Updates to Noise Methods for Assessing Road and Rail traffic

ERO number
Notice type
Environmental Assessment Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Notice stage
Proposal Updated
Proposal posted
Comment period
December 1, 2021 - January 15, 2022 (45 days) Closed
Last updated

Update Announcement

This proposal notice has been updated on February 27, 2024, to advise the public that this file/application is still under active review. The ministry is reviewing the comments it has received to date. The original proposal date and comment period have not been altered.

This consultation was open from:

December 1, 2021
to January 15, 2022

Proposal summary

We are replacing the Noise Pollution Control Publication 206 (NPC-206) guideline with the Noise Pollution Control Publication 306 (NPC-306), so we can provide updated guidance on the methods and software for determining the impacts of noise due to road and rail projects.

Proposal details

As outlined in our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, the ministry is committed to protecting Ontario’s air, and ensuring we have strong environmental standards that are protective of human health and the environment.

As part of this commitment, the ministry is working to ensure cleaner air for all Ontarians by regulating air contaminants released by certain industrial and commercial facilities.

To protect Ontarians from excessive noise levels and ensure that our noise pollution control methods are effective and based in current science, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks is updating guidance on methods and technologies for determining the impacts of noise from roads and railways.

Our updated Noise Pollution Control Publication guideline will ensure the use of up-to-date noise prediction methods and software when determining sound levels caused by road and rail traffic.

The proposed updates would:

  • require proponents to use updated noise methods to determine sound levels due to road and rail traffic
  • reflect advancements in noise prediction methods since the last update to the guideline in 1995 that was based on an old platform (DOS system)
  • adopt the use of noise prediction methods currently supported by leading jurisdictions including the United States Federal Highway Administration, United States Federal Transit Administration and United States Federal Railroad Administration
  • ensure the ministry’s guidance on noise prediction methods remain protective of human health and the environment

The new methods will lead to more accurate noise predictions and design of acoustic barriers, which will enhance environmental protection from the adverse effects of noise. They should also result in overall cost savings for the proponent, as they would be designing acoustic barriers and exterior building components based on more accurate and up-to-date predictions of road and rail traffic noise. The noise assessments are done for the noise component of an environmental approval subject to the Environmental Protection Act as well as the assessment of road and rail projects planned under the Environmental Assessment Act.

The new guideline does not impose any additional requirements or does not change the established noise limits.

Supporting materials

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Commenting is now closed.

The comment period was from December 1, 2021
to January 15, 2022

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