Noise Pollution

The Sierra Club urges local, state, and federal government to adopt policy on noise that will: 

    1. Encourage and sponsor larger-scale research projects on noise control, including development of quieter jet engines, mufflers for diesel engines, noise insulation for buildings, etc.
    2. Use predicated noise levels surrounding new or expanding airports, VTOL and STOL ports, etc., in location of facilities, establishing of flight patterns, and in creation of zoning laws to restrict residential use of areas most seriously affected.
    3. Develop legislation to designate an agency independent of operating or program responsibility for maintaining a suitable noise environment.
    4. Provide those agencies which have been given the responsibility of enforcing noise ordinances with sufficient funds and manpower to exercise that responsibility.
    5. Settle jurisdictional disputes among agencies concerning noise ordinance enforcement.
    6. Require an inclusion of a noise element on all master plans.
    7. Insert noise control measures into building codes for all new homes, apartments, offices and factories to provide adequate protection from external and internal noise.
    8. Use economic incentives such as fines and licensing fees to encourage the elimination or reduction of noise.
    9. Include noise limits in government specifications of aircraft, autos, appliances, etc., and otherwise use governmental purchasing power to encourage development and production of quieter equipment.
    10. Prohibit operation of civil aircraft under conditions that produce sonic booms audible at the surface of the Earth; restrict supersonic operation of military aircraft to essential flights over areas preselected to minimize human and ecological damage.
    11. Establish safe noise levels and duration of exposure that is acceptable for personnel in working environment, and including inspection and enforcement procedures.


Adopted by the Board of Directors May 2-3, 1970

[Excerpt from policy on] Off-Road Use of Vehicles

Mufflers and spark-arrestors should be made mandatory on all motorized vehicles used off-road, with provision for periodic inspection.

Adopted by the Board of Directors, May 7, 1988