Having regard to Article 5(b) of the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development of 14th December 1960;

Having regard to the Recommendation of the Council of 26th May 1972 on Guiding Principles concerning International Economic Aspects of Environmental Policies [Doc. No. C(72)128];

Considering that among the many problems related to the quality of the urban environment, the nuisance caused by noise is one of the most significant;

Considering that noise nuisance is rapidly extending in space and time, affecting the lives of ever growing numbers of people, particularly in urban areas;

Considering that excessive noise presents a danger to the health and welfare of the Member countries' populations;

Considering that careful planning can mitigate the impact of noise to a significant extent;

Considering that noise is caused by numerous products entering international trade and notably is caused by vehicles and aircraft which cross national frontiers;

Considering the benefits to be gained from making the public more aware of the need to act in a manner conducive to reducing unnecessary noise;

Considering the need for forceful action by public authorities to restore an environment free from excessive noise;

On the proposal of the Environment Committee;

I.         RECOMMENDS:

1.         That Member Governments strengthen their noise prevention and abatement efforts through advance planning and through the application of the best available technology, taking into account the cost of implementation.

2.         That these efforts include the following elements:

(a)        the promulgation of noise emission standards for products which are major sources of noise, and in particular, transportation equipment, construction equipment, and internal combustion engines of all kinds;

(b)        the requirement to consider the impact of noise and the desirability of reducing existing noise levels and of avoiding the creation of new noise conditions in the planning, design, approval, construction and operation of all major facilities including housing, highways, public transportation systems, airports, industrial developments, etc.;

(c)        adequate education programmes and information campaigns designed to make the public more aware of the need to behave in such a manner as to avoid producing unnecessary noise.

II.        INSTRUCTS the Environment Committee, in support of the above action, to continue its assistance to Member Governments in the development and implementation of policies and programmes for the prevention and abatement of noise, by considering for example:

(a)        as a supplement to direct noise emission regulations, and taking into account the work of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the possible value of various other means of aircraft noise control, such as charges on noisy aircraft, the institution of zoning policies around airports and of associated land use planning and control;

(b)        some form of compensation, including the provision of protective measures, where works undertaken by public authorities result in injurious affection and where the individuals concerned lack means of legal redress;

(c)       the labelling of the noise characteristics of products which, in the urban environment, emit noise capable of adversely affecting the public health and welfare.

III.       INSTRUCTS the Environment Committee to assess the action taken pursuant to this Recommendation and to report thereon to the Council.

In adopting this Recommendation, the Council AGREED that, in accordance with the Press Communiqué adopted by the Environment Ministers, it has been made public.