China China publishes draft revision of noise pollution control law

Noise limits set for electrical equipment, other machines

The Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress published a draft revision of the Noise Pollution Control Law (噪声污染防治法) to solicit comments after deliberating on the revision. Comments will be accepted until Sept. 18.

This law, first brought into force in March 1997, was amended in 2018, but it has not been able to properly deal with the dramatically changing circumstances in China and has needed to be revised. The latest draft revision broadens the law’s scope, introduces new noise limits for products and incorporates noise into the pollutant discharge permit system. Here is an overview of the changes to the law.

 

Wider scope

  • Whereas the current law’s provisions on industrial noise, construction noise and transportation noise are applicable only in urban areas, they are applied in rural areas as well in the revised law.
  • Whereas industrial noise is defined as “noise generated by stationary equipment in industrial operations” in the current law, it is defined as “noise generated in industrial operations” in the revised law, which means that noise emitted by goods that are loaded, unloaded and moved in factory sites are regulated by the law.

 

Noise limits for a broader range of products

Under the current law, noise limits for industrial machinery are set by technical standards, product quality standards and other rules. The revised law directly covers a wider range of machines and products, including some industrial machinery; according to Article 15, the following products are subject to the law:

  • Construction machinery
  • Automobiles
  • Civil aircrafts
  • Engine-powered vessels
  • Electrical and electronic equipment

Article 15 stipulates that local departments for market regulation carry out spot checks on relevant products, and the production, import and sale of products that do not meet the noise limits are banned.

 

Incorporation of noise into the pollutant discharge permit system

Under the revised law, industrial noise is regulated by the pollutant discharge permit system. Businesses generating industrial noise are required to obtain a pollutant discharge permit or submit the pollutant discharge registration form.

 

The full text of the draft revised law (in simplified Chinese) is available at
http://www.npc.gov.cn/flcaw/userIndex.html?lid=ff8081817b5e8676017b6158a4dd02af