As a facility owner or operator, finding up-to-date material on local noise ordinances, regulations and bylaws for regulatory compliance purposes in the United Statesand Canada can be an exercise in frustration and futility.
Within this website, you will find links to current noise ordinances, regulations and bylaws for major jurisdictions across North America covering both Environmental and Occupational Noise related concerns. Where possible the links we provide go directly to (or at least indicate) the location of the noise related section of the ordinances/regulations. We will continue to expand the site to include more jurisdictions.
In general company facilities should comply with all applicable federal, state/provincial, and local laws and regulations concerning:
Prevention of occupational noise induced hearing loss
Avoiding adverse noise impact to the surrounding environment
Occupational noise exposure
Workplace noise exposure and the prevention of occupational noise-induced hearing loss are legally mandated via regulations, in most jurisdictions. Therefore, in regard to controlling noise in the workplace, a company must first identify whether there is governing legislation and, if so, determine its regulatory requirements and responsibilities. Most States in the U.S. have adopted recommendations by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (“NIOSH”), whose mandate is to advise the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”). In Canada, Occupational Noise Exposure limits are overseen by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
Offsite Environmental Noise
Limits on the sound levels produced by a facility at or beyond its property line are legally mandated via noise ordinances or noise regulations, in most jurisdictions. Unlike occupational noise exposure, there are no consistent or widely accepted criteria for environmental sound levels. Rather, the criteria vary considerably from one jurisdiction to another. In Canada, environmental noise legislation is handled at the federal and provincial levels. In the U.S., though there are some Federal Acts pertaining to noise, there is no quantitative guidance on environmental noise criteria at the Federal level. Some States have enacted environmental noise regulations, but for the most part, such regulations and ordinances are handled by municipal governments – by county or city.
In the event there are no governing regulations for environmental noise levels in the jurisdiction you are researching, the criteria of the International Finance Corporation (“IFC” – part of the World Bank Group), can be adopted. The IFC noise guidelines are widely accepted and used for developing offsite sound level limits in jurisdictions without regulatory environmental noise criteria, or for proposed projects seeking financing from the World Bank Group or other large-scale financing organizations. Alternatively, you can reference ASHRAE Noise and Vibration Control Guidelines.
If you are a facility owner/operator and the noise regulation/ordinance/bylaw pertaining to a specific local cannot be found on our site please contact us at and we will try to include it in our next site update.