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.

Ericson M. Scorsim

Lawyer and Consultant in Communication Law. PhD in Law from USP. Author of the Ebooks Collection on Communication Law with a focus on topics on technologies, internet, telecommunications and media.