Joint Communiqué of people and municipalities affected by air, road and train noise for the European elections 2014
We are calling on candidates for the European Parliament to use their influence to finally control the growing environmental impact of noise caused by aircraft, roadways and railway traffic through appropriate measures, providing the necessary budgets and fixing the legal demands for the protection of the populace by law.
The decades-long lack of protection of the populace from unacceptable noise,
the noise immissions that have been proved harmful to health by scientific research,
as well as the short-falls in noise related legislation and thereby preventive noise measures, now require an immediate action and implementation strategy in the form of regulative measures. For a long time it has been clear and known to the parliamentarians that effective noise control must begin at the source, i.e. with motor vehicles, aircraft, roadways and airports. Noise, once it has been generated, can hardly be stopped by passive measures. Here previous strategies on noise control turn out to be symbolic acts without effect.
Noise control at the source means that already from the point of development of material and components acoustic aspects for the mitigation of noise have to be included. However, this is where guidelines by politics and parliaments concerning mandatory noise objectives are lacking which are only enforceable through corresponding regulations as driving and flight bans. The EU-commission, too, rather yields to economical interests than to provide for the protective requirements of the populace. The traffic industry for their part will not move until legal specifications are presented as obligatory. Only then will there be a serious approach to prevent noise from the source. In turn, it will take years and decades to replace the present generation of aircraft and motor vehicles by a low noise one and until noteworthy progress in noise control will be achieved.
For these reasons of decades of shortfalls, a balanced and observant policy cannot be substantiated any longer as life and health of people must not be endangered and constricted any further. An immediate reduction of noise impact to a degree that is health compatible is inevitable and – unless achievable otherwise – has to be realized through bans on flights and driving as well as other regulatory means. In detail, the following steps are necessary:
1. An entitlement for effective noise protection with immediate measures
The negative consequences of a globalised and Europeanized economy are especially noticeable in a growing traffic volume. For decades traffic noise has been viewed as a nuisance, not, however, as a strain on health, even though scientific studies prove a serious harm to health. To the present day there is no effective protection from noise at roadways and originators do not take steps for preventive measures as effective laws are missing. Legislative abstinence of the past demands further years and decades to arrange for an effective protection at the source and its implementation. Already today, however, noise control at roadways and airports is essential for survival. Health risks and warnings pronounced by health professionals have been substantiated in established, recognized scientific studies. Therefore prompt regulatory measures and traffic limitations are to be passed and implemented expressly. The causality of persistent and excessive noise and resulting diseases forms the basis of immediate action.
2. An entitlement for regeneration and a silent night between
10 pm and 6 am
Especially the vital claim for regeneration at night is a legally guaranteed protective right which is to be realized by regulatory measures as night flight and driving bans as well as speed limitations on roads and motorways. The protection from unhealthy noise immissions and the claim of people for a silent night between 10 pm and 6 am are to be rooted in law and are to be ruled by law as a legally enforceable protective claim concerning all kinds of traffic.
3. Traffic noise to be determined and fought as comprehensive noise stress
Traffic noise is not to be considered as a nuisance but as a serious stress on health. To achieve an appropriate assessment of necessary protective measures, the impact of comprehensive noise stress on a person has to be considered. People who no longer have any spaces for retreat and regeneration must necessarily fall ill. This is a violation of human rights and must be prohibited by the legislative authorities. Therefore maps of comprehensive noise impact for municipalities have to be generated. They are to show the impact of all kinds of traffic for every single house, and so are to enable assessment and consideration of the interrelation of stress on health and respectively the chances for living and regenerating in a given area through house and ground profiles and proximity to sources of noise.
4. Respecting the state of the art of knowledge and engineering
An assessment of noise according to today’s knowledge has to take into consideration air-borne and impact noise, secondary, sub-sonic and ultra-sonic noise, as well as energy flow and resonance impact, impact yield and duration, velocity and intensity (etc.) In measuring noise impact the noise rating level (Lden) and maximum level (Lmax) besides the maximum level frequency are of decisive importance. Modern calculation methods are able to simulate constructional factors and topography for a precise description of the situation of each single house, also taking into consideration reflections and secondary noise or vibrancy and concussions. The aim is to bring about a realistic situational description because only from there effective measures can be inferred, which unfortunately is not the case up to the present.
5. Increasing means for noise remediation and making causers bear the expenses
The most effective protection from noise is brought about by keeping roadways and flight routes away from settlement areas. The airport at Berlin was deliberately constructed in proximity to the town instead of using the multitude of existing runways outside of the town and constructing quick connections. In the 21st century we still find 50-year-old goods wagons in freight trains rumbling right through residential areas at 110 dB(A), leaving a field of devastated health behind. This is a totally misunderstood liberality and economy friendliness and must be considered a misanthropic act and a violation of human rights.
Options to fly and drive at low noise and environmentally friendly are at hand and must be used
Programs to eliminate noise at the source or to mitigate at the roadway are to be supported as well as research programs on the effects and abatement of noise emission
Causers of noise are to bear the costs. Especially acoustic optimization of air and road vehicles is the obligation and task of the originator and user.
6. Noise protection takes priority over interoperability and freedom of access
Variations of settlement, increased traffic volume and further factors are of decisive importance in a regulation of protection from noise as it is imperative to protect people from immissions which are harmful to health. Weighing of different interests is only possible if noise is no longer perceived as a bothering trifle but as a serious strain on health. Here political representatives are especially challenged to heighten their awareness of this differentiation.
7. Reporting requirement, also on tomorrow’s plans
Reporting requirement to the public on noise development is to be imposed on all traffic projects in the EU, including all the involved effects to other fields of traffic and regions. Early, fair and effective participation of citizens and concerned population is to be provided for and language barriers are to be removed.
Mainz-Lerchenberg, March 29th, 2014
AK Fluglärm Mainz-Lerchenberg Pro Rheintal e.V.
BBI Kein Flughafenausbau Nachtflugverbot von 22 – 6 Uhr IG BOHR
Lebenswertes Mainz u. Rheinhessen e.V. AGVL Stuttgart/Leonberg
Initiative gegen Fluglärm in Rheinhessen e.V. IG BISS, Emmerich
BI Fluglärm Mainz-Laubenheim IBO Oldenburg
BI Fluglärm Mainz-Weisenau Bahnlärm-Initiative Bremen
Frankfurter Bürgerinitiativen (FBI)
Frankfurter Bürgerinitiativen (FBI)
Initiative gegen Fluglärm Mainz e. V.
c/o Pro Rheintal e.V. Bürgernetzwerk
Tel. 06742 801069-0