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Cancelling Bus Public Transport License to operate due to excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and environmental noise pollution

ERICSON M. SCORSIM. Lawyer and Consultant in Public Law. PhD in Law from Universidade de São Paulo. Founder of the Anti-Noise Environmental Monitor Association. Author of Ebooks Anti-Noise Movement and against environmental pollution. Right to a humanist, intelligent, healthy and sustainable city, author’s edition, Amazon , 2023.

SUMMARY.

 EXCESSIVE, UNNECESSARY AND ABUSIVE NOISE FROM THE BUS PUBLIC TRANSPORT SERVICE –   ENVIRONMENTAL NOISE POLLUTION – VIOLATION OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION – OFFENSE TO LEGISLATION – INJURY TO ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS – RIGH TO SUSTAINABLE AND EFFIENCY BUS PUBLIC TRANSPORT – RIGHT TO A BALANCED AND HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT –  ENVIROMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY OF MUNICIPALYT IN NOISE CONTROL – RIGHT ENVIRONMENTAL SOUNDSCAPE QUALITY – RIGHT TO RESIDENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY OF SOUNDSCAPE – RIGHT TO ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY OF SOUND IN THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT – RIGHT TO ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH – DAMAGE TO ENVIRONMENTAL PRINCIPLES –  PRINCIPLE OF PREVENTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE – PRINCIPLE OF PRECAUTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE – PRINCIPLE OF PROHIBITION TION OF ENVIRONMENTAL RETROCESS – PRINCIPLE OF ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY – ENVIROMENTAL EQUITY – ACOUSTICAL ENVIROMENT EDUCATION –  PRINCIPLE OF ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE  – ENVIRONMENTAL EQUITY – POLLUTER/PAYS PRINCIPLE – PRINCIPLE OF ENVIRONMENTAL PEACE, PRINCIPLE OF DUE LEGAL PROCESS – INJURY TO FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS – RIGHT TO LIFE – RIGHT TO PRIVATE LIFE AND INTIMACY – RIGHT TO PHYSICAL INTEGRITY  – RIGHT TO PHYSIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHIC, RIGHT TO ACOUSTIC HOME INVIOLABILITY – RIGHT TO PHYSICAL HEALTH – RIGHT TO  MENTAL HEALTH – RIGHT  HEARING HEALTH, ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, RIGHT TO SOUNDSCAPE ENVIRONMENTAL COMFORT – RIGHT TO SOUND ENVIRONMENTAL WELL-BEING – RIGHT TO REST – RIGHT TO WORK – SOUNDSCAPE QUALITY – PROPERTY RIGHT –RIGHT TO DWELL

Presentation

Excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and environmental noise pollution by urban passenger transport buses violate the Constitution, the Public Services Concession Law, the National Environmental Policy Law. They also violate fundamental rights: the right to a balanced and healthy environment, the right to sound environmental quality, the right to residential sound environmental quality – the right to sound environmental quality in the work environment,  right to environmental health. Excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and environmental noise pollution from public passenger transport buses cause harm to environmental principles: the principle of preventing environmental damage,  precautionary principle of environmental damage, principle of prohibition of environmental setbacks, principle of environmental safety, principle of environmental justice and equity, polluter pays principle, principle of environmental peace, principle of due legal process.

 Excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and environmental noise pollution from bus public transport causes dammage to fundamental rights, right to life,  right to private life and intimacy, right to physical, physiological and psychological integrity, right to acoustic home inviolability, right to physical health, mental health, hearing health, environmental health, right to environmental and auditory comfort, right to environmental and auditory well-being , right to rest, right to work, right to property and right to housing, among others.

The determining reasons for the loss of the concession of the public urban passenger transport service will be seen below, as it violates the Constitution, legislation and environmental principles.

  1. The right to an ecologically balanced, clean,  healthy and sustainable, harmed by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport concession and environmental noise pollution.

The Constitution guarantees the right to a balanced and healthy environment. Therefore, it is unconstitutional to  the municipality’s failure to monitor and control the emission of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and environmental noise pollution from bus public transport.

The Federal Constitution guarantees the right to a healthy, ecologically balanced environment. To ensure the effectiveness of the right to an ecologically balanced environment, public authorities must: preserve and restore essential ecological processes and promote the ecological management of species and ecosystems (art. 225, §1), require, in accordance with the law, for installation of work or activities potentially causing  of significant degradation of the environment, prior environmental impact study, which will be publicized (art. 225, IV), control production, marketing, use of techniques, methods and substances that pose a risk to life, quality of life and the environment (art. 225, V), promote environmental education at all levels of education and public awareness of environmental preservation (art . 225, VI).

According to the Constitution: “ Conducts and activities harmful to the environment will subject offenders, whether individuals or legal entities, to criminal and administrative sanctions, regardless of the obligation to repair the damage caused” (art. 225, §3).

As principles of the economic order, the Constitution establishes: “ defense of the environment , including through differentiated treatment according to the environmental impact of products and services and their preparation and provision processes ” ( art. 170, item VI).

There is also an entire constitutional chapter dedicated to science, technology and innovation, arts . 218 to 219.

According to art. 219-B: “The national system of science, technology and innovation will be organized on a collaborative basis between entities, both public and private, with a view to promoting scientific and technological development and innovation” .

And also the art. 291 states that the internal market is part of the national heritage and will be encouraged in order to facilitate cultural and socioeconomic development, the well-being of the population and the technological autonomy of the country, in accordance with the law” .

Now, we currently have a situation of unconstitutionality due to omission in environmental inspection by the municipality of excessive noise and environmental noise pollution from public passenger transport buses. [1]It is a state of administrative omission that causes unacceptable environmental damage to the population.

“There is an UNCONSTITUTIONAL “STATE OF AFFAIRS” WITH EXCESSIVE NOISE AND ENVIRONMENTAL NOISE POLLUTION FROM THE PUBLIC URBAN PASSENGER TRANSPORT SERVICE.

  • Right to quality of urban environmental life

Legal doctrine recognizes the right to quality of urban environmental life. The right to life also prohibits inhumane and degrading treatment as a right to the urban environment.

According to Mariane Morato Stiva :

This right is justified by the essential nature of a healthy environment with a good quality of life. The environment is important for the enjoyment of human rights and a healthy environment is fundamental for the realization of other rights, such as health, water, food and housing. There is a common perception that a human rights-based approach to environmental problems can produce practical benefits for environmental protection.”[2]

                        This right is recognized internationally.

Mariane Morato Stival explains:

“From the point of view of integrating environmental protection and the right to a good quality of life as human rights, the provision with the greatest normative reach of the European Convention has undoubtedly been the right to respect for private and family life provided for in art. 8 of the ECHR. The Court has stated in its jurisprudence that this provision provides more comprehensive protection against harmful emissions.

                       For the Court, the importance of this right and its application to environmental protection lies in the confluence of the doctrine of positive obligations with a dynamic interpretation of the concept of private and family life. This evolutionary interpretation results in the subsumption under this provision of two legal goods not expressly understood in the article: only relevant to fundamental rights when they affect basic legal rights such as life, physical integrity or property, but also when they affect human rights to health, good quality of life.”[3]

                        The author continues:

“It appears that in a series of cases, the ECHR recognized that urban environmental pollution can affect people’s well-being and prevent them from enjoying their homes, so that their rights provided for in art. 8 of the Convention are violated. We note that, according to the Court, the right to respect for housing does not only include the right to real physical space, but also to the peaceful enjoyment of this area within reasonable limits. Therefore, violations of these rights are not necessarily confined to obvious interference  such as illegal entry into a person’s home , but also resulting from sources such as loud noises, toxic emissions, smells or other similar violations of the urban environment.

If interference prevents a person from enjoying the comforts of their home, the right to respect for private and family life is being violated. In the context of cases that raise issues linked to environmental degradation, the ECHR tends to interpret the notions of good quality of life and family privacy as being closely interconnected, referring to both the notion of space and private life. The Court has already reiterated. In several decisions, the house comprises the defined physical area where private and family life with good quality develops” .

There is a violation of  Federal Constitution caused by the omission in the monitoring and environmental inspection of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and environmental noise pollution from bus public transport.

The municipality, by failing to control the emission of noise from public passenger transport buses, must determine measures to eliminate, reduce and isolate excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from public transport buses, violating the Federal Constitution.

There is a state of violation of the principle of prohibiting environmental setbacks. It is not acceptable to omit the environmental monitoring and inspection of noise emissions from bus public transport.

There is also a state of administrative inefficiency in the application of environmental legislation and in the exercise of environmental police power in controlling excessive and unnecessary noise.  and environmental noise pollution. Instead of implementing the environmental law and expanding the defense of environmental rights, the municipality, in its inaction, worsens the situation of illegality and unconstitutionality.

 There is also a pattern of acoustic inefficiency, allowing the indiscriminate proliferation of defective, acoustically inefficient and environmentally unsustainable buses. Furthermore, there is a systematic state of violation of the principle of legality, in the omission of acoustic environmental monitoring of public passenger transport buses. Therefore, it is essential that the municipality encourages technological innovation to implement the principle of acoustic eco-efficiency and defend acoustic environmental sustainability.

Regarding the responsibility of local public authorities, the Constitution defines: “legal entities governed by public law and those governed by private law providing public services will be liable for the damages that their agents, in this capacity, cause to third parties, ensuring the right of redress against the person responsible in cases of intent or guilt”, art. 37, §6.

Jurisprudence determines that environmental responsibility is objective. In this case, both the public authorities and the company providing the public passenger transport service have environmental responsibility for the environmental damage caused to the city’s population. On the topic, see the article: Souza, Renato Ferreira and Souza, Claudete. Civil liability for noise pollution by public transport in the metropolitan region of São Paulo, available on the internet .

According to the “Superior Tribunal de Justiça”:

“SUMMARY 652 – CIVIL LIABILITY OF THE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION FOR DAMAGE TO THE ENVIRONMENT, RESULTING FROM ITS OMISSION IN THE DUTY OF SUPERVISION, IS OF A SOLIDARY CHARACTER, BUT OF SUBSIDIARY EXECUTION”.

Next, the analysis of the violation of the Public Service Concessions Law, due to excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise in urban passenger transport services.

  • Excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport services violates the Public Service Concessions Law

The situation of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise emission by urban passenger transport buses violates the Public Service Concessions Law, analyzed below.

The Public Service Concession Law, when dealing with adequate service, prescribes :

Art . 6 Every concession or permission presupposes the provision of an adequate service to fully serve users, as established in this Law, in the relevant rules and in the respective contract.

§ 1 An adequate service is one that satisfies the conditions of regularity, continuity, efficiency, security, timeliness, generality, courtesy in its provision and reasonable rates.

§ 2 Current affairs include the modernity of techniques, equipment and facilities and their conservation, as well as the improvement and expansion of the service.

                        Excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise affects the adequacy/quality clause in the provision of bus public transport services. Excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise causes discomfort to passengers, drivers and people who live in the environmental surroundings of the streets where urban passenger transport buses travel.

Therefore, the provision of bus public transport services transport services with excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and causing environmental noise pollution that causes environmental degradation is in violation of the Public Services Concession Law.

Urban passenger transport services that emit excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and generate environmental noise pollution are inappropriate, under the terms of the law referred to above.

  • Environmental noise degradation caused by bus public transport is offensive  to the law on national environmental policy

Excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport services that causes environmental degradation violates the National Environmental Policy Law. According to the National Environmental Policy Law:

“Art. 3rd. For the purposes of this Law, it is understood as:

I – environment, the set of conditions, laws, influences and interactions of a physical, chemical, biological order, which allows, shelters and governs life in all its forms;

II – degradation of environmental quality, adverse change in the characteristics of the environment;

III – pollution, the degradation of environmental quality resulting from activities directly or indirectly:

  1. Harm the health, safety and well- being of the population;
  2. Create adverse conditions for social and economic activities ;
  3. Adversely affect the biota;
  4. Affect the aesthetic or sanitary conditions of the environment ;
  5. Release materials or energy that do not comply with established environmental standards;

IV – polluter, the natural or legal person, under public or private law, directly or indirectly responsible for an activity that causes environmental degradation.

            V – environmental resources, the atmosphere, inland, surface and underground waters, estuaries, the territorial sea, soil, subsoil, elements of the biosphere , fauna and flora” .

Therefore, excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from urban passenger transport services causes environmental degradation: they harm the health and well-being of the population, in the areas of bus terminals and on public roads where buses travel.

            According to the National Environmental Policy Law on environmental pollution:

“Art. 61. Cause pollution of any nature at levels that result or may result in damage to human health or that cause the death of animals or the significant destruction of biodiversity:

Fine of R$5,000.00 (five thousand reais) to R$50,0000.00 (fifty million reais).

Single paragraph. The fines and other penalties referred to in the caput will be applied after a technical report prepared by the competent environmental body, identifying the extent of the damage resulting from the infraction in accordance with the gradation of the impact” .

Environmental health is a source value protected by the National Environmental Policy Law. Therefore, it is the obligation of the municipality’s environmental police power, as well as the granting power , to monitor the conditions for providing the public urban passenger transport service.

To repeat: excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from public transport buses causes the degradation of the city’s environmental quality, through conduct that harms the health, safety and well-being of the population; create adverse conditions for social and economic activities; adversely affect the biota; affect the aesthetic or sanitary conditions of the environment; releasing materials or energy that do not comply with established environmental standards, in violation of the national environmental policy law.

  • Parameters for the  acoustic environmental quality of the city

There is another aspect of violating environmental law. According to the National Environmental Policy Law:

“Art. 9. The instruments of the National Environmental Policy are:

I – the establishment of environmental quality standards ;

II – environmental zoning;

III – the assessment of environmental impacts;

IV – licensing and  the review of effective or potentially polluting activities;

V – incentives for the production and installation of equipment and the creation or absorption of technologies, aimed at environmental quality ” .

                        Thus, the municipality, in compliance with national environmental policy, must establish, in the context of containing excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise, environmental sound quality standards; sound environmental zoning; the assessment of the environmental impacts caused by bus public transport buses, the environmental licensing of urban passenger transport companies conditioned on the containment of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise, incentives for the production of equipment and production of technologies, committed to environmental quality .

Therefore, the concession of public services is linked to compliance with environmental policy instruments and, mainly, to the guarantee of environmental quality.

  • Parameters for environmental health – World Health Organization

According to the World Health Organization  The limit situation for health protection against noise is 53 dB (A) (fifty-three decibels) daytime.[4]

And at night the limit situation for health protection is 45 dB (A)  (forty decibels) . There is, therefore, a state of incoherence and contradiction in the omission in the inspection and environmental control of EXCESSIVE, UNNECESSARY AND ABUSIVE noise from bus public transport  and environmental and ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH protection legislation.

  • United Nations environmental parameters for containing excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and environmental noise pollution.

According to the UN in its Resolution N. 76, of 2022, there is the Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment.

Environmental rights violated by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport.

  1. Right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, free from excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport

From this regulation, we can infer the Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment, free from excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from public passenger transport buses.

b) Right to a clean, healthy and sustainable city, free from excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport

There is the Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable City, free from excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport.

The right to a clean, healthy and sustainable city requires environmental policy, traffic policy and urban policy with measures to eliminate, reduce and isolate excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport.

The city must urgently encourage clean, healthy and sustainable technologies in the public passenger transport system.

c ) Right to clean, healthy and sustainable bus public transport service, free from excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise.

            There is the Right to a Clean, Healthy and Public Transport Service  Sustainable, free from excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport.

Now, public services are linked to the principle of administrative efficiency and environmental standards.

A public service must have parameters of comfort, well-being and health for passengers and the city. Therefore, the granting authority must monitor the execution of the bus public transport service, and its compliance with cleanliness, health and sustainability parameters.

d) Right to a clean, healthy and sustainable street, free from excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport. Standards for quality on streets.

There is the Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Street, free from excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from public passenger transport buses. The C40 Global Organization has programs for clean streets, free of fossil fuels , which includes incentive projects for electric buses in the public passenger transport system. Therefore, the city, to be coherent, in its environmental policy, transport policy, urban policy, must promote the containment of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from urban passenger transport buses.

e) Right to a clean, healthy and sustainable residential environment, free from excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport.

Every property has an environmental environment. Therefore, this environmental environment must be free from acoustic contamination. Now, urban passenger transport buses cause the degradation of the environmental quality of properties. The Right to a Clean, Healthy Residential Environment,  requires the containment of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from public passenger transport buses. Therefore, the city must respect the right to property and, respectively, the right to residential environmental quality, free from the nuisance of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from urban passenger transport buses.

f) The right to a clean, healthy and sustainable working environment, free from excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport

Excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport violates the right to quality of the work environment.

There is the Right to a Clean, Healthy Work Environment,  free from excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from public passenger transport buses.

Therefore, it is the city’s duty to promote the containment of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport.

g) Duties violated by the company granting the buses public transport services  – ecoefficiency, quality, innovation, respect environmental law

One of the duties of the bus public transport is to provide services with efficiency and quality.

Now, noisy buses represent acoustic inefficiency and, therefore, the lack of environmental sound quality in the provision of public services. Thus, buses with EXCESSIVE, UNNECESSARY and ABUSIVE NOISE violate the principle of acoustic efficiency, the standards of environmental sound quality, sound environmental comfort, sound environmental well-being and environmental health. Another duty violated with EXCESSIVE, UNNECESSARY AND ABUSIVE NOISE and ENVIRONMENTAL NOISE POLLUTION is the duty to update the public public passenger transport service, by Bus.

Now, it is the concessionaire’s obligation to update the ACOUSTIC ENVIRONMENTAL EFFICIENCY in the conditions of provision of the public passenger transport service, adopting measures to eliminate, reduce and/or isolate noise from buses. It is also your obligation to adopt environmental compensation measures for the damage caused by noise and environmental noise pollution from buses to degraded residential areas.

h) Duties violated by the municipal granting authority   – monitor the conditions under which the service is provided.

The granting power, in this case the Municipalities, has the duty to monitor the conditions under which public passenger transport services are provided, by bus, through the exercise of environmental police power. The omission of municipal public authorities is illegal and gives rise to administrative and environmental liability.

The omission of public authorities generates environmental damage, economic damage and damage to public property and cultural heritage.

Environmental Damage

Excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from urban passenger transport buses generate environmental damage. The literature explains the environmental damage. According to José Rubens Morato Leite and Patryck de Araújo Ayala:

“Environmental damage, in turn, constitutes an ambivalent expression, which sometimes designates harmful changes to the environment; and others, the effects that such a change causes on people’s health and their interests. Environmental damage means, in a first undesirable change to the set of elements called the environment, for example, atmospheric pollution; It would therefore be a violation of the fundamental right that everyone has to enjoy and take advantage of the appropriate environment . However, in its second conceptualization, environmental damage encompasses the effects that this modification generates on people’s health and their interests. Please be aware that, in this work, environmental damage will be called, firstly, any damage that causes harm to the environment, so that it can then be classified.

Ratifying this position on the environmental conceptualization of environmental damage, Alsina states that it can designate not only the damage that falls on environmental heritage , which is common to the community, but also refers to damage through the environment or ricochet damage to interests legitimate rights of a given person, configuring a particular damage that attacks a subjective right and legitimizes the injured party to compensation for the pecuniary or non-pecuniary loss.[5]

Economic valuation of environmental damage

Excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and environmental noise pollution cause environmental damage. Noise and noise pollution are caused by the abusive use of urban passenger transport buses in cities. Therefore, there is a degradation of environmental quality and quality of life.

            Furthermore, excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and noise pollution cause damage to public health, environmental health and the mental health of the population.

Also, noise causes moral environmental damage, due to the deterioration of environmental quality, quality of life, quality of health, quality of well-being, environmental comfort. There are methodologies for the economic valuation of environmental damage.

The National Environmental Policy Law defines pollution: “ degradation of environmental quality resulting from activities that directly or indirectly: a) harm the health, safety, and well-being of the population; b) create adverse conditions for social and economic activities: c) adversely affect the biota; d) affect the aesthetic or sanitary conditions of the environment; e) release matter or energy that does not comply with established environmental standards”.

The situation of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from public transport buses: i) harms the health and well-being of the community; ii ) creates adverse conditions for social and economic activity; iii ) adversely affect the biota; iv ) affect the aesthetic or sanitary conditions of the environment; iv ) release matter and energy in violation of environmental standards.

One of the principles of national environmental policy is environmental quality. Excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from public passenger transport buses causes the loss of the quality of the urban environment, the loss of residential environmental quality, the loss of the quality of the work environment, the loss of environmental quality. Therefore, the economic valuation of the loss of environmental quality is essential. By analogy, let us reflect on soil contamination by toxic agents. Also, let us think about air contamination by toxic agents, such as gases emitted by cars, motorcycles, buses and trucks. A green area adds value to real estate property. Let’s think then about air contaminated by noise. The polluted environment is clearly not clean, healthy and sustainable. Therefore, the natural environment and the human environment with stillness have a certain economic value. In contrast, the environment polluted by noise has a lower market value. Therefore, it is essential to perceive the environmental value of the natural acoustic environment, with urban quiet. Economic studies point to the devaluation of properties in environments polluted by noise, even noisy neighborhoods are a factor in the depreciation of properties.

On the topic, consult Elisabete MM Arsenio and her work The valuation of environmental externalities : a states preference case study on traffic noise in Lisbon , thesis presented before the University of Leeds and Institute of Transport Studies in 2002. The author describes the environmental value of urban quiet and the environmental damage caused by noise pollution from traffic in the city of Lisbon. It describes the damage caused to the residential environment by transport noise pollution. The author points out the factors for measuring environmental damage: area of the residential environment impacted by noise pollution (work area, rest areas, rest areas, leisure areas, study areas, among others), the length of stay of residents in the local environment, the number of people residing in the property, the proximity of the area affected by noise pollution to the street, the level of education of the property’s residents, the type of street where traffic occurs, the habituality of work or study in the residence, the opening of windows during summer and autumn, the number of years residents have lived in the property, among other criteria. Thus, the author concludes that environmental degradation caused by noise pollution from traffic is a factor in property devaluation.

As for the environmental surroundings of the property, noise pollution affects the property’s value, as it impacts its use value and non-use value . The author suggests compensation for environmental damage to the population exposed to noise pollution. One of the criteria of the valuation methodology is the hedonic method, including the use value and non-use value of the property. The assessment takes into account the impact on the indoor and outdoor environment of the property. Noise pollution is considered a negative externality to the traffic and transport system. Chia- Jena Yu , in his work Environmentally sustainable acoustics in urban residential areas , thesis before the Sheffield Faculty of Architecture, highlights the impact of traffic  over residential areas, differentiating environmental noise pollution from light, medium and heavy vehicles. The author defends the integration of acoustic urban sustainability with urban policy and residential policy. Now, we must also analyze the issue of environmental noise pollution and the impact on public health, environmental health and mental health of the population. People undergoing healthcare are intensely impacted by noise pollution from traffic and transport systems. People with hypertension and heart disease suffer their health because of noise. On the topic, see : Biological mechanisms related to cardiovascular and metabolic effects by environmental noise by Charlotta Ericksson et al., World Health Organization. See: Burden of diseases from environmental noise. Quantification of healthy life year lost in Europe, World Health Organization.  Consult : Noise, blazes and mismatches. Emerging issues of environmental concern , UN environment programme , Frontiers, 2022 See : Healthy environment, healthy lives: how the environment influences health and well-being in Europe , European Environmental Agency, EEA Report, 2019. See , Alletta , Francesco and Kang, Jiang. Promoting healthy and supportive acoustic environments. Going beyond the stillness s. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, MDPI.  See also European agency Environment , Noise topic . And Swinburn , Tracy and others. Valuing quiet: an economic assessment of US environmental noise as a cardiovascular health hazard , American Journal Preventive Medicine. In addition to Environmental Health, it is important to assess the impact of noise pollution from traffic, transport and neighborhoods on the economic value of the impacted property. About This one topic , see : Daniels Rhonda, Monetary valuation of the environmental impacts of transport , Institute of Transport Studies, the University of Sydney . See also S. Navrud . _ The economic value of noise within the European Union – a review and analysis of studies, paper Acústica 2004.

Environmental social damage caused by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport

The scientific literature is clear in exposing the category of  social environmental damage. Excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from urban passenger transport buses causes social damage to the community, whether nearby bus terminals or in residential areas and commercial areas, located close to public roads where buses travel.

It is not acceptable that a public service such as public transport generates intense social and environmental damage that is repeated day and night, week after week, month after month, year after year.

On this topic, see the following precedent from the Court of Justice of Paraná:

“CIVIL APPEAL. PUBLIC CIVIL ACTION FOR LIABILITY FOR DAMAGE CAUSED TO THE ENVIRONMENT. ATMOSPHERIC AND NOISE POLLUTION. DEFENDANT COMPANY THAT ACTIVATES IN THE COLLECTIVE BUS PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION BUSINESS. COMPLAINT FROM THE COMMUNITY LIVING NEAR THE COMPANY YARD, Unhappy WITH THE MOVEMENT OF DUST AND EXCESSIVE NOISE CAUSED BY THE INTENSE AND CONTINUOUS MOVEMENT OF THE COMPANY’S BUSES, INCLUDING DURING THE NIGHT PERIOD. PUBLIC PROSECUTION OFFICE WANTING TO RESOLVE THE COMPANY’S ACTIVITIES, AS THE LOCATION WHERE IT IS LOCATED VIOLATES MUNICIPAL ZONING LEGISLATION. REQUEST FOR COMPENSATION FOR MATERIAL AND MORAL DAMAGE, AND FOR ABSTENTION FROM PRACTICING THE ACTIVITY AT THAT LOCATION. JUDGE WHO DISMISSED THE REQUESTS (APPEAL No. 381.375-6, Rel. Judge  Marcos de Luca Fanchin , 4th Civil Chamber, trial date 10/30/2007, publication 11/23/2007.

Economic damage caused by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport

Excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from urban passenger transport buses generates various economic damages. There is a loss of opportunities due to the inconvenience caused by excessive noise from buses in commercial areas and residential areas. Noise impacts productivity in the environment. Noise causes disruption to the cognitive system, generating stress, irritation, nervous tension,  and mental fatigue. Therefore, noise generates economic damage for users of public passenger transport services in cities, who spend hours on buses on their daily journeys to work. Afterwards, the noise causes economic damage with the loss of productivity in commercial areas of cities. Workers are affected in their attention span by excessive noise from urban transport buses. Furthermore, there is economic damage to people working from home , who are impacted by excessive noise from buses. On the other hand, there is economic damage to properties located close to bus terminals and public roads where these buses travel. There is a risk of property devaluation due to excessive noise and noise pollution caused by the public transport system. Scientific literature explains the loss of use value of environmentally degraded areas. There is also the loss of non-use values in environmentally degraded areas. Therefore, it is essential to distinguish between the economic value of a natural environment unpolluted by mechanical noise and noise pollution in relation to the depreciation of an artificial environment polluted by mechanical noise and noise pollution.

For all these reasons, it is the obligation of the company concessioning the public urban passenger transport service to restore the original environmental sound quality, free from excessive, unnecessary and abusive mechanical noise.

Psychological damage caused by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport

The environmental damage caused by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and environmental noise pollution from urban passenger transport buses is systemic, repeating itself every morning, every afternoon, every night, every week , every month, every the years. In residential environments, the property usually has value to ensure recovery from fatigue caused by work and/or other activities. However, in a building and/or house subjected to chronic, excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise, it is impossible to achieve complete recovery of attention and obtain the state of relaxation and rest necessary to get rid of urban stress. Therefore, the status quo of chronic and systemic toxicity of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and noise pollution from public passenger transport buses. Therefore, there are people located close to public roads who suffer greater psychological damage resulting from the state of permanent tension and stress to the human body caused by excessive noise. The situation is aggravated for people undergoing health treatment, people with chronic diseases (hypertension), people with compromised cardiovascular health, people with special conditions with cognitive and auditory neurodiversity : people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit , hyperactivity, treatment for anxiety and depression,  among others.

Existential damage

Modern legal literature teaches existential harm. These are damages to human existence that cause the deprivation of life plans. Excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from urban passenger transport buses impacts the daily lives of citizens. In residential areas directly impacted by urban passenger transport routes, there is existential damage. Therefore, measures are needed to hold the public authorities accountable for the concessionaire of bus public transport services.

Deviation from productive time

Another point is the theory of diversion of productive time, the citizen loses his life time to defend himself against excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise. The loss of life time, together with the loss of opportunity, are in themselves sufficient factors to hold the granting authority and the concessionaire of urban passenger transport liable.

Damage to public health and environmental health caused by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport

Scientific/medical literature proclaims that noise and environmental noise pollution are a public health problem. However, what we see is the chronic and systemic omission of public authorities in monitoring and environmental control over the emission of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from passenger transport buses. Now, the public service concessionaire is bound to respect the right to public health and, consequently, the right to environmental health. Here, too, the topic of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and noise pollution enters the field of epidemiological studies. Therefore, the sound environmental quality standard, free from toxic, excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise, is a fundamental condition for the provision of public urban passenger transport services in cities. Hospital environments and health care centers are contaminated by toxic noise and environmental noise pollution from urban transport buses. Also, people undergoing health care, in home care , are impacted by the toxic and excessive noise of urban passenger transport buses. Elderly people undergoing health care are impacted in their homes and apartments by the toxic and excessive noise of urban passenger transport buses in cities. There is a constitutional, legal and ethical obligation for the public service concessionaire to adopt technological innovations to contain the emission of toxic, abusive and unnecessary noise. The negligence of the public transport concessionaire in controlling the emission and diffusion of mechanical noise is sufficient cause for the declaration of the concession’s expiration.

Collective moral damage caused by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport

One of the aspects still to be considered is the category of collective environmental moral damage. First, the collective environmental moral damage to the interest of the community impacted by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from public passenger transport buses . Second, the environmental moral damage caused to bus drivers exposed to noise pollution:

“ In this action (…), the Public Ministry of Labor seeks to condemn the public entity in compensation for collective moral damage, because it (the federal district) did not adequately monitor the transport system, allowing the company to provide services to the population by exposing their employees to risks caused by excessive noise in the course of their activity (Regional Labor Court of the 10th Region. Ordinary Appeal, 01589-2021.011.10.00.4-ROk, Rapporteur: Judge JOÃO AMILCAR, judging body, 2nd Panel, judgment 04/13/2016, publication date 05/27/201 – See: Souza, Renato Ferreira and Souza, Claudete. Civil liability for noise pollution caused by public transport in the metropolitan region of São Paulo”.

According to Souza, Renato Ferreira and Souza, Claudete. Civil liability for noise pollution caused by public transport in the metropolitan region of São Paulo, the Federal District’s omission in environmental inspection resulted in its objective liability:

“As it did not implement concrete measures – preventive and corrective for the hearing preservation of its employees, the Federal District would hold objective responsibility for the choice of the concessionaire, or even for negligence in inspection. From this it emerged that it, as the granting authority, must repair the damages caused to all workers and former workers of the urban public passenger transport system, especially drivers and collectors, with compensation being postulated in the order of R$ 10,000,000, 00 (ten million reais). TRT from the 10th Region. Original Resource. 01589.2012.011.10.00-4-RO, Reporting Judge João Almicar , judging body, 2nd Panel, trial date, 04/13/2015, publication date: 05/27/2016.

Damage to the cultural and educational environment caused by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport

The cultural environment is protected by the Constitution and legislation. Cultural assets are legally protected. The cultural environment for the expression of cultural values such as the culture of silence, culture of stillness, culture of rest, intellectual culture, reading culture, leisure culture, entertainment culture, teaching and learning culture, communication culture are protected by the Constitution and legislation. How can we demand education from children, adolescents and young people if they do not have the necessary cultural environment for study and concentration activities? Do toxic, excessive, unnecessary and abusive noises and environmental noise pollution from urban transport buses affect the environment of public and private schools?

            Now, it is the concessionaire’s responsibility to respect people’s educational and cultural environment. In some cases, there are special quiet areas to protect schools, hospitals and libraries.

However, in practice, the public authorities neglect their environmental responsibility in monitoring and punishing bus concessionaires for toxic and abusive noise and environmental noise pollution. How to guarantee a cultural environment of environmental peace? only , with the elimination of the toxic subculture of excessive noise and environmental noise pollution, with the responsibility of the concessionaire of public passenger transport in cities.

Damage to environmental aesthetics caused by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport

The Constitution and legislation protect aesthetic goods. The natural value, of the natural beauty, of the landscape is protected. Therefore, the natural sound environment, free from toxic and excessive noise, is intensely protected by the legal system. Environmental aesthetics teaches us that natural environmental values are fundamental to human beings and their health, environmental and auditory well-being, environmental and auditory comfort. The greatest restoration of vital energies occurs in natural environments, free from mechanical noise. Now, the concessionaire of the public public passenger transport service, by not containing excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise emitted and disseminated in the city, incurs damage to aesthetic assets that are precious to humanity.

Harm to animals. Protection of animal dignity caused by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport

Animals are hypersensitive to excessive noise. Dogs have deeper hearing than humans. For this, among other reasons, several municipalities have been issued to prohibit fireworks, “with shooting effects”, to protect animal health. Birds feel the impacts of excessive noise and environmental noise pollution, affecting their sense of location and reproduction. Now, dogs that roam the public roads where public buses travel are intensely affected by noise. Also, several environmental areas, bird habitats, are affected by noise from passenger transport buses. Therefore, the protection of fauna demands environmental responsibility from the public passenger service concessionaire.

Fundamental rights violated by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and environmental noise pollution from bus public transport

There are several fundamental rights that are violated by excessive noise and noise pollution from bus public transport Injury to the right to quality of life caused by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from urban transport buses .

There is injury to the  right to quality of life , which is affected by EXCESSIVE, UNNECESSARY AND ABUSIVE noise. Anyone living in their own home loses the conditions for normal use of their home and property. [6]The person in his home and property has an environmental environment. Degradation in the property’s environmental surroundings affects property rights and housing rights. The loss of environmental quality leads to the loss of quality of life. Therefore, it is necessary to protect the environmental surroundings of the property with measures to contain excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from urban transport buses.

b) Injury to the quality of the residential sound environment

The right to the quality of the residential sound environment is directly associated with environmental sustainability. The residential space is protected, which is why acoustic environmental quality standards are protected, aiming for environmental and auditory well-being and environmental and auditory comfort and environmental health.

c) Right to acoustic home inviolability .

There is the right to acoustic home inviolability . [7]Now, noises are sounds that invade private property. Therefore, they are a type of home invasion, something that clearly violates privacy, intimacy and property, private life.

On the topic, see Pilar Dominguez Martinez, in her article El Meio Ambiente Acústico y El Derecho a la inviolability del domicilio, Revista Derecho Privado y Constitución , n. 28, enero-diciembre , 2014, pps . 401-446, which explains the following:

“Precisely the moral damage is what deserves consideration in terms of acoustic contamination, maximum connection with fundamental rights such as the inviolability of the home.

(…)

 In many cases, the assessment of noise excesses requires technical means of proof, essentially expert, which, on the one hand, determine the acoustic measurement (sonometric test), according to medical reports that value the transcendence of the psychological damage that the acoustic emission caused to the victim. ” .

Therefore, they are dirty, unhealthy and unsustainable transport, causing damage to the environment.

Miguel Dunshee de Abranches Fiod and Adriano SantÁnna Pedra in the article Noise pollution and the fundamental duty to preserve a healthy environment: an analysis based on the STC 119/2001 decision of the Spanish Constitutional Court teach:

The study on the STC 119/2001 decision of the Spanish Constitutional Court presents an important discussion on the protection of the fundamental right to a healthy home environment, considering environmental pollution and degradation as constitutive elements of violation of the right to private and family life . The particularity of the case in question is that the direct causative agents of the reported acoustic saturation are private entities (the nightclub with a high volume of noise), but given the omission on the part of the State there was poor environmental protection, being considered as a causative agent indirect damage ”.[8]

Now, it is essential to PERCEPT the differences between a CLEAN, HEALTHY AND ACOUSTICALLY SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT, in relation to a DIRTY, INSANE ENVIRONMENT (IT IS HARMFUL TO PHYSICAL, PHYSIOLOGICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH) AND ENVIRONMENTALLY UNSUSTAINABLE.

Here, regarding the impact of EXCESSIVE, UNNECESSARY AND ABUSIVE NOISE ON THE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL ENVIRONMENT, it is worth remembering the core of the issue, well posed by the authors Miguel Dunshee de Abranches Fiod and Adriano Sant’Ana Pedra in the article Noise pollution and the fundamental duty of preservation of a healthy environment: an analysis based on the STC 119/2001 decision of the Spanish Constitutional Court:

Regarding personal and family privacy, the Judge’s opinion recorded that no one has the right to prevent rest or the minimum peace of mind that intellectual work requires. On the contrary, there may be a duty on the part of public authorities to guarantee us the enjoyment of this right, depending on the circumstances.

Regarding the inviolability of the home, he also highlighted that it can be affected by undue sound saturation . Firstly, because the violation of personal and family privacy is reinforced when the injured party is in their own home; secondly, because, depending on the case, the noise can be so unbearable that it forces the injured party to move house. In the Judge’s view, such conduct constitutes a double violation of fundamental rights: the right to inviolability and the right to free choice of domicile” .[9]

c) Injury to the right to physical health, physiological health, mental, occupational, environmental health, caused by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport

Another injury is that the right to health is seriously impacted by EXCESSIVE, UNNECESSARY AND ABUSIVE noise from public passenger transport buses. The physiological and psychological integrity of the person is the target of degrading treatment due to excessive, unnecessary and abusive environmental noise from buses. There is impact on environmental health,  physical, mental, hearing health, occupational health, caused by EXCESSIVE, UNNECESSARY AND ABUSIVE noise, worsening states of stress and anxiety. During the pandemic and post-pandemic period, in times of high stress, excessive, unnecessary [10]and abusive noise ends up worsening the health of people who live close to the public transport bus circulation areas. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development  addresses the topic in the study How’s life ? 2020. Measuring well-being . Also, the study shows that subjective well-being is an indicator of quality of life.

Scientific research points to the loss of quality of life and health, due to excessive and unnecessary noise  and environmental noise pollution. [11]Also, scientific evidence points to the biological effects caused by noise pollution and the risks to people’s health. See: World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe. Biological mechanism related to cardiovascular and metabolic effects by environmental noise, per Charlotta Eriksson and others. See also : Burden of diseases from environmental noise. Quantification of healthy life years lost in Europe , World Health Organization, European commission. See: European Environmental Agency: Projected health impacts from transportation noise – exploring two scenarios for 2030 , Nuria Blaneas et al., ETC-Report 2022. See : Transport Noise. How it affects our health and wellbeing. Institute of Acoustics.   And Blanes, Nuria. Projected health impact from transportation noise – exploring two scenarios for 2030 , European Environmental Agency. On the quantification of healthy life years lost in Europe due to environmental noise, see: Burden of illness from environmental noise , World Health Organization , Regional Office for Europe , 2011. See also : Review of evidence relating to environmental noise exposure and annoyance, sleep disturbance, cardio-vascular and metabolic health outcome in the context of Interdepartmental Group on Costs and Benefits Noise Subject Group, of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport of the Netherlands , 2019. See : Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Regional, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe. See: Environmental noise in Europe, 2020, European Environment Agency. To see Noises, blases and mismatches. Emerging issues of environmental concern . UN: environment programme , Frontiers, 2002. See : European Commission , Assessment of potential health benefits of noise abatement measures in the EU , March 2021. See : Healthy environment, healthy lives : how the environment influences health and well-being in Europe , European Environment Agency, 2019. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has studies on environmental quality and its relationship with quality of life and subjective well- being . [12]The Encyclical Letter Pope Francis’ Laudato Si on caring for the common highlights the importance of environmental quality for life.[13]  See: Ribas, Angela . Doctoral thesis Reflections on the sound environment of the city of Curitiba: the perception of urban noise and its effects on the quality of life of residents of special structural sectors, doctoral thesis defended at the Federal University of Paraná.

d) Injury to the right to work due to excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport

Another fundamental right violated, by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise,  is the right to work , affecting cognition and productivity. There is the right to a quality work environment, degraded by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from buses. People who work from home are affected by noise pollution from buses. Not only that, tube station workers and other workers due to noise pollution from buses.

e) Damage to the right to rest, sound well-being, sound comfort, caused by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport

There is also a violation of the right to rest,  to hearing well-being and hearing comfort , people are unable to relax in their own home due to noise pollution, carried out every week of the year. [14]Studies demonstrate the need for rest as a way to regain attention. At night, the situation is serious as excessive noise offends the right to rest and the right to sleep. EXCESSIVE, UNNECESSARY AND ABUSIVE noises  and environmental noise pollution from buses significantly impact the human environment. The human environment where neighbors live, public roads where buses travel. In short: excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and noise pollution  they cause acoustic environmental damage, causing the degradation of the sound environmental quality where the neighborhood community lives.

f) Injury to the principle of human dignity, caused by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport

There is damage to the ecological dimension of the principle of human dignity . The residential environment of the home is the person’s sacred environment, it is the refuge, the habitat, the shelter and, however, it is the target of noise pollution and excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from public passenger transport buses. Therefore, respect for the protection of the environmental surroundings of property and housing is essential.

g) Injury to the right to a culture of public quiet and tranquility, caused by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus  public transport

Another point to note is the right to a culture of urban quiet, which protects the external environment and the residential environment. Citizens have the right to urban tranquility, without noise pollution from public passenger transport buses. According to the Superior Court of Justice, in a paradigm decision, there is the right to silence to contain environmental noise pollution. There is the right to sound environmental sustainability, in order to combat acoustic environmental degradation in cities.

h) Injury to the right to sustainable development caused by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport

And also the right to sustainable development, with technological innovations and industries for the acoustic environmental quality of public passenger transport buses. Economic studies point to the devaluation of properties in environments polluted by noise, even noisy neighborhoods are a factor in the depreciation of properties. The difference between the SOUND ENVIRONMENTAL SURROUNDING  POLLUTED OF A PROPERTY AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL SOUND SURROUNDINGS OF THE PROPERTY ARE NOT POLLUTED. THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF PROPERTIES IN CLEAN, HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENTAL ENVIRONMENTS IS MUCH HIGHER.

On the topic, consult Elisabete MM Arsenio  and his work The valuation of environmental externalities : a states preference case study on traffic noise in Lisbon , thesis presented before the University of Leeds and Institute of Transport Studies in 2002. The author describes the environmental value of urban quiet and the environmental damage caused by noise pollution from traffic in the city of Lisbon. It describes the damage caused to the residential environment by transport noise pollution.

The author points out the factors for measuring environmental damage: area of the residential environment impacted by noise pollution (work area, rest areas, rest areas, leisure areas, study areas, among others), the length of stay of residents in the local environment, the number of people residing in the property, the proximity of the area affected by noise pollution to the street, the level of education of the property’s residents, the type of street where traffic occurs, the habituality of work or study in the residence, the opening of windows during summer and autumn, the number of years residents have lived in the property, among other criteria. Thus, the author concludes that environmental degradation caused by noise pollution from traffic is a factor in property devaluation. When the environmental surroundings of the property are affected by noise pollution, the property’s value is devalued, as it impacts its use value and non-use value .

The author suggests compensation for environmental damage to the population exposed to noise pollution. One of the criteria of the valuation methodology is the hedonic method, including the use value and non-use value of the property. The assessment takes into account the impact on the indoor and outdoor environment of the property. Noise pollution is considered a negative externality to the traffic and transport system.

Chia- Jena Yu , in his work Environmentally sustainable acoustics in urban residential area , thesis before the Faculty of Architecture of Sheffield, highlights the impact of traffic  over residential areas, differentiating environmental noise pollution from light, medium and heavy vehicles. The author defends the integration of acoustic urban sustainability with urban policy and residential policy.

Now, we must also analyze the issue of environmental noise pollution and the impact on public health, environmental health and mental health of the population. People undergoing healthcare are intensely impacted by noise pollution from traffic and transport systems. People with hypertension and heart disease suffer their health because of noise. Cardiovascular health is severely impacted by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise. People with neurodiversity and cognitive and auditory neurodivergence , such as: autism spectrum disorder, hyperactivity, attention deficit , anxiety and depression disorder, stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, are intensely impacted by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise   and environmental noise pollution from public passenger transport buses.

There are people with hypersensitivity to noise, diagnosed with misophonia , hyperacusis and absolute hearing, who experience a degrading sensory overload due to the excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise of public passenger transport buses. It should be noted that people with mental disorders (such as anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, attention deficit , among others) are harmed by the excessive noise of public passenger transport buses. Babies are intensely affected by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and environmental noise pollution. Sleep quality is strongly impacted by excessive noise and environmental noise pollution from public passenger transport buses. On the topic , see : Biological mechanisms related to cardiovascular and metabolic effects by environmental noise by Charlotta Ericksson et al., World Health Organization. – ENCLOSED DOCUMENT. See: Burden of diseases from environmental noise. Quantification of healthy life year lost in Europe, World Health Organization.  Consult : Noise, blazes and mismatches. Emerging issues of environmental concern , UN environment programme , Frontiers, 2022. See also : Healthy environment, healthy lives: how the environment influences health and well-being in Europe , European Environmental Agency, EEA Report, 2019. See : Alletta , Francesco and Kang, Jian. Promoting healthy and supportive acoustic environments. Going beyond the stillness s. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, MDPI.  See also European agency environment , topic We are .

And Swinburn, Tracy and others. Valuing quiet: an economic assessment of US environmental noise as a cardiovascular health hazard , American Journal Preventive Medicine.  In addition to Environmental Health , it is important to assess the impact of noise pollution from traffic, transport and neighborhoods on the economic value of the impacted property. It is not acceptable that the municipality’s omission CAUSES ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION OF SOUND QUALITY,  impact urban planning and the local real estate sector. In other words, the omission is the cause of serious damage to urban policy and urban planning law. About This one topic , see : Daniels Rhonda, Monetary valuation of the environmental impacts of transport , Institute of Transport Studies, the University of Sydney . See also S. Navrud . _ The economic value of noise within the European Union – a review and analysis of studies, paper Acústica 2004.

i ) Injury to the Right to Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Transport, caused by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport.

The emission of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and environmental noise pollution caused by public passenger transport buses causes serious harm to the right to clean, healthy and sustainable transport. The Constitution guarantees the right to a healthy environment. Therefore, a collective passenger transport system that pollutes acoustics is incompatible with the right to a healthy environment. The National Environmental Policy Law prevents environmental quality from being protected. Therefore, the environmental degradation caused by buses that cause excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise is incompatible with this law. The Public Services Concession Law guarantees the right to quality public service. Therefore, noisy buses violate this law.      

j) Right to the city’s soundscape, without excessive, unnecessaru and abusive noise and environmental noise pollution.

Here, we will address the soundscape of cities. There is no adequate perception of the influence of noise  excessive, unnecessary and abusive and noise pollution in cities, caused by public passenger transport buses. The environment is contaminated by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise  which affects environmental quality and environmental health and, of course, human, physical and mental health. This contaminated soundscape affects the person’s “psychological landscape.” Also, the city’s cultural landscape is contaminated by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise.  and environmental noise pollution from buses. Simple activities such as reading and writing are hampered by excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise. Excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise disrupts the state of cognition and concentration. An entire learning community, students, teachers, workers, intellectuals, is impacted by noise and environmental noise pollution. The entire educational landscape is contaminated by noise and environmental noise pollution. Think about the environment of schools, libraries, colleges, universities contaminated by the noise of public passenger transport buses .

Excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise generates stress in the human body. The mechanosphere is a factor in acoustic contamination of the biosphere . Absurdly, there is a hierarchy of the mechanosphere over the biosphere ! The Law has the primary function of imposing the biosphere (the sphere of human life) as a preponderant value in the legal system, in order to promote the containment of noise and environmental pollution in the city caused by EXCESSIVE, UNNECESSARY AND ABUSIVE noise from public transport buses of passengers. Therefore, acoustically polluting buses cause a loss of environmental quality and also a loss of health. The literature is very rich in understanding this topic. Excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise  and noise pollution from public passenger transport buses destroy fauna biodiversity, mainly impacting birds. But there is also the impact  on animal health and well-being, especially dogs and cats, with hearing greater than human hearing. About mechanical noises, see: Bijsterveld , Karin. Mechanical Sound. Technology, culture and public problems of noise in the twentieth century . Massachusetts Institute of Technolog , 2008. On the mechanization of life and cities, see: Giedion . Mechanization takes command. A contribution to anonymous history . Minneapolis, University of Minnesot Press, 2017. On the notion of acoustic space , see Marshall McLuhmann . Here, the author explains that sound is related to hearing, an organ of contact, of interconnection with the environment. On the notion of acoustic atmosphere , see: Bohme , Gernot . Atmospheric Architectures. The aesthetics of felt spaces , edited and translated by A. Chr. Engels- Schwarzpaul . Bloomsbury , Berlin, 2017.

About urban atmosphere , see: Niels Abertsen , Urban atmospheres , ambiances , redécouvertes . About the story acoustics , see : Francisco Aletta and Jiang Kang: Historical acoustics relationships between people and sound over time . Basel: MPDPI, 2020.

In Brazil, on soundscape , we have the following works: Oliveira, Marcio Luis , Custódio e Maraluce , M. Lima, Carolina Carneiro. Law and landscape. The affirmation of an individual and diffuse fundamental right. Belo Horizonte: Editora D’Plácido , 2017. Also, see:  Custódio, Maraluce , Santos, Fernando Barotti and Máximo, Maria Flávia (organizers). Landscape law. Legal and interdisciplinary aspects . Belo Horizonte, São Paulo: D’Plácido , 2021. About cultural landscapes, see: Andreotti , Paisagens culturales , Curitiba: Editora UFPR, 2013. About the environmental and aesthetic value of peaceful spaces, see: Bentley , clive. Tranquil Spaces, measuring the tranquility of public spaces . Suffolk: Sharps Redmore Press, 2019. In short: urban auditory aesthetics is an environmental quality, associated with environmental health, environmental and auditory comfort and environmental and auditory well-being. Here, auditory aesthetics are correlated with environmental health and public well-being. One of the factors to be respected in urban, environmental, health, educational and cultural policy in cities.

Precedent from the highest Court of Justice guaranteeing the right to silence.

The Superior Court of Justice, in a paradigm decision, recognized the right to silence in order to stop environmental noise pollution.

SPECIAL APPEAL N. 1.051,306-MG (2008/0087087-3)

Rapporteur: Minister Castro Meira
Rapporteur for the ruling : Minister Herman Benjamin Appellant: Ministry Public of the State of Minas Gerais Defendant: Keliana Bar Ltda
Lawyer: No representation in the case

MENU

Civil Procedure. Public civil action . _ Environment. Right to silence . Noise pollution . _ Article 3, III, paragraph and , from Law no. 6,938/1981. Diffuse interest. Ad Cause Legitimacyof the Ministry Public .

1. Hypothesis of Public Civil Action filed with the aim of stopping noise pollution caused by commercial establishments.

2. Although it recognized the existence of noise pollution , the Court of origin asserted that the interests involved are individual, as they affect only a portion of the municipal population .

3. Noise pollution , even in urban areas , is as harmful to human beings and the environment as other activities that achieve the “healthy quality of life”, referred to in art. 225, caput , of the Federal Constitution .

4. The right to silence is one of the manifestations most current legal aspects of postmodernity and life in society, including in large urban centers.

5. The fact that cities all over the world are associated with the ubiquity of noises of all kinds and that we live in the country of carnival and countless Musical manifestations do not take away from every Brazilian the right to rest and sleep, two of the expressions of the right to silence , which find justification not only ethically , but above all physiologically .

6. Pursuant to Law no. 6,938/1981 ( National Environmental Policy Law), activity that releases “energy in disagreement with established environmental standards ” into the environment is also pollution (art. 3, III, paragraph and , I highlighted), exactly the sound and noise hypothesis . For this reason , the application of art. 14, § 1, of the same Law, which gives legitimacy to act to the Ministry Public .

7. In the case of noise pollution , and not a simple nuisance restricted to wall borders , the Ministry ‘s actions Public It is not aimed at the protection of individual neighborhood rights , in the traditional civilist sense, but rather at the defense of the environment, health and tranquility public , goods of a diffuse nature.

8. The Ministry The Public has the legitimacy to propose a Public Civil Action with the aim of preventing or stopping any type of pollution , including noise, as well as seeking compensation for damages resulting from it.

9. The indeterminacy of subjects, considered when establishing the legitimacy to act in Public Civil Action , is not incompatible with the existence of individualized or individualizable victims , it is sufficient that the affected legal assets are, wholesale, associated with greater values of society , shared by all, and equally guaranteed to all, by constitutional or legal standards, as is the case with an ecologically balanced environment and health .

10. Special Appeal provided.

JUDGMENT

Having seen, reported and discussed the files in which the abovementioned parties are parties, the Ministers of the Second Panel of the Superior Court of Justice agree : “The Panel, by majority, granted the appeal, in accordance with the vote of Mr. ). Minister Herman Benjamin who will issue the ruling . Mr. Minister-Rapporteur who dismissed the appeal was unsuccessful.” Ministers Humberto Martins, Mauro Campbell Marques and Eliana Calmon voted with Minister Herman Benjamin.

Brasília (DF), October 16, 2008 (trial date). Minister Herman Benjamin, Rapporteur

Environmental Responsibility of the municipality and the concessionaire, licensee and/or authorizer of the bus public transport service  in restoring the natural sound environmental quality

Here, the natural environment, free from excessive and unnecessary noise and environmental noise pollution from public passenger transport buses, urgently needs to be restored. Both the municipality and the company providing the urban passenger transport service must restore environmental sound quality, freeing it from acoustic contamination from excessive noise and environmental noise pollution. There is an obligation to regenerate the original sound environmental quality of the natural environment, without excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from urban passenger transport buses. In summary, the Municipality has a constitutional, legal and ethical duty to restore the original environmental sound quality of the neighborhood, getting rid of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from urban passenger transport buses.

Obligation of the concessionaire and public authorities in  repair acoustic environmental damage

The situation of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from urban passenger transport buses violates the Public Service Concessions Law. According to the Public Service Concessions Law:

“Art. 25. The concessionaire is responsible for executing the service granted, and is responsible for all losses caused to the granting authority, users or third parties, without the supervision carried out by the competent body excluding or mitigating this responsibility.

The concessionaire, permit holder and/or authorizer has the duty to repair the acoustic environmental damage caused to the city .

Obligations of the granting authority to monitor the adequacy of public service and bus public transport.

According to the Concessions Law  of Public Services, when dealing with the responsibilities of the granting authority:

 “Art. 29. The granting authority is responsible for:

I – regulate the service granted and permanently monitor its provision;

II – apply regulatory and contractual penalties;

III – intervene in the provision of the service, in the cases and conditions provided for by law;

IV – terminate the concession, in the cases provided for in this Law and in the manner provided for in the contract;

(…)

VI – comply with and enforce the service’s regulatory provisions and the concession’s contractual clauses;

VII – ensure the good quality of the service, receive, investigate and resolve complaints from users, who will be notified, within thirty days, of the measures taken;        

X – encourage increased quality, productivity, environmental preservation and conservation;

XI – encourage competitiveness; It is

XII – encourage the formation of user associations to defend interests related to the service.

Art. 30. When exercising supervision, the granting authority will have access to data relating to the concessionaire’s administration, accounting, technical, economic and financial resources.

Single paragraph. The inspection of the service will be carried out through a technical body of the granting authority or by an entity associated with it, and, periodically, as provided for in regulatory standards, by a commission composed of representatives of the granting authority, the concessionaire and users.

Therefore, it is the obligation of the granting authority to monitor the provision of the public urban passenger transport service in order to promote the opening of administrative proceedings to investigate legal infractions resulting from excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and environmental noise pollution caused by buses.

In this aspect, it is necessary for the public authorities to determine the carrying out of a MANDATORY ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT, WEEKLY AND MONTHLY,  ABOUT EXCESSIVE, UNNECESSARY AND ABUSIVE NOISE EMISSION AND ENVIRONMENTAL NOISE POLLUTION.

The Public Service Concessions Law, when dealing with the  TERMINATION OF THE CONCESSION

Art. 35. The concession is terminated due to:

(…)

III – expiry;

IV – termination;

of individual company.

§ 1 o Once the concession is terminated, all reversible assets, rights and privileges transferred to the concessionaire as provided for in the notice and established in the contract return to the granting authority.

§ 2 o Once the concession is terminated, the service will be immediately taken over by the granting authority, carrying out the necessary surveys, assessments and settlements .

Art. 38. Total or partial non-performance of the contract will result, at the discretion of the granting authority, in the declaration of forfeiture of the concession or the application of contractual sanctions, respecting the provisions of this article, art. 27, and the standards agreed between the parties.

§ 1 The expiry of the concession may be declared by the granting authority when:

I – the service is being provided in an inadequate or deficient manner, based on the standards, criteria, indicators and parameters defining the quality of the service;

II – the concessionaire fails to comply with contractual clauses or legal or regulatory provisions concerning the concession;

(…)

the concessionaire loses the economic, technical or operational conditions to maintain the adequate provision of the service granted;

V – the concessionaire does not comply with the penalties imposed for infractions, within the due deadlines;

VI – the concessionaire does not comply with the notice from the granting authority to regularize the provision of the service;

§ 2 The declaration of the expiry of the concession must be preceded by the verification of the concessionaire’s default in an administrative process, ensuring the right to full defense.

§ 3 Administrative default proceedings will not be initiated before the contractual breaches referred to in § 1 of this article are communicated in detail to the concessionaire, giving it a deadline to correct the faults and transgressions highlighted and to comply with the contractual terms.

§ 4 o Once the administrative process has been initiated and default has been proven, the forfeiture will be declared by decree of the granting authority, regardless of prior compensation, calculated during the process.

§ 5 The compensation referred to in the previous paragraph will be due in accordance with art. 36 of this Law and the contract, minus the value of contractual fines and damages caused by the concessionaire.

§ 6 _ Once expiry is declared, the granting authority will not be held liable in relation to charges, encumbrances, obligations or commitments with third parties or employees of the concessionaire.”

                        Therefore, based on legal premises, the granting authority must promote the opening of an administrative process to determine the environmental responsibility of the public passenger transport concessionaire for excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise and environmental noise pollution caused by polluting buses and, in the end, decree the expiry of the public service concession.

Precedent of the European Court of Human Rights on the right to protection against excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise   environmental noise pollution from traffic and transport.

The European Court of Human Rights in the case DEÉS v. HUNGARY considered an action by a citizen of Hungarian nationality against the Republic of Hungary, on the basis of art. 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, which argued that noise and pollution caused by heavy traffic on the street where he lives violates his fundamental right to home and private life.

Here is the decision :

It appears that from early 1997 the volume of cross-town traffic in Alsónémedi increased, since a toll had been introduced on the neighboring , privately owned motorway M5. In order to avoid the rather high toll charge, many trucks chose alternative routes including the street (a section of national road no. 5201) in which the applicant’s house is situated.

To counter this situation, from 1998 onwards three bypass roads were built; and several measures, including a 40 km/h speed limit at night, were implemented in order to discourage traffic in the neighborhood . Two nearby intersections were provided with traffic lights. In 2001 road signs prohibiting the access of vehicles of over 6 tons and re-orientating traffic were put up along an Alsónémedi thoroughfare, an arrangement which also affected the applicant’s street. The Government submitted that compliance with these measures had been enforced by the increased presence of the police in general in Alsónémedi and in particular in the applicant’s street; in the applicant’s view, however, no effective enforcement was in place.

In or about 1997 the applicant observed damage to the walls of his house. He obtained the opinion of a private expert, who stated that the damage was due to vibrations caused by the heavy traffic. The applicant also alleges that, because of the increased noise and pollution due to exhaust fumes, his home has become almost uninhabitable.

On 23 February 1999 the applicant brought an action in compensation against the Pest County State Public Road Maintenance Company before the Buda Central District Court. He claimed that, due to increased freight traffic in his street, the walls of his house had cracked. The case was transmitted to the Budapest Regional Court for reasons of competence on 11 March 1999. On 11 November, 16 December 1999 and 30 March 2000, the court held hearings. On 6 April 2000 it dismissed the claims.

On appeal, the Supreme Court, acting as a second-instance court, held a hearing on 30 January 2002, quashed the first-instance judgment and remitted the case.

In the summarized proceedings, on 2 June 2002 the Regional Court appointed as expert the Department of Road Construction at Budapest Technical University. The latter presented an opinion on 20 January 2004 which was discussed at the hearing of 29 April 2004. The expert stated that the level of noise outside the applicant’s house had been measured as 69.0 dB(A) on 5 May and 67.1 dB(A) on 6 May 2003, daytime on both occasions, as opposed to the applicable statutory limit of 60 dB(A).

DEES v. HUNGARY JUDGMENT 3

On 10 June 2004 the court held another hearing and ordered the supplementation of the opinion, which was done on 15 September 2004.

On 17 February 2005 the Regional Court dismissed the applicant’s claims. It relied on the opinion of the expert, documentary evidence and the testimony of the parties. It refused the applicant’s motion to obtain the opinion of another expert since it was of the view that the original opinion was thorough and precise.

The court noted the expert’s opinion that the vibration, as measured on the scene, was not strong enough to cause damage to the applicant’s house , nor could the traffic noise involve cracks in its walls although it was higher than the statutory level. The court therefore concluded that no causal link could be established between the measures adopted by the responding authority and the damage to the house. The court observed that the respondent had spent more than one billion Hungarian forints on developing the road system in the area, constructed four roundabouts and put up several road signs and traffic lights in order to divert traffic from Alsónémedi . In sum, it had carried out every measure with a view to sparing Alsónémedi from heavy traffic and limiting the speed of cross-town traffic that could reasonably be expected in the circumstances to protect the applicant’s interest. The respondent had to balance competing interests, since the barring of heavy vehicles from a public road might have been advantageous to the inhabitants of Alsónémedi but could have caused disproportionate prejudice to the other users or providers of public and private transportation.

On 15 November 2005 the Budapest Court of Appeal dismissed the applicant’s appeal.

THE LAW

I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 8 OF THE CONVENTION

The applicant complained that the nuisance caused by the heavy traffic in his street amounted to a violation of his right to respect for his private life and home as guaranteed by Article 8 of the Convention, which reads as follows:

“1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”

(…)

The Court on the merits of the case decided the following:

“The applicant submitted that the noise, vibration, pollution and odor caused by the heavy traffic nearby rendered his home virtually uninhabitable and that the Hungarian authorities’ measures to remedy the situation had been insufficient and/or inadequate.

The Government argued that the environmental problems suffered by the applicant had arisen essentially due to a toll introduced by a private motorway company and the State had responded with various measures to protect the inhabitants of Alsonémedi from the level of environmental harm proscribed by the Court’s case- law under Article 8, thus complying with its positive obligations in this field.

They submitted in particular that the operator of the motorway in question had collected toll charges as of 1 January 1997. Initially, the charges had been so high that they had stopped traffic from using the motorway and given rise to increased traffic through the neighboring villages . Upon protests from the local inhabitants, the toll charges had been slightly lowered . Frequent user and fleet discounts had been granted which, however, had not been attractive enough to reduce toll evasion and the resulting noise and environmental pollution suffered by the neighboring villages . Following a partial governmental buyout of the motorway in 2002, a sticker system had been introduced implying a substantial reduction of the toll charges. A State-owned company had then been commissioned to enhance safety on the contested road sections and reduce the environmental burden on the inhabitants . The measures taken by this agency are outlined in paragraph 7 above.

The Court recalls that Article 8 of the Convention protects the individual’s right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. A home will usually be the place, the physically defined area, where private and family life develops. The individual has a right to respect for his home, meaning not just the right to the actual physical area, but also to the quiet enjoyment of that area within reasonable limits. Breaches of the right to respect of the home are not confined to concrete breaches, such as unauthorized entry into a person’s home, but may also include those that are diffuse, such as noise, emissions, smells or other similar forms of interference. A serious breach may result in the breach of a person’s right to respect for his home if it prevents him from enjoying the amenities of his home (cf. Moreno Gómez v. Spain , no. 4143/02, § 53, ECHR 2004-X ).

Furthermore, although the object of Article 8 is essentially that of protecting the individual against arbitrary interference by the public authorities, it may involve the authorities’ adopting measures designed to secure respect for private life and home even in the sphere of the relations of individuals between themselves (see Moreno Gómez , cited above, § 55).

In the instant case, the Court notes the applicant’s submission that, from 1997 onwards, the noise, vibration, pollution and odor caused by the heavy traffic nearby had made his property almost uninhabitable . It also notes that the Government did not dispute in essence that the situation had indeed been problematic after the introduction of the toll on the motorway outside Alsónémedi – although they argued that the measures implemented had alleviated the burden on the applicant to such an extent that the adverse environmental effects had been reduced and did not reach the minimum level of harm proscribed by Article 8 in this field. The Court finds noteworthy that, from 1998 onwards, the authorities constructed three bypass roads, introduced a night speed limit of 40 km/h and provided two adjacent intersections with traffic lights. In 2001 further measures were implemented, namely road signs prohibiting the access of heavy vehicles and re-orientating traffic were installed (see paragraph 7 above).

Decision continues :

“The Court considers that the State enjoys a certain margin of appreciation in determining the steps to be taken to ensure compliance with the Convention when it comes to the determination of regulatory and other measures intended to protect Article 8 rights. This consideration also holds true in situations, which do not concern direct interference by public authorities with the right to respect for the home but involves those authorities’ failure to take action to put a stop to third-party breaches of the right relied on by the applicant (cf. Moreno Gómez , cited above, § 57). In the present case the State was called on to balance between the interests of road-users and those of the inhabitants of the surrounding areas. The Court recognizes the complexity of the State’s tasks in handling infrastructural issues, such as the present one, where measures requiring considerable time and resources may be necessary. It observes however that the measures which were taken by the authorities consistently proved to be insufficient, as a result of which the applicant was exposed to excessive noise disturbance over a substantial period of time. The Court finds that this situation created a disproportionate individual burden for the applicant. In that respect, the Court observes that, on the basis of the expert opinion of Budapest Technical University, the domestic courts concluded that the vibration or the noise caused by the traffic was not substantial enough to cause damage to the applicant’s house, but the noise exceeded the regulatory level.

6 DEES v. HUNGARY JUDGMENT

( see paragraph 13 above). The Court has already held that noise pressure significantly above statutory levels, unresponded to by appropriate State measures, may as such amount to a violation of Article 8 of the Convention (cf. Oluic ́ v. Croatia , no. 61260/08, §§ 48 to 66, 20 May 2010; Moreno Gómez v. Spain , cited above, §§ 57 to 63). In the present case, it notes that, despite the State’s efforts to slow down and reorganize traffic in the neighborhood , a situation involving substantial traffic noise in the applicant’s street prevailed at least until and including May 2003 when two measuring sessions established noise values respectively 15 % and 12% above the statutory ones (see paragraph 11 above) (see, a contrario , Fägerskiöld v. Sweden (dec.), no. 37664/04, ECHR 2008–… ( extracts )).

In these circumstances, the Court considers that there existed a direct and serious nuisance which affected the street in which the applicant lives and prevented him from enjoying his home in the material period. It finds that the responding State has failed to discharge its positive obligation to guarantee the applicant’s right to respect for his home and private life. Accordingly, there has been a violation of Article 8 of the Convention.

On the issue of damages, the decision said the following:

III. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

Article 41 of the Convention provides:

“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”

A. Damage

In respect of non-pecuniary damages, the applicant claimed 20,000 euros (EUR) for the violation of Article 8 of the Convention and EUR 8,000 for the violation of Article 6.

The Government disputed these claims.

Deciding on an equitable basis, the Court awards the applicant EUR 6,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damages under all heads.

(…)

FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
1. Declare the remainder of the application admissible ;
2. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 8 of the Convention ;
3. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention;

4. Holds
(a) that the responding State is to pay the applicant, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 6,000 (six thousand euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damages, to be converted into Hungarian forints at the rate applicable at the date of settlement;

8 DEES v. HUNGARY JUDGMENT

(b) that from the expiration of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amount at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;

5. Dismisses the remainder of the applicant’s claim for just satisfaction. Done in English, and notified in writing on 9 November 2010, accordingly

to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.

Stanley Naismith Francoise Tulkens Registrar President

                        This case reported above from the European Court is a highly relevant paradigm for controlling the emission of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise resulting from traffic in cities, in protection of the right to private life, the right to environmental quality, the right to health, among others. fundamental values.

SUMMARY

  1. The emission of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise by buses in the bus public transport system and environmental noise pollution is a sufficient cause for the cancelling of the concession, permission and authorization of the  bus public transport service;
  • The emission of excessive, unnecessary noise  and abusive use of buses in the bus public transport system and environmental noise pollution is an illegal, unconstitutional and immoral situation.
  • The emission of excessive, unnecessary noise  and abusive by Buses in the bus public transport and environmental noise pollution violates the principle of prohibiting environmental setbacks, preventing environmental damage, preventing environmental damage, environmental due process, eco-efficiency , environmental safety, environmental peace, among others;
  • The emission of excessive, unnecessary noise  and abusive by Buses of the bus public transport system and environmental noise pollution violates the Constitution, arts . 225, in particular the right to an ecologically balanced and healthy environment.
  • The emission of excessive, unnecessary noise  and abusive use of bus public transport and environmental noise pollution violates users’ rights to quality, comfort and well-being of services.
  • The emission of excessive, unnecessary noise  and abusive by bus public transport and environmental noise pollution violates fundamental environmental rights: the right to environmental noise quality, the right to residential environmental noise quality, the right to acoustic environmental inviolability, the right to environmental health.
  • The failure to monitor and environmentally control excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise in the bus public transport  services violates the duty of efficient protection of fundamental rights and the prohibition of insufficient protection of fundamental rights.
  • The emission of excessive, unnecessary noise  and abusive by Buses of the bus public transport and environmental noise pollution violates the fundamental rights to life, right to private life, right to physical and physiological integrity, right to health, right to sound environmental comfort, right to sound environmental well-being , right to tranquility and peace, right to rest, right to work, among others.
  1. The emission of excessive, unnecessary noise  and abusive by Buses of the bus public transport system and environmental noise pollution violates the fundamental rights to property and housing/housing;
  • The emission of excessive, unnecessary noise  and abusive by buses of the bus public transport and environmental noise pollution, offending the Public Services Concession Law;
  • The emission of excessive, unnecessary noise  and abusive use by buses of the bus public transport and environmental noise pollution offends the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, provided for in Resolution 76, of 2022, of the United Nations.
  • The emission of excessive, unnecessary noise  and abusive by buses in the bus public transport system and environmental noise pollution offends the right to environmental health, which imposes a noise emission limit of 53 dBA during the day and 45 dB (A) at night , in transport and transit systems, by the World Health Organization.
  • The emission of excessive, unnecessary noise  and abusive use of bus public passenger transport system and environmental noise pollution is illegal, violating the National Environmental Policy Law.
  • The emission of excessive, unnecessary noise  and abusive use of bus public transport system and environmental noise pollution offends principles of Environmental Ethics, such as the duty not to cause environmental damage.
  • The omission in environmental inspection and  Controlling the emission of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise by buses  in the public transport system and environmental noise pollution violates the principle of administrative efficiency.
  • The emission of excessive, unnecessary noise  and abusive use of buses in the bus public transport system and environmental noise pollution violates the principle of economy and causes damage to public and environmental assets.
  • The municipality is obliged to establish and apply acoustic environmental quality standards, acoustic environmental efficiency standards, acoustic environmental health standards, acoustic environmental comfort standards, acoustic environmental well-being, industrial quality standards, environmental management standards, to control the emission of excessive, unnecessary and abusive noise from bus public transport services.

[1]Martins, Joana DÁrc. Climate change in the face of the current unconstitutional and unconventional state of affairs. Curitiba: Juruá, 2023.

[2] Stival , Mariane. Morato. International environmental law. The environment in the jurisprudence of the International Courts of Human Rights. Porto: Editorial Juruá, 2018, p. 49.

[3] Stival , Mariane. Morato. International environmental law. The environment in the jurisprudence of the International Courts of Human Rights. Porto: Editorial Juruá, 2018, p.

[4]See still. UK. Casa, Lar of Lords . Science and Technology Committee. 2nd Report of Session 2022-23. The neglected pollutants: the effects of artificial light and noise on human health .

[5] Environmental damage . 8th edition, revised, updated and reformulated. Rio de Janeiro: Forense, 2020, p. 73.

[6]See: Cicognani, Elvira. Psychological home and well being . See also Pol, Enric and others. Quality of life and sustainability: the end of quality at any price. Handbook of Environmental Psychology and Quality of Life Reserach , Switzerland, Springer International Publishing, 2017/

[7]

[8]In Magister Magazine of Environmental and Urban Law, Notebook 94, Feb/Mar 2021. Lex Magister: Porto Alegre, 2005.

[9]Work cited, p. 199.

[10]See: Stoklos, Daniel and Altman, Irwin. Handbook of environmental psychology . John Wiley & Sons, 1987.

[11]European Commission, Assessment of potential health benefits of noise abatement measures in the EU, March 2021. See also : Burden of dialysis from environmental noise. Quantification of healthy life year lost in Europe.

[12]See: OECD, How’s life? 2020. Measuring well-being , 2020.

[13]Pope Francis, Encyclical Letter Laudato Si on Care for our Common Home . São Paulo: Paulinas, 2022.

[14]On the topic of comfort, see: Schmidt, Aloisio Leoni. The idea of comfort. Reflections on the built environment. Curitiba: Environmental Pact, 2005.

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“Letter from the Anti-Noise Environmental Monitor Association to the World Vehicle Standards Regulation Forum” on bus noise and environmental noise pollution

“One day humanity will have to fight against noise pollution as it fought plague and cholera.” Robert Koch, Physician and Nobel Prize in Medicine

Dear  Director –   World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29

  1. Our Anti-Noise Environmental Monitor Association focuses on sound environmental education, acoustic environmental sustainability, promoting acoustic efficiency and controlling the emission of environmental noise.
  2. For this reason, we are contacting you as following.
  3. The United Nations has the Economic Commission for Europe, called Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations – UNECE.
  4. This Commission decides on technical vehicle standards, through the so-called WP 29 group. In addition to technical vehicle safety standards, there are standards on noise emission control. Vehicles are classified by categories: cars, motorcycles, trucks, buses, etc.
  5. Well, the “Regulation” nº 51.03 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations – UNECE provides for norms of vehicle engines and noise emission.
  6. Now, this Regulation n. 51.03 maintains a polluting status quo of passenger bus engines, by allowing the emission of noise in the range of 76 dB (seventy-six decibels) to 73 dB (seventy-three decibels).
  7. According to guidance from the World Health Organization, noise above 50 dB (fifty decibels) causes damage to health, a topic detailed further ahead.
  8. Regulation no. 51.03 on noise emission standards by bus engines is contrary to Resolution n. 76, of 2022, of the United Nations , which guarantees the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, a topic also detailed ahead.
  9. And yet, Regulation no. 51.03, by maintaining a standard of acoustic inefficiency for passenger transport bus engines, is totally contrary to industrial innovation and acoustic environmental sustainability policies.
  10. Regulation no. 51.03 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe – UNECE even influenced Brazil, which approved, through  National Council for the Environment, Resolution n. 490, of November 16, 2018 
  11. In 2018, the National Council for the Environment approved Resolution n. 490, of November 16, 2018, which establishes the PROCONVE P8 phase of requirements of the Air Pollution Control Program for Motor Vehicles – PROCONVE for the control of polluting gas emissions and noise for heavy motor vehicles for road use and other measures”.
  12. Well, noise from passenger transport buses and school buses  cause the degradation of environmental quality and, consequently, the quality of life.
  13. Noise and environmental noise pollution impact the urban environment, the residential environment, the work environment, the school environment, the hospital environment, among others.
  14. The World Health Organization reports that noise above 50 dB (fifty) decibels causes damage to environmental health, hearing health, mental health, occupational health, etc.
  15. Therefore, there is the first incompatibility between Regulation 53.01 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the guidance of the World Health Organization of the maximum limit of 50 dB (fifty decibels), for the protection of health, here physical health, physiological health, mental health, occupational health, environmental health among other aspects.
  16. In 2022, the UN published Resolution No. 76 on the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
  17. Here, there is the second incompatibility between Regulation no. 53.01 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe  and UN Resolution No. 76/2022 which guarantees the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable city, free of noise pollution.
  18. The UN has the sustainable development goals: health and well-being (goal 3), quality education (goal 4), decent work (goal 8), industry, innovation and infrastructure (goal 9), sustainable cities and communities (goal 11), responsible consumption and production (goal 12).
  19. Hence, the third incompatibility between Regulation 53.01 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the UN’s sustainable development goals.
  20. However, Regulation 53.01 of the Economic Commission  of the United Nations for Europe legitimizes a standard of acoustic inefficiency for passenger transport buses.
  21. Regulation 53.01 of the Economic Commission  of the United Nations for Europe goes against the grain of environmental protection, innovation, environmental sustainability and acoustic efficiency policies.
  22. Noise pollution from buses runs counter to the values of health, well-being, decent work, innovation in industry and infrastructure, sustainable cities and communities, and responsible consumption and production.
  23. Fifth incompatibility. A  Regulation no. 53.01 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe goes against the initiative of the European Union Environmental Agency to eliminate environmental noise pollution.
  24. There are progressive targets to reduce at least 30% (thirty) percent of noise in the transport sector. There, the maximum limits for noise are 45 dB (forty-five decibels) at night and 55 dB (fifty-five decibels ) during the day.
  25. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development deals with the subject in the study How’s life ? 2020. Measuring wellness . Also, the study shows that subjective well-being is an indicator of quality of life.
  26. Scientific research points to the loss of quality of life and health, because of noise and environmental noise pollution.[1]
  27. The principle of environmental sustainability requires innovation policies regarding the quality and acoustic efficiency of products, that is, to promote eco-efficiency , eco-quality and eco-sustainability  of products and services.
  28. This principle prohibits the manufacture of environmentally unsustainable vehicles. Thus, it is an optimization mandate for the production of acoustically eco-efficient vehicles .
  29. A bus with noise emission power is an inefficient, defective, zero quality product. Well, an eco-efficient bus , with eco-quality ,  acoustically it should not produce noise. Noise is toxic waste from machines, equipment and tools that pollute the environment. Noise is harmful to human life and health, environmental health, occupational health, mental health and emotional health.
  30. As mentioned, according to the World Health Organization, noise above 50 dB (fifty) decibels causes damage to health. For this reason, health protection regulations must be respected when manufacturing buses. The lack of acoustic quality of passenger transport buses is capable of causing serious damage to fundamental rights to  life, quality of life, health, well-being, peace, rest, privacy, private life, acoustic home inviolability, work, the culture of stillness, among others.
  31. Also, scientific evidence points to the biological effects caused by noise pollution and the risks to people’s health. See: World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe. Biological mechanism related to cardiovascular and metabolic effects by environmental noise, per Charlotte Eriksson and others. See: Burden of disease from environmental noise. Quantification of healthy life years lost in Europe , World Health Organization, European commission. See also : European Environmental Agency: Projected health impacts from transportation noise – exploring two scenarios for 2030 , Nuria Blaneas et al., ETC-Report 2022.
  32. On the quantification of healthy life years lost in Europe due to environmental noise, see: Burden of disease from environmental noise , World Health Organization , Regional Office for Europe , 2011. See also : Review of evidence relating to environment noise exposure and annoyance, sleep disturbance, cardio-vascular and metabolic health outcome in the context of Interdepartmental Group on Costs and Benefits Noise Subject Group, from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport of the Netherlands , 2019. See : Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Regional, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe. See: Environmental noise in Europe, 2020, European Environment Agency. To see Noises, blases and mismatches. Emerging issues of environment concern . UN: environment programme , Frontiers, 2002. See also : European Commission , Assessment of potential health benefits of noise abatement measures in the EU , March 2021. See : Healthy environment, healthy lifes : how the environment influences health and well-being in Europe , European Environment Agency, 2019.
  33. Thus, the production of buses above 50 dB (fifty) fifty decibels must be considered a practice contrary to the norm for the protection of environmental quality and environmental health.
  34. In addition, there is the issue of protecting the health of special groups such as people with cognitive and auditory neurodiversity .
  35. For example, people with autism spectrum disorder are auditory hypersensitive.
  36. Elderly people are also more sensitive to noise and more impaired in their hearing due to noise.
  37. Also, considering the environmental law, there are the principles of prevention of environmental damage, precaution of environmental damage, prohibition of environmental retrogression, duty of environmental progressivity. For this reason, these environmental principles demand respect for the acoustic environmental quality and demand the effective control of noise emissions from passenger transport buses.
  38. Now, noise is not natural, it is the residue of artificial products. They are a mechanical anomaly, derived from acoustic inefficiency.
  39. The natural environment is usually quiet, approximately between 30 dB (thirty decibels) to 40 (forty decibels). Therefore, noises above these natural standards are considered contrary to the natural environment.
  40. And considering the protection of health and animal welfare, protective measures are needed to control the environmental noise pollution caused by passenger transport buses.
  41. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development released the paper Engaging citizens in innovation policy , in June 2023. The study highlights the importance of citizen participation in the formulation and execution of innovation policies, in the modeling of science and technology programs.
  42. Citizen engagement is seen as an essential contribution to institutions and the private sector. The participation of citizens and civil society organizations has a lot to contribute to innovation, science and technology policies. With greater citizen participation, there is an increase in the quality of innovation policy and its dissemination.
  43. Citizenship can contribute to  the innovation strategy and agenda, the definition of the schedule, the intelligence of the procedures and the execution of the innovation policy.
  44. For this reason, proper communication with citizens regarding innovation policy is important. Citizens’ assemblies are being organized to debate and propose measures to face climate change and global warming: Citizen’s Convention on Climate , Climate Assembly UK, Global Warming , Finland’s citizen’s Jury on climate action , Smart City initiative of Parma ( Italy ), Natural Environment Research UK Council .
  45. Citizen participation in environmental issues is fundamental. Only with coordinated action will it be possible to advance in effective actions to face the environmental crisis.
  46. In the European Union there are several initiatives to democratize access to science and technology for citizens. The democratization of scientific knowledge, access to technologies and innovation is the path to sustainable development. For this reason, for example, the technological empowerment of citizens is necessary for them to participate in innovation policy and environmental policy application.
  47. Also, in the European Union there are several regulations on industrial quality, aiming to guarantee health and safety, see:  Directive 2006/42/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 17 may 2006 on machinery . Also, there are rules on  ecodesign requirements for the manufacture of sustainable products.[2]
  48. The mobilization and engagement of the global citizenry is a powerful force in the fight against the climate crisis and the noise and environmental noise pollution epidemic. In particular for industrial innovation that is committed to the manufacture of sustainable, acoustically eco-efficient products . Smart, healthy and sustainable cities need sustainable environmental citizenship.
  49. Also, the industry must be in line with Resolution No. 76, of 2022,  of the UN that guarantees the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, which includes the right to an environment free of mechanical noise and noise pollution.
  50. In short, the passenger bus manufacturing industry  is linked to respect for the right to environmental quality and the right to residential quality, the right to a quality work environment, free from mechanical noise and noise pollution.
  51. The principle of environmental sustainability demands the updating of ethical norms for the industrial design of passenger buses.
  52. It is urgent that industrial innovation and commitment to acoustic efficiency and acoustic environmental sustainability.
  53. Industrial products cannot cause environmental noise degradation in cities. However, defective products are capable of killing, causing illness, accidents, among other aggravating factors.
  54. About The eco-efficiency , see : World Business Council for sustainable development. Eco-efficiency. Learning module. Five Winds International.
  55. There are therefore serious risks to public health, environmental health and mental health from noise and noise pollution from  defective buses, with sound emission power above 50 dB (fifty decibels).
  56. For this reason, it is necessary for industrial innovation to adopt total environmental quality management programs, with norms, quality standards, protocols and standards linked to acoustic environmental sustainability.
  57. Thus, the need arises for an Environmental Code of Ethics for the industrial design of products with acoustic emission power. This Code shall apply to the passenger transport bus sector.
  58. The passenger bus manufacturing industry must adopt an environmental code of ethics to produce quieter vehicles.
  59. In addition to the environmental aspect,  the regulation of noise on passenger transport buses is a need for public health, environmental health and mental health. Noise causes harm to human health.
  60. Also, noise compromises the health and well-being of animals. Hence, the need for healthier environmental practices in the design of industrial products. The healthy environment provides healthy lives, unlike the polluted environment produces disease and death.[3]
  61. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development points to studies on the responsible business conduct policy.[4]
  62. Here is the opportunity for the passenger transport bus industry to adopt standards of environmental responsibility, to avoid environmental damage and the commitment to several fundamental rights, with the reduction of noise emissions.
  63. Under debate, there is the issue of environmental noise pollution and noise caused by buses in the collective passenger transport system in cities.
  64. Scientific studies show the damage to health caused by air pollution caused by transport systems.[5] See: World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe. Biological mechanisms related to cardiovascular and metabolic effects by environmental noise, per Charlotte Eriksson and others. See: Burden of disease from environmental noise. Quantification of healthy life years lost in Europe , World Health Organization, European commission. See also : European Environmental Agency: Projected health impacts from transportation noise – exploring two scenarios for 2030 , Nuria Blaneas et al., ETC-Report 2022. See : Transport Noise. How it affects our health and wellbeing. Institute of Acoustics. And Blanes, Nuria. Projected health impact from transportation noise – exploring two scenarios for 2030 , European Environmental Agency.
  65. The European Union Environmental Agency has targets to eliminate and reduce noise and noise pollution from transport systems. The zero pollution action plan includes measures to reduce transport noise by 2030. The goal is to reduce 30% (thirty) percent of transport noise by 2030 .[6]
  66. Currently, the noise emission limit, according to the World Health Organization for streets, avenues and roads is 53 dB (fifty-three decibels) for the day. During the night, the limit is 45 dB (forty-five decibels). For the European Environment Agency  the noise limit on streets, avenues and roads is 55 dB (fifty-five decibels) for the day. For the night, it is 50 dB (fifty decibels).[7]
  67. In the environmental cooperation agreements of the European Union called Green City Accord is in the ranking of environmental sustainability there is the noise factor as an indicator. There is consideration of the risks of the population exposed to noise greater than 55 dB (fifty-five) decibels during the night.[8] 
  68. To be considered a clean, healthy and sustainable city, there must be control of noise pollution. Public passenger transport systems cause damage to the environment and to environmental health and people’s health. For this reason, it is the obligation of the public authorities to adopt all measures to eliminate, reduce and isolate noise and noise pollution from public passenger transport buses. There is harm to passengers, transport users. There are damages on workers of transport companies. And there is damage to the nearby community where the buses circulate and to residents neighboring the bus terminals. There is an expectation that electric buses can be the solution to the serious problem of air pollution and noise pollution.
  69. For this reason, it is urgent to accelerate electric mobility programs for the collective passenger transport system in cities. A legal instrument to dissuade noise polluters is for the public authorities to impose anti-noise environmental fees on public transport companies that cause environmental degradation in cities.[9]
  70. Another regulatory option is for the government to impose environmental compensation measures for the environmental damage caused, with obligations to restore the natural environment, free of noise. Finally, it is urgent that cities are mobilized by citizens for the movement of clean, intelligent, healthy and sustainable transport.
  71. It is clear that noise from equipment, machines, products and services damages the right to life, the right to quality of life,  right to residential environmental quality, right to health, right to comfort and well-being, right to property, right to housing, right to acoustic home inviolability, among others.
  72. Likewise, mechanical noise  violate the principles of prevention of environmental damage, precaution of environmental damage, prohibition of environmental backlash. It is also necessary to enforce the polluter-pays principle by imposing environmental charges on acoustic polluters, manufacturers of passenger transport buses that pollute acoustically.
  73. In summary, it is fundamental that consumers, users and companies have better expectations of quality and acoustic performance of equipment, machines, tools, to demand better eco-efficient environmental practices from the industry .
  74. New acoustic design of passenger transport bus must be adopted for the quality of acoustic performance and acoustic efficiency. Here, it is time for industrial innovation committed to environmental and social innovation.
  75. Several passenger transport bus industries manufacture acoustically inefficient products. A vicious cycle of dependence on inefficiency was created , as cheaper products are more profitable, even though they are defective.
  76. Lack of competitiveness and quality  is a factor of stagnation of industrial production. Noise is a mechanical anomaly and a symbol of industrial underdevelopment. These noisy machines cause environmental degradation. For this reason, industrial innovation committed to environmental innovation and the offer of acoustically eco-sustainable products is urgent .
  77. The author Frederick J. Kiesler , when addressing the technological environment, describes the steps of the arc of the journey from the deficiency of products, with old standards, until reaching efficiency with the adoption of new standards, describes the challenge of the arc of the journey from inefficiency to the efficiency of standards . He highlights the importance of defining design and biotechnology , that is, technology at the service of life. Design of biotechnical standards serve to ensure the quality of life.[10]
  78. The passenger bus industry needs to commit to acoustic environmental sustainability and the principle of acoustic efficiency.
  79. Eco -efficiency is a goal to be achieved by the industry, using industrial innovation to ensure environmental innovation, that is, the manufacture of better and environmentally sustainable products.[11]
  80. It is necessary to engage the industry with acoustic environmental ethics Currently, there is a standard of acoustic inefficiency of products, something harmful to consumer rights and environmental rights.
  81. On ethical disengagement from the industry, see: Bandura , Albert. Preventing ecological sustainability through selective moral disengagement. in  Moral disengagement. Theory and research from social cognitive theory in Bandura , Albert et al. Campinas: Mercado das Letras, 2015.
  82. There is an urgent need for a new ecodesign for the acoustic eco-efficiency of buses for the purposes of environmental innovation, with a commitment to acoustic environmental sustainability. It is unacceptable to allow buses to be sources of noise pollution.
  83. Society has the right to environmental quality and, therefore, the right to acoustic environmental sustainability. Environmental principles of prohibition of environmental setback, prevention of environmental damage, precaution of environmental damage and polluter pays. These environmental principles demand new practices from industries and their commitment to the acoustic efficiency of equipment, machines and tools and, respectively, to acoustic environmental sustainability.
  84. It is essential to engage competent authorities and citizens to adopt better environmental practices  on the issue of acoustic environmental sustainability, imposing the necessary accountability of acoustic polluters.
  85. It is urgent that we overcome the antisocial, insane, inefficient and unsustainable mechanistic model of mechanical noise.
  86. New norms, total environmental quality standards, acoustic efficiency, acoustic environmental sustainability protocols are necessary to have a clean, healthy and sustainable industry and services.

Acoustic environmental sanitation service

  • It is necessary to recommend as a new kind of environmental sanitation service the public sound cleaning service, that is, to guarantee the quality of the urban environment and sound environmental health, free of mechanical noise and noise pollution. It would be a new category of environmental sanitation service.
  • Well, if a garbage collection and treatment service is mandatory, why not a sound cleaning service in cities?

Principle of acoustic environmental efficiency as a fundamental core of environmental policy.

  • The principle of acoustic efficiency is based on good management practices for total environmental quality. [12]Also, in principles of environmental sustainability. Currently, there are practices to extend producer responsibility, because of waste production and environmental sustainability.[13]  Thus, practices of environmental responsibility are fundamental for the industrial product, with acoustic emission power.
  • To avoid noise and environmental noise pollution, the principle of acoustic efficiency is necessary to eliminate, reduce and isolate noise from passenger transport buses. The principle of efficiency is a mandate to optimize the manufacture, distribution, use and consumption of products. This principle demands eco-innovation to guarantee industrial acoustic quality in the manufacture of equipment, machines and tools. The best way to combat noise pollution is to directly attack the source of noise production, that is, the polluting objects.
  • The principle of acoustic efficiency is derived from the right to an ecologically balanced and healthy environment, the right to clean, healthy and sustainable cities, the principle of environmental sustainability, the prohibition of environmental retrogression, the prevention of environmental damage, the precaution of environmental damage, the duty of environmental progressivity . There is a duty of industrial innovation to meet the principle of acoustic efficiency. The principle of acoustic efficiency also stems from the principle of administrative efficiency, which is binding on public administration.
  • In effecting the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, it must promote and incorporate the principle of acoustic efficiency for machinery, equipment, tools and services.
  • Therefore, measures must be adopted to encourage industrial innovation in favor of acoustic efficiency and environmental sustainability.
  • Therefore, it is the responsibility  of the public power to establish the innovation policy, applicable to environmental innovation, industrial innovation, legal innovation, social innovation, among others. There is a duty of continuous improvement  of environmental quality.
  • Measures must be taken to encourage industrial innovation in favor of acoustic efficiency and environmental sustainability.
  • And, in addition, the principle of acoustic efficiency is ordered according to the protection of environmental health and public health.
  • In summary, we can only have a clean, healthy and sustainable environment if we have better standards of acoustic environmental quality and acoustic efficiency of equipment, machines, tools, products, services and vehicles.

Proposals to ensure acoustic environmental quality

98. The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29 could RECOMMEND more precise and exact environmental norms regarding the standard of acoustic environmental quality and environmental health, for the control of the noise emission of buses of the transport of passengers in the cities.

99. The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29

could RECOMMEND a system for monitoring acoustic environmental quality.

100. The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29 would RECOMMEND  compliance with the standards of the World Health Organization, which consider that noise above 50 (fifty) decibels are considered harmful to health and apply this maximum limit of health protection in relation to the control of noise emission from buses for transporting passengers in cities

101. The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29 could endorse and disseminate technological innovations aimed at promoting acoustic efficiency. And also promote acoustic environmental sustainability for smart, healthy and sustainable city programs.

102. The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29 could adopt acoustic environmental education campaigns to alert the population about the risks arising from environmental noise.

103. The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29 could endorse the upgrading of quality standards and acoustic efficiency of passenger transport buses in cities. And democratize access to technical standards, as well as popularize acoustic efficiency standards among the population.

104. Finally, it is urgent to insert the theme of the principle of acoustic efficiency, sound environmental education and sound environmental sustainability in the agenda of the bodies responsible for environmental regulation and related technical standards.

105. Finally, there are several scientific evidences that show the causal link between noise, environmental noise pollution and risks to public health, environmental health, occupational health, mental and emotional health.

106. For these reasons, it is necessary to update industrial quality practices in favor of acoustic innovation, prioritizing  environmental quality, protection of public health and environmental health, quality of life, well-being and peace of mind of the population.

107. It is essential that the bus industry adopt acoustic environmental governance practices in the manufacture of its  products.

108. Now, the noise of buses transporting passengers in cities harms fundamental rights: the right to quality of life, the right to private life, the right to privacy, personality rights, the right to the environment, the right to quality of the residential environment, the right to acoustic home inviolability, the right to quality work environment, the right to physical, auditory and mental health, the right to rest, the right to acoustic comfort and well-being, the right to work, the right to a culture of stillness, among others.

109. Passenger transport bus industries need to adopt new innovation standards for quality and acoustic efficiency, committing themselves seriously  with practices to promote acoustic environmental sustainability.

110.  In the 21st century, mechanically and acoustically inefficient technologies that cause environmental degradation are no longer acceptable.

111.  Another aspect is that these products with defective acoustic design cause damage to the urban environment as they generate noise and environmental degradation.

112. Thus, the industry must be environmentally responsible against products that are harmful to environmental health and public health.

113. In view of the above, this measure, considering the right to environmental quality, right to quality of life, quality of the urban environment, quality of the work environment, quality of the residential environment,  principle of environmental sustainability, the principle of environmental acoustic efficiency, the principle of the prohibition of environmental retrogression, the protection of public health, environmental health, hearing health, mental health, comfort and well-being, home inviolability of the acoustic space, serves to request :

  1. That the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29 advise the United Nations Environmental Commission to update  the norms, standards of environmental quality and industrial acoustic quality of passenger transport buses and school buses in cities, as well as procedures for certification of the acoustic environmental quality of these vehicles, in compliance with the clean, healthy and sustainable environmental right in the form of Resolution n . 76, of 2022, respecting the limit of 53 dB (fifty-three decibels) for the daytime period and 45 dB (forty-five decibels) for the night period;
  2. That the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29  recommend the establishment of norms to improve the environmental performance of the industrial design of passenger transport buses and school buses, in terms of noise emission control, for acoustic ecodesign, acoustic eco-efficiency, eco – quality , acoustic eco – sustainability ; respecting the bus noise emission limit of 53 dB (fifty-three decibels) for the daytime period and 45 dB (forty-five decibels) for the night period, as recommended by the World Health Organization;
  3. That The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29  recommend the adoption of acoustic environmental efficiency seals/labels for passenger transport buses and school buses in cities, with emissions lower than 50 dB (fifty decibels);
  4. That The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29 act in coordination with stakeholders to promote standards of eco-innovation , eco-acoustic design , eco-acoustic efficiency , acoustic eco-sustainability in the manufacture of passenger transport buses and school buses in cities; respecting the bus noise emission limit of 53 dB (fifty-three decibels) for the daytime period and 45 dB (forty-five decibels) for the night period, as recommended by the World Health Organization’
  5. That the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29 carry out campaigns for acoustic environmental education for industry, with the aim of promoting acoustic environmental sustainability and acoustic quality and efficiency of industrial products, in the case of passenger transport buses and school buses in cities; respecting the bus noise emission limit of 53 dB (fifty-three decibels) for the daytime period and 45 dB (forty-five decibels) for the night period, as recommended by the World Health Organization;
  6. That the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29 inform citizens and consumers about the industrial acoustic quality standards and acoustic eco-efficiency of passenger transport buses and school buses in cities, respecting the bus noise emission limit of 53 dB (fifty-three decibels) for the during the day and 45 dB (forty-five decibels) during the night, as recommended by the World Health Organization;
  7. That the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29 act, in coordination with the transit agencies of the countries, to reduce environmental noise caused by passenger transport buses and school buses in cities; respecting the bus noise emission limit of 53 dB (fifty-three decibels) for the daytime period and 45 dB (forty-five decibels) for the night period; according to guidance from the World Health Organization;
  8. That The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29 act, in coordination with the bodies of the work agencies of the countries, to improve the environmental quality of the work environment, free of noise from passenger transport buses and school buses in cities; respecting the bus noise emission limit of 53 dB (fifty-three decibels) for the daytime period and 45 dB (forty-five decibels) for the night period, as recommended by the World Health Organization;
  9. That The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29 act, in coordination with the Health agencies of the countries, to alert consumers about risks to hearing health, physiological health, mental health, occupational health, environmental health, arising from noise from passenger transport buses and school buses, greater than 50 (fifty) decibels, as recommended by the World Health Organization; respecting the bus noise emission limit of 53 dB (fifty-three decibels) for the daytime period and 45 dB (forty-five decibels) for the night period; according to guidance from the World Health Organization;
  10. That The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29 – UNECE work with the tax authorities of the countries to study the feasibility of anti-noise environmental taxes and incentive laws for clean, healthy and sustainable technologies;
  11. That The  World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29– UNECE  act in collaboration with cities for the acoustic environmental sustainability of public transport systems for passengers and school buses; respecting the bus noise emission limit of 53 dB (fifty-three decibels) for the daytime period and 45 dB (forty-five decibels) for the night period, as recommended by the World Health Organization;

  L. That The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29    – UNECE in collaboration with cities to carry out acoustic environmental sanitation services, that is, acoustic cleaning services in cities;

M. That The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29    – UNECE  work in collaboration with cities to draw up an environmental noise management map to control noise emissions from passenger transport buses;

M. That The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29    – UNECE encourage cities to adopt technological innovations for monitoring acoustic environmental quality;

l. That The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – W.P 29   – UNECE  encourage cities to adopt anti-noise environmental fees to fund the exercise of anti-noise environmental police power, in relation to buses for collective passenger transport.

Best regards.

Curitiba, August 7, 2023.

Ericson Meister  Scorsim

Founder and CEO

Anti-Noise Environmental Monitor Civil Association


[1]European Commission, Assessment of potential health benefits of noise abatement measures in the EU, March 2021. See also : Burden of diase from environmental noise. Quantification of healthy life year lost in Europe.

[2]European Commission, Brussels, 30.3.2022, Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and the Council establishing a framework for setting ecodesign requirements for sustainable products. See also Brazil – European Union Cooperation Booklet – Exchange on health and safety at work, conformity assessment of machinery safety system components in Brazil.

[3]See: European Environment Agency. Healthy environment, healthy lives: how the environment influences health and well-being in Europe , EEA Repot n. 21/2019.

[4]OECD. OECD Studies on Responsible Business Conduct Policy , 2022.

[5]See: Burden of disease from environment noise. Quantification of healthy life years lost in Europe , World Health Organization, World Health Organization, European Commission.

Blanes, Nuria and others. Projected health impacts from transportation noise – exploring two scenarios for 2030 , European Enviromental Agency, 2022. See also: Environmental noise in Europe – 2020, European Enviroment Agency. Also, see: Charlotta Eriksson et al., Biological mechanisms related to cardiovascular and metabolic effects by environmental noise , Word Health Organization, Europe. E Environmental Noise Guideline for the European Region , World Heath Organitation. See: Healthy environment, healthy lives: how the environment influences health and well-being in Europe , European Environment Agency, 2019.

[6]See European Environmental Agency, www.eea.europa.eu

[7]See: Blanes, Nuria and others. Projected health impacts form transportation noise – exploring two scenarios for 2030. The document also points out the limits for air and rail transport during the day and night.

[8]European Commission, Green city accord. Clean and Healthy cities for Europe. GCA mandatory indicators guidebook, 29 April 2022.

[9]See: Can polluter pays policies in the buildings and transport sectors be progressive ? Institute for European Environmental Policy, March 2022.

[10]Kiesler, Frederick J. On Correalism and Biotechnique: A Definition and Test of a New Approach to Building Design

[11]See: Eco-efficiency. Learning module . Word Business Council for Sustainable Development and Tibbs, Hardin. Industrial Ecology. An environmental agenda for industry, Global Business Network, 1993.

Crédito de imagem – UNECE

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Residential areas contaminated by noise and environmental noise pollution: repair prevention tools

It is an unfortunately common fact in cities the contamination of residential areas by noise pollution. Noise from motorcycles, cars, buses, gardening equipment, civil works, condominiums, helicopters cause environmental degradation. Noises are the symptom of the mechanical underdevelopment of machines and vehicles. This noise pollution causes the degradation of the quality of life in cities. Several fundamental rights are harmed by noise and noise pollution: right to quality of life, right to health (physiological, mental, auditory, among others), right to environmental health, right to occupational health, right to well-being, right to inviolability home acoustics, the right to work, the right to a culture of stillness and tranquility, among others. Noise and environmental noise pollution violate the environmental principles of prohibition of environmental setback, prevention of environmental damage, precaution of environmental damage, polluter pays, environmental safety, among others.

There are several legal instruments to combat noise and environmental noise pollution:

First, the use of measures to contain the impacts of noise and noise pollution. Here, the responsibility of the Municipality, through its Secretary of the Environment, to impose measures to eliminate, reduce and isolate noise from machines, tools, equipment and vehicles.

Second, cleaning the area affected by noise and noise pollution. The acoustic environmental sanitation of the residential area impacted by noise is necessary.

Third , the removal of noise, with the imposition of areas of denial of access to machines, equipment, vehicles, for the protection of environmental quality.

Fourth , remediation of the area, through the determination of techniques for enclosing the machines, in order to contain the noise, when this measure is possible. Adopt a kind of acoustic cleaning of the local, indoor and outdoor environment.

Fifth , environmental assessment and monitoring of contamination. Here, it is necessary to use technologies to measure environmental noise in real time. Equipment such as decibel meters , along with smartphones, are fundamental in carrying out environmental monitoring.

Sixth , the strategic use of administrative and/or judicial processes for direct and indirect polluters, as well as against the public power responsible for environmental management.

Seventh , the restoration of the place. Here, it is important to draw up a recovery plan for degraded areas, in order to restore the original soundscape of the local environment [1].

Eighth , regarding compensation, there are several methodologies to determine the damage. For example, the issue of depreciation of real estate properties caused by noise and environmental noise pollution. There are techniques for economic valuation of the environment that show environmental use value and non-use values. It is possible to measure the economic aspect of the environment, free of noise and environmental noise pollution, of the environment contaminated by noise and noise pollution. [2]Here, therefore, the real estate value aspect can be depreciated by noise and environmental noise pollution. It is an ignored factor in environmental and urban policies.

We will only have clean, healthy and sustainable cities with the prevention and comprehensive repair of environmental damage caused by noise and environmental noise pollution from machines, vehicles, civil works, condominiums, etc.

Ericson M. Scorsim . Lawyer and Consultant in Public Law. Doctor in Law from USP. Author of the ebooks: Movimento antirruídos para cidades inteligentes, saudáveis e sustentáveis and Condomínios inteligentes, saudáveis e sustentáveis available on Amazon.


[1]Barreto, Fabio Garcia, Trennepohl , Natasha and Polido, Walter (coordinators) Risks and environmental damage. Practical aspects  of prevention and reparation instruments. Indaiatuba, SP Editora Foco, 2023.

[2]Castro, Joana DÁrc Bardella and Nogueira, Jorge. Economic valuation of the environment. Theory and practice. CRV publisher. Curitiba, 2019.

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Articles

Environmental degradation of the city of Curitiba due to excessive noise and environmental noise pollution from buses of the public passenger transport service, called BRT – Bus rapid transport. Violation of the principle of prohibition of environmental retrogression

  1. The system called BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) was implemented in the city in the 70s of the last century. It is considered a “successful” model. The city is divided into several road axes to allow the traffic of hundreds of bi-articulated buses , exclusive channels for their circulation. There are the following routes: southwest (boqueirão), north (Santa Cândida), south (Pinheirinho), east Centenário to Pinhais and west (Campo Comprido), among others.[1]
  2. However, this passenger transport system generates collateral damage to the city and its residents.
  3. The noise and environmental sound pollution of these buses and the damage caused to the neighborhood (see: residential areas adjacent to the bus lanes and the respective terminals) are simply ignored by the local environmental and traffic agencies.
  4. At every interval of 5 (five) minutes to up to 10 (ten minutes) bus noise is felt within residential and commercial environments, during the morning, afternoon and night, including holidays and weekends. The situation is aggravated by the system of acceleration of the buses’ engines when going uphill.
  5. Day by day, month by month, year and year, one can see in the city of Curitiba the environmental degradation caused by the emission of noise from buses in the collective passenger transport system.
  6. The degradation of traffic quality implies environmental degradation and, consequently, the degradation of the quality of life in the city.[2]
  7. The Encyclical Letter Pope Francis’ Laudato Si on Caring for the Commons highlights the importance of environmental quality for life.[3]
  8. Also, damage to environmental health caused by noise from buses in the passenger transport system.
  9. Mechanical noises from buses impact the many system: cognitive,  cardiovascular, digestive, nervous and sleep. Noise generates stress to the human body.

According the World Health Organization the maximum of noise  must be 53 dB  during the day and 45 db during the night.

  1. The limit situation for health is a maximum of 53 dB (fifty three decibels) during the day and 45 dB (forty five decibels) during the night,  according to the WHO. More Above this value there is discomfort and risks to physical health, hearing health, mental health, etc. And the situation is aggravated for the health condition of heart patients, people and health treatment, patients with anxiety and depression disorders, autistic people, the elderly, babies, among other vulnerable groups.
  2. And even at night, the damage to public health is greater as noise disrupts sleep and sleep quality. Scientific studies show serious effects on sleep quality due to noise and noise pollution.[4]
  3. Both air pollution and noise pollution from traffic compromise the environmental quality and quality of life, and residential quality of people living in the vicinity of public transport corridors.
  4. Noise and environmental noise pollution from buses cause degradation of environmental quality and, consequently, of quality of life.
  5. The quality of life in the residential environment and/or urban environment is incompatible with the presence of bus noise from passenger transport.
  6. They are, therefore, a disservice to the city of Curitiba, making it a dirty, unhealthy and unsustainable city.
  7. Systemic noise and environmental noise pollution impact the urban environment, the residential environment, the work environment, the school environment, the hospital environment, among others. There are noises in the morning, afternoon and night, at all hours.
  8. With the coronavirus pandemic and the post-pandemic period, the absolute relevance of public health, environmental health and mental health in cities became evident. And the need for changes for the public sector, providing quality public services, to ensure environmental quality and environmental safety, in the face of epidemiological risks.
  9. Well, we are experiencing an epidemic of noise from passenger transport buses in the city. It is an epidemiological scenario that impacts public health and environmental health.
  10. And the problem with noise is its exponential scale, that is, the increase, for example, of 3 dB (three decibels) increases the perception of noise intensity. Sound pressure is measured in decibels. [5]
  11. However, the decibel alone does not show the intensity of the discomfort caused by noise to humans. Then, it’s necessary to measure the quality and wellness in  residential environment and urban environment. 

17. The World Health Organization advises that noise above 50 dB (fifty decibels) causes damage to environmental health, hearing health, mental health, occupational health, etc.

18. More precisely, the World Health Organization establishes the following traffic noise limit for health protection – 53 dB (fifty-three decibels) during the day and 45 dB (forty-five decibels) during the night.

19. Curitiba’s passenger transport system does not meet the recommendation of the World Health Organization for the limit situation of decibels, during the day and night.

20. For this reason, it is urgently necessary for the city of Curitiba to adapt to the recommendation of  WHO health protection standard.

21. In 2022, the UN published Resolution no. 76 on the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. Considering this Resolution, it is clear that the public transport system denies the right to clean, healthy and sustainable, free of noise and environmental noise pollution.

22. The United Nations has the goals of sustainable development: health and well-being (goal 3), quality education (goal 4), decent work (goal 8), industry, innovation and infrastructure (goal 9), cities and sustainable communities (goal 11), responsible consumption and production (goal 12).

23. Now, if Curitiba intends to align itself with the objectives of sustainable development, it must also include the fight against environmental noise pollution caused by buses that transport passengers. To become a clean, smart, healthy and sustainable city, Curitiba must combat the noise of passenger transport buses.

24. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development  deals with the topic in the study How’s life ? 2020. Measuring wellness . Also, the study shows that subjective well-being is an indicator of quality of life. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has studies on environmental quality and its relationship with quality of life and subjective well [6]-being . 

25. Scientific research points to the loss of quality of life and health due to noise and environmental noise pollution. [7]It is evident that there is no environmental quality and quality of life with mechanical noise and environmental noise pollution. Also, scientific studies point out the biological effects caused by noise pollution and the risks to people’s health. See: World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe. Biological mechanisms related to cardiovascular and metabolic effects by environmental noise, per Charlotte Eriksson and others. See also : Burden of disease from environmental noise. Quantification of healthy life years lost in Europe , World Health Organization, European commission. See also : European Environmental Agency: Projected health impacts from transportation noise – exploring two scenarios for 2030 , Nuria Blaneas et al., ETC-Report 2022. See : Transport Noise. How it affects our health and wellbeing. Institute of Acoustics.   And Blanes, Nuria. Projected health impact from transportation noise – exploring two scenarios for 2030 , European Environmental Agency.  On the quantification of healthy life years lost in Europe due to environmental noise, see: Burden of disease from environmental noise , World Health Organization , Regional Office for Europe , 2011. See: Review of evidence relating to environment noise exposure and annoyance, sleep disturbance, cardio-vascular and metabolic health outcome in the context of Interdepartmental Group on Costs and Benefits Noise Subject Group, from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport of the Netherlands , 2019. See : Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Regional, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe. See: Environmental noise in Europe, 2020, European Environment Agency. To see Noises, blases and mismatches. Emerging issues of environment concern . UN: environment programme , Frontiers, 2002. See also : European Commission , Assessment of potential health benefits of noise abatement measures in the EU , March 2021. See : Healthy environment, healthy lifes : how the environment influences health and well-being in Europe , European Environment Agency, 2019. See also Ribas, Angela . Doctoral thesis Reflections on the sound environment of the city of Curitiba: the perception of urban noise and its effects on the quality of  lives of residents of special structural sectors, doctoral thesis defended at the Federal University of Paraná.

26. With regard to the issue of noise and its impact on public health, the Public Ministry of São Paulo held a public hearing in the city of São Paulo, with  the participation of various entities and citizens interested in the subject.[8] 

Devaluation of real estate in areas degraded by noise and environmental noise pollution .

27. Economic studies point to the devaluation of real estate in environments polluted by noise, even noisy neighborhoods are a factor in property depreciation.

28. On the subject, consult Elisabete MM Arsenio  and his work The Valuation of environmental externalities : a states preference case study on traffic noise in Lisbon , thesis presented before the University of Leeds and Institute for Transport Studies in 2002.

29. The author describes the environmental value of urban stillness and the environmental damage caused by traffic noise pollution in the city of Lisbon. It describes the damage caused to the residential environment by transport noise pollution.

30. The author points out the factors for measuring environmental damage: area of the residential environment impacted by noise pollution (work area, rest areas, rest areas, leisure areas, study areas, among others), length of stay of residents in the local environment, the number of people residing in the property, the proximity of the area affected by noise pollution in front of the street, the level of education of the residents of the property, the type of street through which the traffic occurs, the usual work or study in the residence, the opening of windows during summer and autumn, number of years of residents living in the property, among other criteria.

31. Thus, the plaintiff concludes that the environmental degradation caused by traffic noise pollution is a factor in the devaluation of the property. When the environmental surroundings of the property are affected by noise pollution, there is a devaluation of the property, as it impacts its use value and non -use value .

32. The author suggests compensation for environmental damage to the population exposed to noise pollution. One of the criteria of the valuation methodology is the hedonic method, including the use value of the non-use value of the property. In the evaluation, the impact on the indoor and outdoor environment of the property is considered. Noise pollution is considered a negative externality to the transit and transport system.

33. Chia-Jena Yu, in his work Environmentally sustainable acoustics in urban residential areas, thesis before the Sheffield Faculty of Architecture, highlights the impact of traffic  on residential areas, differentiating the environmental noise pollution of light, medium and heavy vehicles. The author defends the integration of acoustic urban sustainability with urban policy and residential policy.

34. For these reasons, the city of Curitiba must adopt measures to mitigate bus noise for passenger transport, to prevent continuous environmental noise pollution from becoming a factor in the devaluation of properties close to public roads where buses circulate.

Noise and environmental noise pollution from passenger transport buses offend several fundamental rights.

35. As can be seen from the law, any sounds, noises and vibrations that cause nuisance, beyond any legal limits, are prohibited.

36 . In addition, when it comes to the protection of fundamental rights, the municipal law must be interpreted to guarantee the maximum protection of the fundamental rights to quality of life , health , rest , work and the environment.

37. There are several fundamental rights affected by noise and noise pollution from public passenger transport buses.

38. There is injury to the  right to quality of life , which is affected by mechanical noise Residents in their own homes lose the conditions of normal use of their homes and property.

39. Another injury is the right to health, which is seriously impacted by the construction noise. In a pandemic and post-pandemic period, in a moment of high stress, noise ends up aggravating the health of people who live in the vicinity of the work. There is damage to physical and mental health caused by noise, aggravating states of stress and anxiety.

40. Another fundamental right violated is the right to work , affecting cognition and productivity. People who work from home are affected by noise pollution from buses. Not only that, condominium workers are also affected by the noise pollution of the work.

41. There is also the injury to the right to rest and well-being , people are unable to relax in their own home due to noise pollution, which occurs every week of the year.

42. Noise and environmental noise pollution from buses significantly impacts the human environment. The human environment where the neighbors live to the public roads where the buses circulate.

43. In summary: noise and noise pollution  cause acoustic environmental damage, causing degradation of the environmental quality where the neighborhood community lives.

44. There is damage to the ecological dimension of the principle of human dignity . The residential environment of the home is the person’s sacred environment, it is the refuge, the habitat, the shelter and, however, it is the target of noise pollution.

45 . Another point to note is the right to a culture of urban stillness, which protects the external environment and the residential environment.

46 . Citizens have the right to urban quiet, without the noise of buses.

47 . There is the right to sound environmental sustainability, in order to combat acoustic environmental degradation in cities.

48. Therefore, it is inadmissible the disregard of the Municipality of Curitiba for the protection of fundamental rights impacted by the excessive noise of passenger transport buses.

Right to the soundscape of the city, without environmental noise pollution.

49. Here, we are going to address the soundscape of the city. There is no adequate perception of the influence of noise and noise pollution in cities. The environment is contaminated by noise, which affects environmental quality and environmental health and, of course, human, physical and mental health. This contaminated soundscape affects the “psychological landscape” of the person.

50. Noise generates stress in the human body.

51. The mechanosphere and/or technosphere  it is a factor of acoustic contamination of the biosphere . Therefore, acoustic polluting buses cause the loss of environmental quality and also the loss of health. The literature is very rich in the understanding of this theme. Likewise, noise and noise pollution destroy fauna biodiversity, mainly impacting birds. But there is also the impact  on animal health and well-being, mainly dogs and cats, with greater hearing than human hearing.

52. On mechanical noise, see: Bijsterveld , Karin. Mechanical Sound. Technology, culture and public problems of noise in the twentieth century . Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2008. On the mechanization of life and cities, see: Gidion . Mechanization takes command. A contribution to anonymous history . Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 2017. 

53. On the notion of acoustic space , see Marshall McLuhmann . Here, the author explains that sound is related to hearing, an organ of contact, of interconnection with the environment.

54. On the notion of acoustic atmosphere , see: Bohme , Gernot . Atmospheric Architectures. The aesthetics of felt spaces , edited and translated by A. Chr. Engels- Schwarzpaul . Bloombsbury , Berlin, 2017.

55. On urban atmosphere, see: Niels Abertsen , Urban atmospheres , ambiences , redecouvertes . About the story acoustics , see : Francisco Aletta and Jiang Kang: Historical acoustics relationships between people and sound over time . Basel: MPDPI, 2020.

56. In Brazil, on soundscape , we have the following works: Oliveira, Marcio Luis , Custódio e Maraluce , M. Lima, Carolina Carneiro. Law and landscape. The affirmation of an individual and diffuse fundamental right. Belo Horizonte: Editora D’Plácido , 2017. Also, see:  Custódio, Maraluce , Santos, Fernando Barotti and Máximo, Maria Flávia (organizers). Landscape law. Legal and interdisciplinary aspects . Belo Horizonte, São Paulo: D’Plácido , 2021. On cultural landscapes, see: Andreotti , Cultural landscapes , Curitiba: Editora UFPR, 2013.

57. On the environmental and aesthetic value of quiet spaces, see: Bentley , clive. Tranquil Spaces, measuring the tranquility of public spaces . Suffolk: Sharps Redmore Press, 2019.

58. Urban auditory aesthetics is an environmental quality, associated with environmental health and auditory well-being.

59. One of the factors to be respected in urban, environmental, health, educational and cultural policy in cities.

Noise and environmental noise pollution from passenger transport buses violate the Federal Constitution

60. The city of Curitiba, by not containing the environmental noise pollution from passenger transport buses, acts in disagreement with the Federal Constitution.

61. The Federal Constitution guarantees the right to a healthy, ecologically balanced environment. To ensure the effectiveness of the right to an ecologically balanced environment, public authorities must: preserve and restore essential ecological processes and promote the ecological management of species and ecosystems (article 225, paragraph 1),  require, in accordance with the law, for the installation of work or activities potentially causing significant degradation of the environment, a prior study of the environmental impact, which will be publicized (article 225, IV), control production, commercialization, employment of techniques, methods and substances that pose a risk to life, quality of life and the environment (article 225, V), promote environmental education at all levels of education and public awareness for the preservation of the environment (article 225).

62. According to the Constitution: “Conducts and activities harmful to the environment will subject violators, natural or legal persons, to criminal and administrative sanctions, regardless of the obligation to repair the damage caused” (art. 225, §3º).

63. As principles of the economic order, the Constitution establishes: “protection of the environment , including through differentiated treatment according to the environmental impact of products and services and their preparation and delivery processes ” ( article 170, item VI).

64. There is also an entire constitutional chapter dedicated to science, technology and innovation, articles 218 to 219.

65. According to article 219-B: “The national system of science, technology and innovation will be organized in a collaboration regime between entities, both public and private, with a view to promoting scientific and technological development and innovation” .

66. And yet article 291 provides that the internal market is part of the national heritage and will be encouraged in order to enable cultural and socioeconomic development, the well-being of the population and the technological autonomy of the country, under the terms of the law” .

67. Now, we currently have a situation of unconstitutionality due to omission in environmental inspection.

68. There is also a pattern of acoustic inefficiency, allowing the indiscriminate proliferation of machines, tools, equipment and vehicles that pollute noise.

69. For this reason, it is essential that the law encourage technological innovation to implement the principle of acoustic efficiency and defend acoustic environmental sustainability.

70. Regarding the responsibility of public authorities, the Constitution defines: “legal entities governed by public law and those governed by private law providing public services shall be liable for damages that their agents, in that capacity, cause to third parties, ensuring the right of recourse against the responsible in cases of intent or negligence”, art. 37, §6º.

71. Jurisprudence determines that environmental responsibility is objective. In this case, both the public authorities and the concessionaire of the public service of collective passenger transport have environmental responsibility for the environmental damage caused to the city’s population. On the subject, see the article: Souza, Renato Ferreira and Souza, Claudete. Civil liability on noise pollution by public transport in the metropolitan region of São Paulo, available on the internet .

Noise and noise pollution from passenger transport buses offend the Federal Environmental Law.

72. The situation in Curitiba of noise and sound pollution from passenger transport buses is offensive to the Federal Environmental Law.

73. The National Environmental Policy Law defines pollution as “degradation of environmental quality resulting from activities that directly or indirectly: a) harm the health, safety, and well-being of the population; b) create adverse conditions for social and economic activities: c) adversely affect the biota; d) affect the aesthetic or sanitary conditions of the environment; e) release matter or energy in violation of established environmental standards”.

74 . One of the principles of the national environmental policy is environmental quality.

75. Therefore, the city of Curitiba is acting in violation of the Federal Environmental Law.

Noise and noise pollution from public passenger transport buses violate the Environmental Law of Curitiba.

76 . The city of Curitiba, by failing to inspect public passenger transport services, violates its own environmental law.

77. According to Law no. 15.852/2021:

“Art. 2. For the establishment of the environmental policy, the following guidelines will be observed:

I –  interdisciplinarity in dealing with environmental issues;

II – community participation and social control in actions in defense of the environment:

(…)

IV – maintenance of a balanced environment

V – sustainable use of soil, water, flora and air”

(…)

IX – licensing, monitoring and inspection of activities or undertakings that use natural resources, potentially or effectively polluting or capable, in any way, of causing environmental degradation;

(…)

XI – promotion of environmental education aimed at the entire community, making it aware of environmental issues.

(…)

Art. 3rd. For compliance with the provisions of art. 30 of the Federal Constitution, with regard to the environment, considering the following to be of local interest:

I – encouraging the adoption of habits, customs, attitudes, values and social and economic practices that are not harmful to the environment.

(…)

V – control of atmospheric, water, noise and residual pollution levels, through licensing processes and environmental inspection;

(..)

VII – the use of police power in defense of the environment;

Art. 4th. The municipality of Curitiba, in the exercise of its constitutional competence related to the environment, is responsible for mobilizing and coordinating its actions, human, financial, material, technical and scientific resources , as well as the participation of the population in achieving the objectives and interests established in this law, and must therefore:

(…)

IV – exercise control of environmental pollution, in its different forms, through licensing, monitoring and inspection actions.

(…)

Article 42. The launch or release into the atmosphere of any type, form of matter or energy that goes against the emission standards and conditioning criteria, defined in the current legislation, is prohibited .

§1. Emission standards constitute the maximum permissible emission limits to be released into the atmosphere by potentially polluting stationary sources.

§2. Conditioning standards constitute the technical conditions of implantation or operation that must be observed by stationary sources of atmospheric pollution.

(…)

Art. 45. The Environmental Agency may require adaptations or alterations in the generating sources, so that atmospheric emissions are minimized.

Single paragraph. At the discretion of the  Environmental Agency in areas where there is a significant concentration of air pollution sources or where there are unfavorable conditions for the dispersion of pollutants, the use of energy matrices with less polluting potential may be required, for new or existing undertakings.

Art. 46. No source or set of sources potentially polluting the air may emit matter or energy into the atmosphere, in quantities and conditions that may result in average concentrations higher than the air quality standards established by current state legislation.

Single paragraph. Air quality standards are the concentrations of pollutants that, if exceeded, could affect the health, safety and well-being of the population , cause damage to flora and fauna, geodiversity , material acts and the environment in general”.

78. The Municipality of Curitiba is omitted regarding the prevention of environmental damage and repression of the behavior of the environmental noise polluter, in the case of the emission of noise by public transport buses. In this way, the Municipality becomes an indirect polluter.

79. These articles 42, 45 and 46 of Environmental Law 15.852/2021 must be applied to control noise pollution.

80. Noises are agents that attack the environment. Noise causes toxic air quality pollution. Noises are sound waves that propagate through the atmosphere in different directions. Noise is also vibrations that increase the sound pressure in the environment.

81. Environmental legislation must be interpreted to maximize the protection of fundamental rights.

82. Furthermore, the environmental legislation must be interpreted according to the principles of contemporary environmentalism : the principle of preventing environmental damage, the principle of environmental precaution, the principle of preventing environmental setbacks, the polluter pays principle, among others.[9]

Noise and noise pollution from passenger transport offend the City Statute.

83. Curitiba, by failing to monitor noise and environmental noise pollution in public passenger transport services, violates the City Statute.

84. The City Statute (Law n. 10.257/2011) establishes the guidelines for urban policy. These are norms for the discipline of urban property in favor of the collective good, security, well-being of citizens and environmental balance (art. 1, sole paragraph).

85. Urban policy aims to guarantee the right to sustainable cities (art. 2, item I), the planning of cities and economic activities in order to avoid and correct distortions of urban growth and its negative effects on the environment (article 2, IV), the ordering and control of land use (article 2, item VI), in order to avoid the inappropriate use of urban properties, the proximity of incompatible or inconvenient uses, the deterioration of urbanized areas , pollution and environmental degradation.

86. Other aspects considered in the law are the “ adoption of standards of production and consumption of goods and services  compatible with the limits of environmental, social and economic sustainability of the municipality ” (article 2, item VIII), the fair distribution of benefits and burdens resulting from the urbanization process (article 2, item VII), protection, preservation and recovery of the natural and built environment, of the cultural, historical, artistic, landscape and archeological heritage (article 2, item XII), audience of the municipal government and the population interested in the implementation processes of undertakings or activities with potentially negative effects on the natural or built environment, the comfort or safety of the population (article 2, item XIII).

87. Among the instruments of urban policy: previous study of environmental impact and previous study of neighborhood impact.

Noise and environmental sound pollution from passenger transport buses violate the Master Plan of Curitiba

88. Curitiba, by allowing noise and environmental noise pollution from public passenger transport buses, violates the Master Plan.

89. The Master Plan deals with the environmental quality of the urban space (art. 16).

90. Also, the Master Plan on natural and cultural environmental heritage contains the following rules:

“Art. 61. The municipal policy for the environment aims to promote the conservation, protection, recovery and rational use of the environment, in its natural and cultural aspects, establishing norms, incentives and restrictions to its use and occupation, aiming at environmental preservation and the sustainability of the city for present and future generations, observing the principle of prohibition of environmental retrogression”.

Art. 62. The general guidelines of the municipal environmental policy are:

XXII – gradually reduce the emission of pollutants harmful to health released into the air, soil, subsoil and water, in accordance with the Sectorial Development Plan  Environmental, observing international protocols by Brazil and current legislation;

(…)

XXIV – evaluate and monitor the performance of the municipal environmental policy through indicators and other monitoring instruments;

(…)

XXVII – promote a study of urban noise management, ensuring health and social and environmental well-being, making possible times and places for events;

XXIV – to promote the environmental comfort of the city”;

91. As can be seen, the Municipality of Curitiba violates its own Master Plan by omitting to carry out a study on the management of urban noise and promotion of the acoustic environmental comfort of the city.

National Traffic Code

92. The city of Curitiba, by failing to exercise environmental police power and traffic police power over the control of noise emissions from the collective passenger transport system, violates the Traffic Code.

93. The Brazilian Traffic Code provides:

“The traffic bodies and entities belonging to the National Traffic System will give priority in their actions to the defense of life, including the preservation of health and the environment” (. Art. 1º, §5º).

94. And the Traffic Code prescribes:

“Art. 21. It is incumbent upon the road executive bodies and entities of the Union, the States, the Federal District, the Municipalities, within the scope of their circumscription”.

(…) XIII – inspect the emission level of pollutants and noise produced by motor vehicles or their cargo, in accordance with the provisions of art. 66, in addition to supporting specific actions by local environmental agencies, when requested”.

95. The National Traffic Code continues:

“Art. 24. It is incumbent upon the transit executive bodies of the Municipalities, within the scope of their circumscription:

(…) XV – promote and participate in traffic education and safety programs in accordance with the guidelines established by CONTRAN;

(…) XVI – plan  and implement measures to reduce the circulation of vehicles and redirect traffic, with the objective of reducing the global emission of pollutants”;

(…) XX – inspect the emission level of pollutants and noise produced by motor vehicles or their cargo, in accordance with the provisions of art. 66, in addition to supporting the specific actions of the local environmental agency, when requested”.

96. And still on citizenship for the quality of traffic, the Traffic Code provides:

“Art. 72. Every citizen or civil entity has the right to request, in writing, the bodies or entities of the National Traffic System, signaling, inspection and implementation of safety equipment, as well as suggesting changes in rules, legislation and other matters relevant to this Code”.

97. And in the part related to vehicle safety:

“Art. 104. Vehicles in circulation will have their safety conditions, control of the emission of polluting gases and noise evaluated through inspection that will be mandatory, in the form and frequency established by CONTRAN for safety items and by CONAMA for the emission of polluting gases and noise”.

§5. The administrative measure of retention of vehicles that fail the safety inspection and the emission of polluting gases and noise will be applied .

(…)

“Art. 105. The following are mandatory vehicle equipment, among others to be established by CONTRAN:

(…)

V – device designed to control the emission of polluting gases and noise , according to standards established by CONTRAN” .

Curitiba law on noise, protection of well-being and public peace

98. Curitiba, by allowing excessive noise and environmental noise pollution in the public passenger transport system, violates municipal law n. 10.625/2002.

99. The law of Curitiba n. 10.625/2002, which provides for urban noise, protection of well-being and public peace, promotes noise containment. Note the following devices:

“Art. 1. It is forbidden to disturb the peace and well-being of the public with sounds, noises and vibrations that cause discomfort of any kind or that exceed the limits established in this law”.

100. And in art. 2, defines that noise pollution:

“emission of sound or noise that is, directly or indirectly, offensive or harmful to the health, safety and well-being of the community or violates the provisions set forth in this law”.

(..)

Art. 5th. The emission of sounds and noise by any industrial, commercial, service provider, religious, social, recreational and loading and unloading activities cannot exceed the sound pressure levels contained in Annex I, which is an integral part of this law”.

(..)

Art. 12. The activities potentially causing noise pollution, defined in their own regulation, depend on prior environmental licensing from the Municipal Secretary of the Environment, in order to obtain construction and operation permits ”.

Omission in environmental inspection and damage to environmental reputation  from the city of Curitiba.

101. Failure to contain noise and control environmental noise pollution damages the city’s environmental reputation.

102. Now, several cities advertise their environmental sustainability.

103. Some go further to obtain environmental sustainability indicators based on international companies.

104. However, most of this ranking of environmental sustainability does not take into account the control of noise pollution in cities.

105. Noise and noise pollution cause degradation of environmental quality and put environmental health and public health at risk.

106. Now, the scientific literature and international organizations, such as OECD, WHO, UN, consider the quality of life factor, free of noise pollution, as an indicator of well-being.

107. Noise and noise pollution in cities are the symbol of malaise and risks of damage to health. For this reason, it is essential that cities provide a correct service to their citizens and account for their noise and noise control policy.

108. The right of citizens to information regarding public policies is guaranteed by the Constitution and by law. Currently, the value of the acoustic environmental sustainability of the city is a portrait of its sustainable development. However, some cities use “ greenwashing ” campaigns , that is, an ecological “makeup” in their environmental advertising. Thus, in order for citizens not to be deceived by public authorities and to be duly informed about environmental policy, a governance system is necessary.  environmental anti-noise.

109. Also, citizens need to be trained and have accessible technologies so that they can effectively participate in environmental policy and noise pollution control.

110. Another point to be considered is the acoustic environmental education policy carried out in the city. This is a real factor in assessing environmental sustainability. Is there an acoustic educational policy in the city? Is there a culture of anti-noise technological innovation?

111. Now, there is all the education and culture in relation to the collection and separation of garbage in the cities because there is no education and the culture of warning of the risks of noise and noise pollution to health, well-being, work, rest and other fundamental rights affected by noise?

112. Why is there no culture to adopt measures to eliminate, reduce and isolate mechanical noise? Why don’t cities have the culture to ban machines, equipment, tools, services and infrastructure that pollute noise? Why are technological innovations not adopted to create noise maps in cities and environmental monitoring of noise pollution? Why is an anti-noise governance and environmental compliance program not adopted in the public and private sector?

113. Therefore, the environmental sustainability of a city must consider the containment measures to prevent and repress noise, noise pollution and acoustic pollutants. Currently, noise is an epidemic in cities.

114. For this reason, they must be treated as a risk factor for health and environmental degradation. There is no quality of life in the city, with noise and noise pollution. A city is environmentally unsustainable with noise and noise pollution.

115. Finally, we need to overcome the toxic and polluting status quo and move towards a new civilizing level in cities, free from mechanical noise. For clean, healthy and sustainable cities, it is fundamental that the environmental “branding” includes the themes of noise control and noise pollution.

Proposals for  the city of Curitiba in containing environmental noise.

116. Curitiba should follow the guidance of the World Health Organization, the limit situation of 53 dB (fifty-three) decibels during the daytime and 45 dB (forty-five decibels) at night.

117. Curitiba should adopt the urban noise map as an indispensable tool in environmental management;

118. Curitiba should require, in the licensing of public passenger transport service providers, a prior study of the acoustic environmental impact on the residential areas through which buses circulate.

119. Curitiba should inform the population about the risks to public health, environmental health, occupational health, hearing health, mental health resulting from noise greater than 50 dB ( fifty decibels).

120. Curitiba should adopt an environmental education policy focused on acoustic environmental sustainability, educating citizens about the risks related to mechanical noise and noise pollution.

121. Curitiba should adopt a health policy to encourage the use of technological innovations to  ensure environmental health, with real-time noise monitoring.

122. Curitiba should promote the institutional capacity building of its environmental agencies, through training and the use of technological innovations to guarantee environmental sound quality.

123. Curitiba should create  the environmental municipal guard, attributing environmental functions to the municipal guard;

124. Curitiba should promote the training of its transit agencies regarding the inspection of noise from passenger transport buses, in partnership with environmental agencies.

125. Curitiba, in order to become an intelligent, clean, healthy and sustainable city, must free itself from the noise of passenger transport buses, encouraging industrial innovation, industrial quality, environmental innovation.

126. Curitiba should promote public passenger transport services that are clean, healthy and sustainable, free of noise and environmental noise pollution.

127. Curitiba should promote the improvement of the reach of the passenger transport system, in order to promote social inclusion.

128. Curitiba should promote the culture of innovation in public passenger transport, the culture of environmental health, the culture of acoustic environmental sustainability and the principle of acoustic efficiency of public transport buses.

129. Curitiba should adopt the acoustic cleaning service for environmental noise, a kind of acoustic environmental sanitation service.

130. Curitiba must promote better standards of comfort and acoustic well-being in public passenger transport buses.

Ericson M. Scorsim 

Lawyer and Consultant in State Law. Doctor in Law from University of São Paulo. Founder of the Anti-Noise Environmental Monitor Association. Website:  https://antirruidos.wordpress.com/ e Twitter: https://twitter.com/antirruidos . Author of the ebooks Anti-Noise Movements for Smart, Healthy and Sustainable Cities and Smart, Healthy and Sustainable  Residential Buildings, published on Amazon , 2023.


[1]Demery Jur , Leroy. M. Bus rapid transit in Curitiba, Brazil . An information summary. Special Report no. 1, December 11, 2004. www.publictransit.us . According to the author : “It is important to note that bi-articulated buses of the type operated in Curitiba do not conform to the vehicle code in at least one US state – California – and therefore could not be operated on public streets”.

[2]Psychoacoustics is a branch of scientific knowledge that demonstrates the impact of noise on people’s psychic life and therefore on mental life. There are also other branches like bioacoustics .

[3]Pope Francis, Encyclical Letter Laudato Si on Care for our Common Home. São Paulo: Paulinas, 2022.

[4]See: House of Lords, Science and Technology Committee. 2nd report of session 2022-2023. The neglected pollutants: the effects of artificial light and noise on human health . And Foster, Russell. Life time. The new science of the body clock, and how it can revolutionize your sleep and health . London: Penguin .

[5]Blood pressure also has another unit of measurement. Healthy blood pressure is 12.8. Above this value, the pressure has high blood pressure, below this low the person is diagnosed with low blood pressure. The body temperature is also measured in degrees celsius , a healthy body is at 36 (thirty-six) celsius , above this value there is a fever. Below this value, the person is diagnosed with hypodermia . With the oxygen measurement, too. With a healthy index 100 (one hundred), up to 96. Less than 90, there is a risk to health.

[6]See: OECD, How’s life? 2020. Measuring well-being, 2020.

[7]European Commission , Assessment of potential health benefits of noise abatement measures in the EU, March 2021. See : Burden of diase from environmental noise. Quantification of healthy life year lost in Europe.

[8]Youtube channel of the São Paulo Public Prosecutor’s Office and Superior School of the São Paulo Public Prosecutor’s Office.

[9]See: Sarlet , Ingo Wolfang . E Fensterseifer , Principles of Environmental Law . São Paulo: Saraiva, 2018.

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Noise-Free Environmental Governance and Smart Cities

Compartilho com você artigo em inglês – Governança Ambiental Antirruídos e Samart Cities.

It is urgent to adopt environmental governance programs for noise monitoring and noise pollution control, given the context for smart, healthy, and sustainable cities, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

This new public policy should value a new model of environmental and eco-humanistic urbanism, with urban eco-design, that is, more humane cities that prioritize human life and environmental quality, and environmental health. Cities for people, in the words of urban planner Jan Gehl. It is essential to overcome the mechanistic and noisy model behind classical urbanism. We need environmental management to commit to total quality, with the adoption of acoustic environmental quality standards, rules, and procedures. One of the indicators of quality of life is the acoustic environmental quality. Thus, the new urbanism must have human life, environmental quality and health, and the protection from noise of people with cognitive and auditory neurodiversity as its top priority.

City management must promote the values of acoustical environmental education, acoustical environmental sustainability, the principle of acoustical efficiency, and value the right to the soundscape of the natural environment. Also, it must consider principles of environmental ethics (noise polluters cause harm to people and disrespect several fundamental rights: right to life, right to health, right to work, right to rest, right to well-being, right to a culture of quietness, right to property and housing, right to the inviolability of the home) and environmental contamination and aesthetics (noise causes the ugliness of the acoustic landscape and causes the environment to become dirty and toxic. And environmental governance should promote participatory environmental citizenship to address noise pollution, including incentive programs for citizens to access acoustic monitoring technologies in citizenship and science programs. Urban management must also incorporate the technological innovations for environmental monitoring of noise in cities. There are several technologies available: artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, acoustic radar, 3D noise maps, acoustic cameras, and others. There is also an urgent need to accelerate sustainable mobility programs, with incentives for electric vehicles.

 There is an urgent need to incorporate electric buses into the public transportation system, as these contribute to eliminating air and noise pollution. Electric buses benefit the passengers, who have their rights to quality public service respected, and the urban areas surrounding the bus lines, which are currently degraded due to air and noise pollution. The principle of the prohibition of environmental regression demands ambitious targets to accelerate electric bus programs. Also, the principles of insufficient protection by the government of fundamental rights, especially the right to the city, quality of life, and environmental quality. Public policy with unreasonable and disproportionate goals may be subject to constitutional review due to the government’s omission to adopt more reasonable deadlines to solve an urgent situation in the cities. Above all, wealthier cities must have ambitious targets for tackling climate change and global warming. The cities’ so-called “green branding” must incorporate bold goals to control noise pollution. For example, area residential area contaminated by noise pollution caused by the public transportation system has the risk of property devaluation.

There are even methods for pricing the devaluation of real estate caused by environmental pollution. Another aspect to be considered is better regulation of urban traffic, considering the acoustic environmental dimension. This is why speed reduction measures are needed in predominantly residential areas. And still, on the aspect of urban policy, it is key to define areas of urban quietness, with maximum environmental protection against the noise of polluting agents. Another point to note in environmental governance is the demand for anti-noise taxation, that is, the use by local governments of anti-noise environmental taxes. Thus, to make the polluter-pays principle effective, some noise-polluting sectors can be the target of the environmental taxes: the construction equipment industry, construction companies, gardening service providers, the gardening equipment industry, condominiums, service providers for condominiums, public passenger transit system companies, owners and/or drivers of motorcycles, cars, and trucks, among others.  In addition, some acoustically polluting equipment should be banned by local governments, such as gardening equipment like leaf blowers, brush cutters, and pruners, among others. Another point is the demand for new urban environmental zoning to abide by the principle that forbids environmental regression. According to the World Health Organization, noise above fifty (50) decibels is a health risk factor. Therefore, local governments must urgently engage to overcome the current toxic and insane status quo of noise and polluter permissiveness, in a state of impunity. Environmental policy needs to be more energetic, with preventive and repressive measures, to reduce noise in cities. Measures to eliminate, reduce and isolate noise are urgently needed.

Finally, dear reader, you can participate in the anti-noise movement in your city by presenting complaints, suggestions, and requests for information to the proper authorities, and demanding responsible attitudes from polluters, so that we can overcome these illegal, irresponsible, anti-social, insane, and environmentally unsustainable behaviors.

Ericson Scorsim. Lawyer and Public Law Consultant Ph.D. in Law from the University of São Paulo (USP). Founder of the Noise-Free Environmental Monitor Association. Author of the ebook Noise-Free Movement for Smart, Healthy and Sustainable Cities (Movimento Antirruídos para cidades inteligentes, saudáveis e sustentáveis), Curitiba, author’s edition, Amazon, 2022, and the ebook Smart, Healthy and Sustainable Condominiums (Condomínios inteligentes, saudáveis e sustentáveis), Curitiba, author’s edition, Amazon, 2023.

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Launch of the Environmental Anti-Noise Monitor Association

The Environmental Anti-Noise Monitor Association is a civil association dedicated to the promotion of environmental and acoustic sustainability, acoustic environmental education, the principle of acoustic efficiency, the advocacy of environmental quality and quality of life in the residential and urban environment, fighting against acoustic environmental pollution, environmental and scientific research, among other values.

The Enviromental Association Anti-Noise Monitor is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations. And the goals for Enviromental, Sustainability and Gouvernance.

Noise from polluting machines causes environmental degradation and loss of quality of life. Noise impacts human health, public health, hearing health, and environmental health. Noise can damage communication, work, health, rest and relaxation, property right, and the right to a home, among other fundamental assets.  And also noise impacts persons whith cognitive neurodiversity e hypersensitive with noise.

To have smart, healthy, and sustainable cities, we need measures to prevent and repress noise caused by polluting agents such as machinery, equipment, tools, motorcycles, buses, cars, trucks, aircraft, and services, among others.

We need acoustical environmental education to have smart, healthy, and sustainable residential condominiums. Residential condominiums urgently need to adopt governance, compliance, and transparency measures in environmental management and commit to acoustic environmental sustainability and the protection of the quality of life in the residential environment and urban environment, free from noise.

We must respect the principle of the prohibition of environmental regression, the principle of prevention of environmental damage, and the “polluter pays” principle.

We urgently need to overcome antisocial, insane, unsustainable, and illegal noise-related behaviors.

We urgently need environmental, technological, cultural, and behavioral innovation to fight against the noise.

We urgently need industrial technological innovation to achieve full acoustic efficiency of equipment, machines, products, tools, etc., with a commitment to acoustic environmental sustainability.  We need to raise awareness, sensitize, and mobilize consumers to purchase silent products and services with acoustic efficiency labels.

The launch of the Environmental Noise Monitor on March 29, of 2023 is symbolic. It is also an anniversary present for the city of Curitiba. If the city wants to be a smart, healthy, and sustainable city, it needs to adopt more effective measures to tackle environmental noise pollution and noise in general. 

However, the Association transcends the local realm. Its goal is to expand to all of Brazil and cross borders so that, in the future, we can articulate actions with strategic international partners in the fight against noise and environmental acoustic pollution.

You are invited to join the Anti-Noise Movement, please visit our website: https://antirruidos.wordpress.com/

Ericson Meister Scorsim

Chief Executive Officer of the Environmental Anti-Noise  Association

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Books

Ebook Kindle Movimento antirruídos para cidades inteligentes, saudáveis e sustentáveis

Autor: Ericson Scorsim

Ano: 2022

Vendido por: Amazon Servicos de Varejo do Brasil Ltda

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Brazil Ranks 52nd in the Global Ranking of Sustainable Mobility

The World Bank, together with other partners, has released a global sustainable mobility ranking.  This ranking assesses indicators such as universal access to mobility, safety, efficiency, and sustainability. The ranking covers several transportation modes: cars, buses, motorcycles, trains, ships, and bicycles, among others. 

The World Bank and other entities have a sustainable mobility program called Sustainable Mobility for All, with suggestions for public policies on the subject, see www.sum4all. org. See also: Catalogue of policy measures 2.0 – toward sustainable mobility, in Sustainable Mobility for All.  This program has the following action axes: accessibility to mobility services, efficiency, safety, sustainability, and gender clause.  Regarding the latter axis, it evaluates policies to include women in the mobility sector, as well as issues related to protection for women in public transportation systems. This ranking is aligned with the sustainable development goals established by the UN.  These are some of the UN sustainable development goals: good health and well-being (goal 3), industry, innovation, and infrastructure (goal 9), sustainable cities and communities (goal 11), responsible consumption and production (goal 12), partnerships and means of implementation (goal 17). The United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 76, in July 2022, declaring the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment.  Brazil must apply this international standard to ensure a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment, free from noise pollution in cities. One of the goals of the global ranking is the reduction of air pollution and noise pollution produced by transport modes in cities. Sustainable electromobility is, therefore, one of the factors to reduce air and noise pollution in cities.  It should be noted that air pollution and noise pollution affect public health. This pollution degrades the environment and causes damage to the human organism. And one of the targets of public policies is the air and noise pollution caused by cities’ public transportation systems. In the report Global Roadmap of Action Toward Sustainable Mobility:Green Mobility from the World Bank’s Sustainable Mobility for All, the transportation sector is one of the main sources of air pollution and noise pollution.  And there was significant noise exposure due to acoustic pollution. Hence, the goal is to reduce excessive noise by 50% (fifty percent) by 2030, compared to 2015 levels.   According to the report, noise above 55 (fifty-five) decibels impacts the population.[1]

Reference is also made to reducing the noise produced by cars and motorcycles, with standardization measures for the efficiency of vehicles, tires, and geographical areas within cities.[2] By way of illustration, the European Union, via the European Environmental Agency, has adopted a guideline for reducing noise in transportation. There are gradual goals for reducing the noise produced by different transport modes: cars, buses, trains, airplanes, and motorcycles, among others. In Europe, low-carbon and low-noise areas are defined to protect the environmental health of cities.  In the United States, the Biden administration has adopted the Federal Sustainability Strategic Plan, with progressive targets for reducing air pollution and climate change. The government will adopt an electric vehicle fleet, sustainable buildings, and sustainable procurement of products and services. Brazil can be inspired by these models. The country and local governments must align themselves with these sustainable development goals to promote sustainable mobility, with the reduction of air and noise pollution in cities.  Sustainable electromobility in public transportation systems is therefore a fundamental condition for reducing air and noise pollution.[3]

We must think about sustainable mobility policies to protect the cognitive and auditory neurodiversity of mobility systems’ users, thus protecting mental and auditory health. It is also essential to protect vulnerable groups of citizens: people with disabilities, illnesses, etc., to promote access to sustainable mobility. In this respect, air and noise pollution must be reduced, taking into account the well-being and comfort of the users of public transportation systems, as well as the citizens who live near bus stations and the roads where public transportation buses circulate.  In my book, Anti-Urban Noise Regulatory Proposals, author’s edition, Amazon, 2022, I point out some regulatory options for fostering technological innovation in favor of promoting acoustic efficiency, as well as for appropriate regulation to contain urban noise caused by various modes of transportation. Technological innovations can contribute to the transformations needed for sustainable mobility, acoustic environmental sustainability, and the building of urban infrastructures for smart, healthy, and sustainable cities.  Sustainable electromobility: (electric cars, buses, motorcycles, and trucks), 5G technologies, the internet of things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, and computer listening, will be the key tools for reducing air pollution and noise pollution. Cities need to renew their urban infrastructure, such as installing the electric charging points that are necessary for the electromobility system.

Local governments can set an example by initiating bidding models for purchases and services based on sustainable mobility. For example, by renting or buying fleets of electric vehicles. The local police forces may use electric vehicles, for example. Local governments will be able to encourage sustainable mobility ecosystems, replacing their fleets with electric buses through progressive fleet replacement targets in key areas of cities. Local governments can also encourage taxi services to adopt electric vehicles. Governments can update their acoustical zoning plans to define airplane and helicopter routes to maximize public health, welfare, and rest in residential areas.  It is also important to define areas of low carbon emission and low noise emission to protect environmental health. Governments can encourage the transition by incentivizing the purchase of electric motorcycles and electric bicycles. Finally, there are several actions to be taken by the cities, urgently, to eliminate the environmental impacts caused by mobility based on fossil fuel engines – electric motors.  The more local governments are aligned with the UN’s actions, the more conditions they will have to receive sustainable investments in the area of urban mobility. Governments can be major partners for industrial and service sector innovation in sustainable mobility, targeting the principles of energy efficiency and acoustic efficiency and defining low-carbon and acoustic emission areas, improving the quality of life in cities.   

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Ericson Scorsim. Lawyer and Public Law Consultant Ph.D. in Law from the University of São Paulo (USP). Author of the book  Movimento antirruídos para cidades inteligentes, saudáveis e sustentáveis, edição autoral, Amazon, 2022.


[1]See: Sustainable Mobility of All: Global Mobility Report 2017, Tracking Sector Performance: www.sum4all.org.

[2] World Bank, Sustainable Mobility for all. Global Roadmap of Action. Toward Sustainable Mobility – Paper 6 – Green Mobility, 2019.

[3] For analysis of the theme, see: Keller, Evelyn Fox. Ecosystems, organisms and machines. Bioscience, December, 2005, vol. 55, n. 12.