I propose to take Questions Nos. 347 and 348 together.
Complaints about local traffic-related noise should be addressed to the relevant roads authority in the first instance. For national road schemes, potential noise emissions are addressed as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment process undertaken by, or on behalf of, the National Roads Authority. In addition, the Environmental Noise Directive (END) 2002/49/EC sets out certain requirements for the assessment and management of environmental noise from transport sources, including the making of strategic noise maps and action plans. It is important to note, however, that the Directive does not set binding limit values, nor does it prescribe the measures to be included in the action plans, leaving those issues at the discretion of the national competent authorities.
The END was transposed into national law by the Environmental Noise Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 140 of 2006). The Regulations set out a two-stage process for addressing environmental noise. Firstly, noise must be assessed through the preparation of strategic noise maps for areas and infrastructure falling within defined criteria. Secondly, based on the results of the mapping process, the Regulations require the preparation of noise action plans for each area concerned. The fundamental objective of action plans is the prevention and reduction of environmental noise. The Regulations designate noise mapping bodies and action planning authorities for the making of strategic noise maps and action plans. Primary responsibility for both noise mapping and action planning is assigned to local authorities. For the Dublin Agglomeration, distinct noise maps have been produced for all roads as well as a related noise action plan for the period July 2008 to November 2013. The Regulations require noise mapping bodies to periodically review and revise noise maps. A new round of noise mapping was conducted during 2012. Individual maps, along with details on the revised population exposure statistics, can be viewed at the following link: www.dublincity.ie/WaterWasteEnvironment/NoiseMapsandActionPlans.
The production of the revised noise maps is the first step in the review of the noise action plan for the Dublin Agglomeration, which is to be completed by July 2013. The draft Noise Action Plan will shortly be made available for public consultation on the websites of the Dublin-based local authorities, with notices being placed in newspapers, inviting submissions from interested parties for consideration before the Plan is finalised. Further information in respect of the Palmerstown area may be obtained from the Environmental Health Section of South Dublin County Council, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (01) 4149000.