Each of us has the ability to reduce noise in our community by being aware of the noise we make as residents, workers, or as businesses. Noise pollution is regulated by local governments. We do not have authority to enforce noise pollution laws and ordinances, but we have provided model regulations that local governments can use. In many cases, local governments have their own noise ordinances. In localities that don't have a noise ordinance, our regulations are what are enforced by local authorities.
What is noise pollution?
Any loud noise that occurs between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. could be considered noise pollution unless a local ordinance sets different standards. The zoning of your location can also determine if a noise is considered “pollution.” For example, industrial zones can have louder noises than residential zones.
Where can I go for help regarding noise?
Your local government has authority to regulate noise from most land uses and vehicles. Local governments may enforce model regulations that have been adopted by us, or adopt other noise regulations. Some noise sources — such as airports, trains and military bases — have special procedures related to noise problems. Ecology does not have authority to enforce noise rules or local noise ordinances. We have provided more information in our Frequently Asked Questions for residents webpage.
What are Washington laws and rules related to noise?
- Chapter 70.107 RCW - Noise control
- Chapter 46.09 RCW - Off-road and highway vehicles
- Chapter 173–58 WAC- Sound level measurement procedures
- Chapter 173–60 WAC- Maximum environmental noise levels
- Chapter 173–62 WAC - Motor vehicle noise performance standards
To learn more about how to manage a noise pollution problem read our Frequently Asked Questions for Residents and Frequently Asked Questions for Local Government. If you have a noise complaint or questions about noise enforcement, contact your local government.