EMA says it will uphold Noise Pollution laws throughout Carnival

Monday, January 15, 2018 - 14:15

The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) is reminding the public and event promoters of the requirement to apply for, obtain and abide by a Noise Variation Permit where amplified sound equipment will be used.

The EMA says this legal requirement is in accordance with the Noise Pollution Control Rules (NPCR).

A Noise Variation Permit issued by the EMA sets out the sound levels that an event promoter is allowed to emit.

It also identifies the measures that the event promoter must put in place to minimise disturbance to nearby sensitive receptors such as homes, schools, hospitals, places of religious worship and homes for the elderly.

The EMA says that to protect the health and wellbeing of sensitive receptors, the NPCR prescribes standards* in three (3) areas-:

1) General;
2) Environmentally Sensitive, and
3) Industrial areas.

"In ‘general areas’ such as Woodbrook, St. Clair, Port-of-Spain and environs, the night-time (8pm-8am) level is 65 decibels. With a Noise Variation Permit, an event promoter is allowed to exceed the prescribed level. Holders of a Noise Variation Permit are required to adhere to the set decibel levels. In cases where no Noise Variation is obtained by the event promoter, the regular (daytime or nighttime) prescribed levels must be observed," the EMA statement said.

The EMA says the issue of noise pollution and the negative effects it has on human and animal health featured prominently in public consultations held by the Authority in 2017 during the revision of the National Environmental Policy (NEP).

"This is supported by the significant number of noise complaints received by the EMA via its Hotline and Social Media accounts. Carnival is an integral element of our tradition and culture in Trinidad and Tobago and provides livelihoods to many citizens. However, this must be balanced with the right of all to enjoy property, peace, and wellbeing," the statement said.

The EMA is congratulating promoters of Carnival events who adhere to the NPCR and cause minimal disruption to nearby residents.