Municipal approach of low frequency noise (LFN)

Regular paper

Nienke De Jong

DCMR Environmental Prrotection Agency

Wednesday 3 june, 2015, 15:20 - 15:40

0.9 Athens (118)

Low frequency noise (LFN) is audible for a minority of people. People generally perceive LFN as a humming, or throbbing sound as vibrations or as pressure on the body. Being annoyed by LFN may seriously affect people’s health. Municipalities, environmental protection agencies and the health services encounter problems in the approach of LFN. In most cases, the noise source cannot be found or meets the legal standards. Municipalities acknowledge a need for a standard approach for LFN sources and nuisance that takes into account aspects of health, environmental judgment and spatial planning. For this purpose we investigated the needs and experiences of the professionals and annoyed citizens Method: The research involved municipalities, environmental services, health services and annoyed citizens of three northern Provinces of The Netherlands. The professionals participated in a group interview and annoyed citizens where interviewed individually. All interviews were based upon a ‘topic list’. For the Professionals was the process of the handling of the complaints about LFN: receiving and analyzing the nuisance reports, problem definition, examination of possible causes and the completion of the case. The topic list for the citizens focused upon (risk) communication with special attention to trust in the authorities according to dedication, trust, expertise and transparency. Results Due to lacking standards for measuring and assessment, methods differ by municipality and even by employee. All interviewed citizens report ongoing LFN Nuisance. Nevertheless, citizens who are satisfied with the treatment all reported to have experienced expertise, dedication and transparency in communication by the treating authorities, whereas disappointed citizens did not so.

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