Massachusetts Noise Laws

Air Pollution Control Regulations: Noise
Division of Air Quality Noise Control Policy
Boston Central Artery and Tunnel Project: Construction Noise Control

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Air Pollution Control Regulations

Regulation 310 CMR 7.10 : Noise

(1) No person owning, leasing or controlling a source of sound shall willfully, negligently, or through failure to provide necessary equipment, service, or maintenance or to take necessary precautions cause, suffer, allow, or permit unnecessary emissions from said source of sound that may cause noise.

(2) 310 CMR 7.10(1) shall pertain to, but shall not be limited to, prolonged unattended sounding of burglar alarms, construction and demolition equipment which characteristically emit sound but which may be fitted and accommodated with equipment such as enclosures to suppress sound or may be operated in a manner so as to suppress sound, suppressible and preventable industrial and commercial sources of sound, and other man-made sounds that cause noise.

(3) 310 CMR 7.10(1) shall not apply to sounds emitted during and associated with:

  1. parades, public gatherings, or sporting events, for which permits have been issued provided that said parades, public gatherings, or sporting events in one city or town do not cause noise in another city or town;
  2. emergency police, fire, and ambulance vehicles;
  3. police, fire, and civil and national defense activities;
  4. domestic equipment such as lawn mowers and power saws between the hours of 7:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M.

(4) 310 CMR 7.10(1) is subject to the enforcement provisions specified in 310 CMR 7.52.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Division of Air Quality Control Policy

This policy is adopted by the Division of Air Quality Control. The Department's existing guideline for enforcing its noise regulation (310 CMR 7.10) is being reaffirmed.

A source of sound will be considered to be violating the Department's noise regulation (310 CMR 7.10) if the source:

  1. Increases the broadband sound level by more than 10 dB(A) above ambient, or
  2. Produces a "pure tone" condition - when any octave band center frequency sound pressure level exceeds the two adjacent center frequency sound pressure levels by 3 decibels or more.

These criteria are measured both at the property line and at the nearest inhabited residence. Ambient is defined as the background A-weighted sound level that is exceeded 90% of the time measured during equipment operating hours. The ambient may also be established by other means with the consent of the Department.

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