Noise Management in Dublin
The Dublin County Councils have adopted a number of new policies to help manage environmental noise exposure throughout the county. These policies are seen as the best approach to meeting the responsibilities laid out in Irish laws on noise pollution. This approach includes measurement of environmental noise to learn more about what citizens experience, plans for reducing noise exposure and ways of making all this information available to the public.
Measuring sound levels
The most effective approach to managing environmental noise involves building up a complete picture of the type of noise that is present in the community. This means learning about the levels, patterns and sources of noise so that a more effective plan can be made to reduce exposure. The best way to do this is by measuring the sound levels over a long period of time at places of interest. The Dublin County Councils have deployed a network of environmental sound level monitors to do this. These monitors are placed in locations that are of value to the community or give a good indication of sound levels from major noise sources. Sound levels are measured 24 hours a day to build up a profile of the environmental quality at each site. This information is used to generate plans for reducing the effects of noise exposure and for making better environmental policy decisions.
These initiatives are most effective when the information is shared with the community in a way that is accessible and easy to understand. This website has been launched for that purpose. All the sound level readings gathered by the monitoring network are available here, along with some useful information that is taken from the measurements. There is a large amount of data collected every day and this website allows users to access those readings in a way that provides some insights into the environmental noise quality at each site. The tools on this site can be used to look at long term trends, short term events or overall noise ratings. Noise is a community issue and the more useful information that is provided to the community, the more effective each citizen can be at helping to protect the environmental quality of their surroundings by helping to develop and then helping to implement better noise management policy.