Monday, August 22, 2005

D.C. Municipal Regulations on Noise

After numerous requests of the various city agencies, I finally receive the text of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations. They were sent to me by Denise Wiktor, public space manager, Public Space Management Administration of the District Department of Transportation:

20-2713. ENFORCEMENT: PENALTIES

2713.1 Any person who is aggrieved by a violation of any provision of the Act may complain to the Metropolitan Police Department which shall enforce the provisions of this Act.

2713.2 Prior to issuing a citation or notice of infraction, the Metropolitan Police Officer or other District government official may give a verbal warning to the violator and allow the violator a reasonable time to cease violating the Act.

2713.3 Any person who violates any provision of the Act shall be punished by a fine not to exceed three hundred dollars ($ 300) or imprisonment not to exceed ten (10) days, or both. In the event of any violation of or failure to comply with the Act or any section of the Act, each and every day of such violation or failure shall constitute a separate offense, and the penalties described in the Act shall be applicable to each such separate offense.

2713.4 Officers of the Metropolitan Police Department are authorized to enforce the provisions of the Act by issuing a notice of civil infraction for a violation of the Act that constitutes a noise disturbance pursuant to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Civil Infractions Act of 1985, effective October 5, 1985 (D.C. Law 6-42, D.C. Code § 6-2701 et seq.).

2713.5 Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as alternative sanctions for any infraction of the provisions of Chapter 27 or 28, pursuant to titles I-III of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Civil Infractions Act of 1985. Adjudication of any infraction of Chapter 27 or 28 shall be pursuant to titles I-III of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Civil Infractions Act of 1985.

20-2714. CIVIL ENFORCEMENT

2714.1 Any person may commence a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction on his or her own behalf for injunctive relief, to enforce a requirement, or to order the Mayor to perform a non-discretionary act against any person (including the District government to the extent permitted by the Eleventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution) who is alleged to be the following:

(a) In violation of any requirement of the Act;

(b) In violation of any order issued by the Mayor with respect to any requirement of the Act; or

(c) Engaged in any act prohibited by the Act.

2714.2 No action shall be taken under the provisions of this section prior to ten (10) days after the plaintiff has given notice of the violation to the Mayor, and to any alleged violator of the requirements.

2714.3 No action shall be taken under the provisions of this section if the Mayor has commenced and is diligently prosecuting a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction in the District of Columbia to require compliance with the Act.

CDCR 20-2800 (2005)

20-2800. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, LOUD SPEAKERS, AMPLIFIERS, AND UNAMPLIFIED VOICES

2800.1 Noise resulting from musical instruments, loud speakers, amplifiers, and unamplified voices shall not exceed the maximum noise levels contained in this section.

2800.2 It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue, or cause to be continued any noise disturbance by the operation, use, or playing of any musical instrument or device, loud speaker, sound amplifier, or other similar device, or unamplified voice, for the production or reproduction of sound on private property or public space.

2800.3 Parades and public gatherings conducted pursuant to a permit issued by the Metropolitan Police Department (as provided for in 24 DCMR Chapter 7) are exempt from the noise disturbance limitation.

20-2900. GENERAL PROVISIONS

2900.1 The purpose of this chapter is to establish standard testing procedures for measuring noise levels as prescribed under the provisions of Chapters 27 and 28 of this subtitle, the D.C. Noise Control Act of 1977 (D.C. Law 2-53, March 23, 1978).

2900.2 The intent of this chapter shall be to do the following:

(a) Specify straight-forward procedures that are applicable to the large majority of expected situations; and

(b) Specify the limits of applicability of those procedures, such as situations in which acoustical specialists or specialized equipment may be required to supplement the procedures.


2900.3 The measurement procedures provided in this chapter shall be reviewed periodically with reference to changes in the practice of noise measurement, instrumentation, District code, and legal precedent.

2900.4 The measurement of noise produced by motor vehicles in transit shall be prescribed by District and federal laws. Enforcement by police officers shall be provided by District law.

2900.5 Any situation in which the noise source cannot be demonstrated to increase the total noise at the measurement point by at least four (4) dB(A) over the ambient level shall be considered unmeasurable by the techniques described in this chapter.

2900.6 Any situation in which readings exceed the statutory limits, but are less than the statutory limit plus the grace limit, the noise shall be measured with more specialized or more accurate equipment prior to deciding whether the source is in compliance with the Act.

2900.7 When readings exceed the statutory limits, but are less than the statutory limit plus the grace limit, consultation with qualified professional personnel shall be required.

CDCR 20-2905 (2005)

20-2905. MEASUREMENT PROCEDURES

2905.1 Unless impracticable, earphones shall be used occasionally while noise measurements are being taken as a periodic check to ensure that the meter is responding properly to the noise source being monitored.

2905.2 In the case of steady (including intermittent, slowly fluctuating, or quasi-steady) noise, a measurement of the ambient noise level shall be required.

2905.3 If the ambient noise level of steady noise is within ten (10) dB(A) of the source sound level, the corrections specified in the table of §2905.7 of this section shall be applied to determine the noise level due solely to the source being investigated, and the source shall be interpolated as necessary.

2905.4 If the ambient level of steady noise is less than three (3) dB(A) from the noise source, no correction may be made and measurements cannot indicate true source noise level.

2905.5 Before citing a violation of a noise limit which may not be exceeded regardless of duration, a two and five tenths (2.5) dB(A) grace shall be allowed to account for all possible meter inaccuracies.

2905.6 Several measurements showing a violation shall be taken with at least twenty (20) seconds between each measurement.

2905.7 The following table shall be used for making corrections to measured ambient sound pressure levels: Difference (in decibels) Correction (in decibels) to be subtracted between sound pressure level from sound pressure level measured with measured with sound source sound source operating to obtain sound operating and ambient sound pressure level due to sound source along pressure level along dB(A) dB(A)

Less than 4 Measurement can not be made
4 2.2
5 1.7
6 1.3
7 1.0
8 0.8
9 0.6
10 0.4
more than 10 .0

20-2999. DEFINITIONS

2999.1 The meanings ascribed to the definitions appearing in § 2799.1 of Chapter 27 of this subtitle shall apply to the terms in this chapter.

2999.2 In addition to the definitions cited in Chapter 27, the following words shall have the meaning ascribed:

Ambient - the noise remaining when the source being measured is turned off.

Calibration, external - the testing under controlled conditions of the sound level monitoring system, by use of a calibration device, whose input sound pressure level and frequency are accurately known, for the purpose of ascertaining the accuracy of the system at the input level and frequency within the meaning of the Act. The system includes a microphone, microphone cable, and sound level meter and its internal components.

Descriptors, acoustical - the following descriptors are often used:

dB(A) - A-weighted sound level measured in decibels;

L[d] - daytime equivalent A-weighted sound level between the hours of 0700 and 2100;

L[dn] - day-night average sound level; the twenty-four hour (24) weighted equivalent sound level, with a ten (10) decibel penalty applied to nighttime levels;

L[eq] - equivalent A-weighted sound level over a given period of time;

L[eq](1) - the L[eq](1) is used in measuring construction noise and is the value of a steady state sound which has the same A-weighted average sound energy as that contained in a time varying sound. In this case, it is the equivalent sound level measured over a one (1) hour period. It is measured best with a statistical noise analyzer;

L[n] - nighttime equivalent A-weighted sound level between the hours of 0700 and 2100;

L[max] - maximum A-weighted sound level for a given time interval or event; and

L[x] - x percent sound level, the A-weighted sound level equaled or exceeded x% of time. For example: L[10]: sound level exceeded ten (10%) percent of time (usually the loudest level): L[50]: sound level exceeded fifty percent
(50%) of time; and L[90]: sound level exceeded ninety percent (90%) of the time (usually the quietest level).

External Calibration - the testing under controlled conditions of the sound level monitoring system, by use of a calibration device, whose input sound pressure level and frequency are accurately known for the purpose of ascertaining the accuracy of the system at the input level and frequency within the meaning of the Act. The system includes a microphone, microphone cable, sound level meter and its internal components).

Intermittent noise - a noise that goes on and off but that is steady while it is on.

Large reflecting surface - a surface that may cause an interference with the noise measurements being taken (a wall, for example).

Pure tone - a single frequency that predominates to the extent that it is audible. Pure tones are characterized by the following: a hum, moan, howl, whine, or whistle, depending on their frequency.

Qualified - calibrated by an authorized acoustical standards laboratory or an authorized factory representative.

Quasi-steady noise - a rapid series of impulses that has the same effect on the sound level meter as a steady noise.

Qualification - a comprehensive series of tests (including calibration using the full frequency response of a microphone, plus meter, plus A-weighted
network) demonstrating compliance with ANSI specifications in addition to, but not required, calibration within the meaning of the Act.

Rapidly fluctuating - continuous noise whose level varies rapidly over a range greater than three (3) dB(A) read on the fast scale during the course of the measurements.

Slowly fluctuating - continuous noise whose level varies slowly over a range greater than three (3) dB(A) read on the slow scale during the course of the measurements.

Steady noise - a noise whose level varies less than three (3) dB(A) read on the slow scale during the course of the measurements.

Source of violation - consists of a single source, or of several distinct sources if all are being operated on the property from which the noise originates.

History of Regulations since Last Compilation by Agency (February 1997)

1 Comments:

Blogger M said...

Help!!! There is construction outside my windows and they start working at 6 AM. I go to class sleepy every day. I have been looking around the internet and can't find the number in DC to complain. I have a NY cell phone and I think if I call 311 I will be connected with NYC government instead of DC. Do you have any advice for me? I just moved here for grad school and have a hard time sleeping, even with earplugs (which has worked for me in NY). thanks so much in advance!

8:45 AM  

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