under section 4909.
42 USC 4911 Citizen suits
This provision allows any person to commence a civil action on his or her own behalf against any person, including the U.S. and other governmental agencies who are illegally in violation of any noise control requirement. Specifically, the provision allows any person to commence a civil action against the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency for failure to perform duties required under the Act. The provision also specifically allows any person to commence a civil action against the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration for any failure to perform duties required under section 44715 of title 49, which the section clarifies is not discretionary.
This section specifies that the U.S. District Courts have jurisdiction over citizen suits allowed under this provision without regard to the amount in controversy.
The procedure for commencement of an action requires the plaintiff to give sixty days notice to the party allegedly in violation of the Act. Notice procedure shall be established by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency through regulations.
42 USC 4912 Records, reports, and
This section directs all manufacturers who must comply with noise emission standards and labeling requirements to also maintain records and make products available if asked. The Administrator is able to test the products and monitor them for compliance upon request to the manufacturer.
Any information gathered by the Administrator in the course of compliance testing is confidential, except to other officials and Congressional committees.
The manufacturer could incur penalties in the form of fines, incarceration, or both in the event of the knowing falsification of records and reports, or tampering with monitoring devices or methods.
42 USC 4913 Quiet communities,
research, and public information
This section promotes State and local noise control programs. It lists goals for a Federal noise control program, such as developing and distributing information on noise health effects and control using various educational channels and research, or financing research concerning noise effects, measurement, and control. The section authorizes the Quiet Communities Program, which offers state, regional, and local grants to study noise abatement and collect data, buy monitoring equipment, and provide technical assistance for noise control.
42 USC 4914 Development of
low-noise emission products
This section provides for an evaluation and designation of low noise emissions products. This section permits the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a Low Noise Emissions Advisory Committee. Any person may seek to have a class or a model of a class of products certified as a low noise emissions product. The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall publish in the Federal Register each application received, conduct investigation, receive and evaluate written comments and within 90 days, determine whether the item should be certified as a low noise emissions product. If certification is granted, then the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, within 180 days, shall determine whether the product is a suitable substitute for any class of products presently being purchased by the federal government for use by its agencies.
42 USC 4915 Judicial review
This section outlines the procedure for judicial review of actions taken by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in promulgating regulations or standards under sections 4905(noise emissions standards) 4907(labeling requirements) 4916(railroad noise emissions standards) and 4917(motor carrier noise emissions standards) of the Act. This section also provides for judicial review of standards and regulations promulgated by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration under section 44713 of title 49. Judicial review under these provisions is in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
42 USC 4916 Railroad noise emission
This section requires the EPA Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, to publish railroad noise emission standards that employ the best available technology for railroad noise reduction, taking into account the cost of compliance. "Railroad noise" includes noise emissions resulting from the operation of railroad equipment and facilities. The standards are national in scope, and individual states are expressly preempted from varying the standards unless the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary, deems the changes "necessary."
42 USC 4917 Motor carrier noise
This section directs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to publish proposed noise emissions regulations for motor carriers engaged in interstate commerce within nine months of October 27, 1972. The regulations must set limits on noise emissions from operation of motor carriers which reflect application of the best available technology, taking into account the cost of compliance. Regulations and standards proposed under this section must be created after consultation with the Secretary of Transportation. The Secretary of Transportation is directed to promulgate regulations to insure compliance with all standards adopted under this section.
Section 4917 also clarifies that no state or local authority may establish different standards than these with respect to motor carriers noise emissions. However, states and local authorities may restrict use or regulate noise in ways that do not conflict with this section.
42 USC 4918 Authorization of
This section authorizes appropriations for the purposes of carrying out the Act through fiscal year 1979.
42 USC 7641 Noise abatement
This section directs the EPA Administrator to establish the Office of Noise Abatement and Control. The office must identify causes and sources of noise. Among other determinations, the office must study projected growth of noise levels, psychological and physical human effects, effects of sporadic extreme noise, and effects on wildlife and property. The section addresses the form of the Administrator's investigation. If noise is being emitted from a federal activity, the federal agency must work with the Administrator to abate the noise.