Noise pollution — Frequently asked questions for local governments
This page provides answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive from local governments about noise pollution and was prepared in conjunction with the Office of Regulatory Assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions for Local Government
A: Yes. Local governments can do any of the following:
Use Ecology’s rules.
Adopt a local noise ordinance that includes:
All of Ecology’s rules;
Sections of Ecology’s rules;
Sections of Ecology’s rules along with standards written by the local government; or
Standards that are different from those in Ecology’s rules, if submitted to Ecology and approved.
A: The only time a local noise ordinance needs to be submitted to Ecology is when it is different from Ecology’s rules. However, we appreciate receiving copies of all local noise ordinances.
A: When the local noise ordinance is different, the standards and limits in the local noise ordinance will apply. If something is not covered by the local ordinance, then Ecology’s rules (Chapters 173-58, 173-60, 173-62, WAC) will apply. Any ordinance differing from Ecology’s rules must be submitted to Ecology for approval.
A: There are three roles that local government may have in regulating noise:
Adopt a local noise ordinance to set noise standards for their area.
Enforce the local noise ordinance.
If no local noise ordinance exists, enforce Ecology’s rules.
A: Department of Ecology
Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program
P.O. Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600