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Noise

One of the reporting obligations of the Environmental Noise Directive (Directive 2002/49/EC) is the generation of strategic noise maps.  The purpose of strategic noise mapping is to (a) provide information to the public and decision makers on noise exposure locally, nationally and internationally, (b) develop action plans for the purpose of managing noise exposure, and (c) assist European Commission in future development of European noise policy.

In Malta, the Directive was transposed by the “Assessment and Management of Environmental Noise Regulations, 2004”,  L.N. 193 of 2004  (Regulations). These Regulations were amended by Legal Notice 426 of 2007. By which resulted in a Subsidiary Legislation 435.59 of 2007, Assessment and Management of Environment Noise Regulations. The Regulations designate the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) as the competent authority for the generation of strategic noise maps, the publication of information on environmental noise, and the drawing up of action plans.

The END sets out specific information on the results of the strategic noise maps which are to be reported to European Commission every five years. The first round reports had to be submitted by 31st December 2007, the second round reports were due by 31st December 2012.

The following maps have been generated by Mepa in order to enable Malta to meet the requirements of the first reporting cycle and the second cycle for the Environmental Noise Directive.

Link to Map Malta Major Roads Noise Map Lden

Link to Map Malta Major Roads Noise Map Lnight

Link to Map Malta Major Roads 2011 Noise Map Lden

Link to Map Malta Major Roads 2011 Noise Map Lnight

Link to Map Malta Agglomeration Roads 2011 Noise Map Lden

Link to Map Malta Agglomeration Roads 2011 Noise Map Lnight

Link to Map Malta Agglomeration Industry 2011 Noise Map Lden

Link to Map Malta Agglomeration Industry 2011 Noise Map Lnight 

Set out below are summary tables estimating the population exposure for round 1, total area exposed and number of dwellings that lie within 5dB noise level contour band for Lden and Lnight from major roads within Malta.

Noise band
(Lden)

Population exposure

55-59

8800

60-64

6100

65-69

5700

70-74

2600

>=75

100

Noise band
(Lnight)

Population exposure

50-54

6300

55-59

5700

60-64

2800

65-69

100

>=70

0

Area (km2) exposed to Lden > 55

Area (km2) exposed to Lden > 65

Area (km2) exposed to Lden > 75

 

29.1

9

1.4

Dwellings exposed to Lden > 55

Dwellings exposed to Lden > 65

Dwellings exposed to Lden > 75

 

9700

3600

0

 

These strategic noise maps have been generated by estimating noise levels from Major Roads – (defined as roads with more than 6 million vehicle passages annually, for the first reporting round) then derived by computational methods.  

The stated aim of the Directive is to avoid, prevent or reduce on a prioritised basis the harmful effects, including annoyance, due to exposure to environmental noise. The following actions are to be implemented in stages within each Member State:

(a) Determine the exposure to environmental noise, through noise   mapping, by common methods of assessment;
(b) Ensure that information on environmental noise and its effects is made available to the public;
(c) Adopt action plans, based upon noise-mapping results, with a view to preventing and reducing environmental noise where necessary and particularly where exposure levels can induce harmful effects on human health and to preserving environmental noise quality where it is good.


The Directive applies to environmental noise to which humans are exposed; in particular built-up areas, in public parks or other quiet areas in an agglomeration, in quiet areas in open country, near schools, hospitals and other noise-sensitive buildings and areas; and in areas affected by noise from designated major road, railway or aircraft transport sources. This designation of urban agglomeration areas, and areas affected by major transport sources means that only certain areas within a Member State are covered by the Directive, not the whole country. Hence, the strategic noise maps and noise action plans are to be drawn up for areas inside designated agglomerations, and areas in the vicinity of major roads, major railways and major airports. It is not required to draw up strategic noise maps or noise action plans for locations outside these designated areas. These strategic noise maps were compiled by the noise consultants, Acustica Ltd in collaboration with MEPA. The noise action plan was prepared in accordance with the Environmental Noise Directive. The noise action plan was issued for public consultation which included the general public as well as various stakeholders.


The Directive does not cover a) workplace noise, b) neighbourhood noise, c) construction noise, d) entertainment noise, e) noise nuisance, f) fireworks noise g) consumer product noise and h) noise transmission between dwellings. The noise consultants also provided a document about Implementation of the Environmental Noise Directive in Malta.