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Section 5(a) and standards for occupational noise exposure under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. We believe that the progressive limitations may go far beyond health and safety requirements. Those suggested limitations should be thoroughly examined.

In summary, we favor the purposes of most of these propopals, but we believe the Administration proposal is the most desirable.

We are advised by the Office of Management and Budget that there is no objection to the presentation of this report from the standpoint of the Administration's program. Sincerely yours,


Washington, D.C., August 11, 1971.

Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House of Representatives.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This is in further reply to your request for the views of the Civil Service Commission on H.R. 5275, a bill "To control the generation and transmission of noise detrimental to the human environment, and for other purposes."

The Commission has no comment on the bill.

The Commission finds no personnel management provisions or implications in the bill. The staff required to support the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in the new functions assigned to him would be employed and managed under existing law and regulations.

The Office of Management and Budget advises that from the standpoint of the Administration's program there is no objection to the submission of this report.

By direction of the Commission.

Sincerely yours,

Acting Chairman.

Washington, D.C., April 13, 1971.

Hon. CARL B. Albert,
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. SPEAKER: In accordance with section 102 (2) (C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, I am enclosing the Environmental Impact Statement for the Noise Control Act of 1971. This proposed legislation is part of the President's environmental program as announced in his environmental message of February 8, 1971, and was transmitted to you on February 10, 1971. The bill was referred to the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. Sincerely yours,

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A. Nature of the proposal

The bill is part of the President's environmental program as announced in his Environmental Message of February 8, 1971. It will be administered by the Environmental Protection Agency and was developed in coordination with the Council on Environmental Quality.

The proposed legislation would expand and coordinate Federal efforts to control noise, which presents a growing threat to the health and welfare of the American people. Particularly in congested urban areas, the noise produced by the products of our advancing technology, and in the manufacture of those products, causes continual annoyance and in some cases serious physical harm. While the States and localities have the responsibility to deal with many aspects of noise, effective Federal action is essential with respect to major noise problems requiring national uniformity of treatment.

The proposed bill would achieve three primary functions. First, it would establish in the Environmental Protection Agency authority to coordinate existing Federal noise research and control programs, and authority to publish criteria and control-technology documents relating to noise. Second, it would supplement existing Federal authority to regulate the noise characteristics of articles that are major sources of noise, and authorize Federal noise labeling requirements for such articles. Third, it would direct all Federal agencies to administer their programs, consistent with existing authority, in such a manner as to minimize noise.

In greater detail, the various sections of the bill provide as follows: Section 1.-States the title of the Act.

Section 2.-States findings of the seriousness of the noise problem and of the need for more effective Federal actions; establishes a Federal policy to promote an environment free from noise that jeopardizes the public health or welfare.

Section 3.-Defines certain terms used in the bill.

Section 4.-Authorizes EPA to promote coordination of Federal noise programs, and to publish periodic reports on the accomplishments of such programs.

Section 5.-Authorizes EPA to develop and publish criteria for noise, indicating what amounts and types of noise are consistent with protection of the public health and welfare; authorizes EPA to publish reports identifying major sources of noise and discussing techniques for controlling noise from those sources.

Section 6.-Authorizes the Administrator of EPA to prescribe noise standards for construction equipment, transportation equipment, and equipment powered by internal combustion engines that he has identified as a major source of noise and for which he has discussed control technology in a report published pursuant to section 5.

Section 7.-Authorizes EPA to require noise labeling of products that create significant noise.

Section 8.-Prohibits violation of the requirements of the Act or regulations thereunder.

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Section 9.-Requires every manufacturer of a product covered by noise regulation or labeling regulations to maintain such records, make such reports, and provide such information as the Administrator may reasonably require to enable him to determine whether the manufacturer has acted or is acting in compliance with the proposed


Section 10.-Directs Federal agencies to promote noise control. Section 11.-Authorizes EPA to perform noise research and related activities.

Section 12.-Provides for enforcement of the prohibitions in the bill. Section 13.-Directs the Administrator and the Secretary of the Treasury to issue regulations to apply to imports the same general standards and labeling requirements that are applied to like domestic products.

Section 14.-Authorizes appropriations.

Section 15.-Amends the Clean Air Act by deleting the requirement that there be an Office of Noise Abatement and Control in the Environmental Protection Agency.

B. Analysis of environmental implications

1. The proposed bill should have several principal environmental impacts:

(a) It would accelerate the growth of understanding of the effects of noise and of means of noise control. EPA would perform and support research in this area, and serve as a gathering point for the results of research performed by others. The criteria and controltechnology reports published by EPA would bring together up-todate information for the benefit of all interested persons.

(b) It would establish for the first time an explicit Federal policy to protect the environment from moise. Although there are existing Federal programs for noise control, these presently lack a unifying policy statement and a means of coordination, both of which the bill would provide.

(c) It would enable EPA to regulate noise generation by certain products in commerce that are major sources of noise. By means of this authority, EPA would be able to ensure that noise reduction is considered along with all other parameters in the design and manufacture of such products, and that they will be as quiet as technological, economic and other constraints will permit. This direct regulation, on a national level, would eliminate any competitive disadvantage that might arise from State or private efforts to reduce noise from such products.

(d) Its provision for Federal noise labeling requirements would ensure that purchasers of products will be informed about the noise. characteristics of the various products available. This would increase the effectiveness of the market mechanism in encouraging the development of quieter products, and enhance awareness of the general population to the problem of noise.

(e) It would ensure that noise regulation of aircraft by the FAA comports with the noise criteria developed by EPA.

2. Any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided should the bill be enacted.

The bill is not expected to have any adverse environmental consequences.

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It might be suggested that the assumption of a more active role by the Federal Government would lead State and local governments to abandon their current efforts to control noise, producing a net detriment to the environment. This is not expected to occur. The bill expressly reaffirms the continuing role of the States, and contains provisions for encouraging the States to adopt model noise-abatement laws and improved methods of noise measurement and control. The increased understanding of noise and technical assistance to the States provided under the bill should promote more effective State actions in those araes not preempted by the Federal Government.

3. Alternatives to the proposed bill.

Except for authority to control aircraft noise (P.L. 90-411), to set standards for highway noise levels (P.L. 91-605), and to regulate occupational noise exposures to workers in interstate industries (P.L. 91-596), the Federal Government has not yet assumed in the noise field the dominant role that it has in combatting air and water pollution. This reflects in part the fact that noise does not have residues that accumulate in the environment, and noise effects are therefore largely local to the source. Therefore, a possible alternative to the proposed bill is to leave the regulation of noise primarily to the States. However, most products that would be regulated under this bill are manufactured for a national market, making State regulation of their noise characteristics impracticable. These considerations already have led to assumption of Federal responsibility for aircraft noise and for occupational noise exposure.

Alternatively, the Federal Government might undertake to regulate not only the noise-generation characteristics of certain products in commerce but also the levels of perceived noise in areas where such levels are undesirably high. State and local restrictions on such "ambient noise" levels have not been highly effective. However, Federal assumption of this essentially local responsibility does not appear warranted. Centralized administration and enforcement of local noise limits would be unmanageable. The States and localities would be aided in their efforts by the technical assistance provided under the proposed bill, without taking from the local units of government the power to determine the levels of perceived noise consistent with community aspirations.

If neither the Federal nor the State and local governments take more effective action to control and abate noise, the noise levels in populous areas, and along the routes of major transportation lines, may be expected to become continually higher.

4. Relationship between local short-term uses of man's environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity.

In the short term, substantial costs may be incurred in industry and in government as steps are taken to enhance our understanding of noise, improve noise-control technology, and redesign products and processes to eliminate noise harmful to the public health and welfare. In certain instances product costs may be increased. However, it is unrealistic to think that the growing noise problem can be ignored indefinitely, and, as with many other forms of environmental degradation, the long-term costs of noise control will be minimized if action is begun promptly. Noise research will make possible identification of the effects of noise in advance of further aggravation of the problem. Early institution of product labeling and regulation of the major

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sources of noise will help to ensure that industry will give noise factors adequate weight in design and investment decisions, avoiding longterm commitments to courses of action inimical to the public interest in noise control.

5. Any irreversible or irretrievable commitments of resources.

The bill would tend to direct long-term commitment of industrial resources toward production of goods with improved noise characteristics. Implementation of the bill would commit modest amounts of Federal funds to the study of-noise and the Administration of the new regulatory machinery. The amounts of funds required would not be such as to detract from full and adequate funding of other Federal environmental programs.

C. Coordination with other agencies

The proposed bill was prepared in coordination with the Council on Environmental Quality with the guidance and assistance of an interagency task force including representatives of the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Science and Technology, the National Aeronautics and Space Council, and the Departments of Commerce, Interior, Labor, Transportation, State, Housing and Urban Development, and Health, Education, and Welfare.

Comments on the draft Environmental Impact Statement from the Departments of Health, Education, and Welfare, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation are attached.

Washington, D.C., February 8, 1971.

Mr. TIMOTHY ATKESON, General Counsel, Executive Office of the President, Council on Environmental Quality, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. ATKESON: We have reviewed your proposed environmental impact statements for the Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act of 1971, Proposed Noise Control Act of 1971, and Toxic Substances Control Act of 1971. Each of them discusses and comments upon one of the three legislative proposals. The statements indicate you expect none of these proposals to have a significant adverse impact upon the quality of the human environment.

Insofar as your proposed statements analyse and discuss the merits of the three legislative proposals we have no comment beyond that which we have already given directly to OMB in our proposed legislative reports on these same proposals.

Insofar as the proposed statements predict the absence of any significant adverse environment impact should the proposed legisla tion be enacted, we have no information or knowledge within the area of our particular expertise which would indicate the contrary. We believe that the bills will have a positive impact on the environment.

Sincerely yours,

DONALD T. BLISS, Special Assistant to the Secretary.

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