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The role of noise events in noise research, policy and practice (peaks, events or both..) : Report of expertmeeting 25 and 26 October 2010, Utrecht

Synopsis

Commissioned by I&M RIVM organised an expert meeting in October 2010 about annoyance due to sudden noise (peak noise), and the way this is approached in science, policy and practice. The aim was to exchange knowledge and ideas and to formulate recommendations about situations with sudden high noise levels. During the meeting examples were presented from theory and practice. Pertaining to road- and air traffic, high speed trains and impulse noise from pile driving and shooting. Acoustic aspects as well as moderating factors were discussed, such as the unpredictability of sudden noises, trust in the government and expectations about future noise levels. One of the main conclusions was that when assessing noise events and the number of events with levels above a certain maximum the available noise-effect relations which are based on average weighted measures such as Lden and Lnight, can be taken as a point of departure. Also it was concluded that additional indicators are needed in order to communicate with the public on the impact of peak events. In communications with citizens it is important to express the amount of noise, where possible and relevant, in measures that are understandable for everyone, such as events, duration and quality. Also communications about the effects of interventions should be transparent and visible: if agreements are not communicated well, the number of complainants and percentage of highly annoyed will be high irrespective of the exact noise levels. RIVM will further study the added value and necessity of additional indicators. This will be done based on case studies around locations with peak levels of noise and secondary analysis on existing data. However, in view of increasing political pressure to devlop guidelines, focus will be in the first place on high speed trains (HSL) related noise and vibrations.
 

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