Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (115)

David Stanton


115. Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to a phenomenon known as the hum, persistent low frequency noise; the incidence of same; the possible solutions or remedies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5025/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

Over many years, there have been reports of low level, low frequency noise, which can be perceived a hum, from various places around the world. By its nature low frequency noise can be transmitted over long distances, and at low level it can be difficult to distinguish from other sources. Reported 'hums' have been extensively investigated in both the UK and the USA, where studies found that generally less than 10%, or even as low as 2%, of the population will experience any noise. Generally, specific noise sources have not been identified as the origin of any particular 'hum' and in the absence of a known noise source, no noise abatement solution or remedy can be applied.

Any complaints concerning environmental noise, including low-frequency noise, should be directed to the relevant local authority. The reported noise source determines how a complaint is investigated and addressed by the local authority.

A public information leaflet How to Make an Environmental Complaint has been prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assist members of public by advising whom they should contact regarding environmental complaints and what details should be provided to help resolve the problem. This leaflet can be viewed on the EPA website, www.epa.ie.