Text: H.R.3384 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/29/2015)

[Congressional Bills 114th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 3384 Introduced in House (IH)]

  1st Session
                                H. R. 3384

    To reestablish the Office of Noise Abatement and Control in the 
        Environmental Protection Agency, and for other purposes.



                             July 29, 2015

 Ms. Meng (for herself, Mr. Gallego, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, Ms. Norton, Mr. 
 Crowley, Mrs. Lowey, Mr. Israel, Mr. Quigley, Mr. Grijalva, Miss Rice 
 of New York, and Ms. Clark of Massachusetts) introduced the following 
 bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and 
in addition to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, for 
a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for 
consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the 
                          committee concerned


                                 A BILL

    To reestablish the Office of Noise Abatement and Control in the 
        Environmental Protection Agency, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Quiet Communities Act of 2015''.


    Congress finds that:
            (1) Approximately 28,000,000 Americans are afflicted with 
        some hearing loss and it has been estimated that 10,000,000 of 
        these impairments are at least partially attributable to damage 
        from exposure to noise.
            (2) For millions of Americans, noise from aircraft, 
        vehicular traffic, and a variety of other sources is a constant 
        source of torment. Millions of Americans are exposed to noise 
        levels that can lead to sleep loss, psychological and 
        physiological damage, and work disruption.
            (3) Chronic exposure to noise has been linked to increased 
        risk of cardiovascular disorders, learning deficits in 
        children, stress, and diminished quality of life.
            (4) Excessive noise leading to sleep deprivation and task 
        interruptions can result in untold costs on society in 
        diminished worker productivity.
            (5) Pursuant to authorities granted under the Clean Air Act 
        of 1970, the Noise Control Act of 1972, and the Quiet 
        Communities Act of 1978, the Environmental Protection Agency 
        established an Office of Noise Abatement and Control. Its 
        responsibilities included promulgating noise emission 
        standards, requiring product labeling, facilitating the 
        development of low emission products, coordinating Federal 
        noise reduction programs, assisting State and local abatement 
        efforts, and promoting noise education and research. However, 
        funding for the Office of Noise Abatement and Control was 
        terminated in 1982 and no funds have been provided since.
            (6) Because the Environmental Protection Agency remains 
        legally responsible for enforcing regulations issued under the 
        Noise Control Act of 1972 even though funding for these 
        activities were terminated, and because the Noise Control Act 
        of 1972 prohibits State and local governments from regulating 
        noise sources in many situations, noise abatement programs 
        across the country lie dormant.
            (7) As population growth and air and vehicular traffic 
        continue to increase, noise pollution is likely to become an 
        even greater problem in the future. The health and welfare of 
        our citizens demands that the Environmental Protection Agency, 
        the lead Federal agency for the protection of public health and 
        welfare, once again assume a role in combating noise pollution.


    (a) Reestablishment.--The Administrator of the Environmental 
Protection Agency shall reestablish within the Environmental Protection 
Agency an Office of Noise Abatement and Control.
    (b) Duties.--The responsibilities of the Office include the 
            (1) To promote the development of effective State and local 
        noise control programs by providing States with technical 
        assistance and grants to develop the programs, including the 
        purchase of equipment for local communities.
            (2) To carry out a national noise control research program 
        to assess the impacts of noise from varied noise sources on 
        mental and physical health.
            (3) To carry out a national noise environmental assessment 
        program to identify trends in noise exposure and response, 
        ambient levels, and compliance data and to determine the 
        effectiveness of noise abatement actions, including actions for 
        areas around major transportation facilities (such as highways, 
        railroad facilities, and airports).
            (4) To develop and disseminate information and educational 
        materials to the public on the mental and physical effects of 
        noise and the most effective means for noise control through 
        the use of materials for school curricula, volunteer 
        organizations, radio and television programs, publications, and 
        other means.
            (5) To develop educational and training materials and 
        programs, including national and regional workshops, to support 
        State and local noise abatement and control programs.
            (6) To establish regional technical assistance centers 
        which use the capabilities of university and private 
        organizations to assist State and local noise control programs.
            (7) To undertake an assessment of the effectiveness of the 
        Noise Control Act of 1972.
    (c) Preferred Approaches.--In carrying out its duties under this 
section, the Office shall emphasize noise abatement approaches that 
rely on local and State activities, market incentives, and coordination 
with other public and private agencies.
    (d) Study.--
            (1) In general.--Using funds made available to the Office, 
        the Administrator shall carry out a study of airport noise. The 
        Administrator shall carry out the study by entering into 
        contracts or other agreements with independent scientists with 
        expertise in noise measurements, noise effects, and noise 
        abatement techniques to conduct the study.
            (2) Contents.--The study shall examine the selection of 
        noise measurement methodologies by the Federal Aviation 
        Administration, the threshold of noise at which health impacts 
        are felt, and the effectiveness of noise abatement programs at 
        airports around the Nation.
            (3) Report.--Not later than 24 months after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit to 
        Congress a report on the results of the study, together with 
        specific recommendations on new measures that can be 
        implemented to mitigate the impact of aircraft noise on 
        surrounding communities.


    Section 14(c)(1) of the Noise Control Act of 1972 (42 U.S.C. 
4913(c)(1)) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``and'' at the end of subparagraph (C); and
            (2) by adding at the end the following:
                    ``(E) establishing and implementing training 
                programs on use of noise abatement equipment; and
                    ``(F) implementing noise abatement plans;''.


    There is authorized to be appropriated for each of fiscal years 
2016 through 2020 $21,000,000 for activities of the Office of Noise 
Abatement and Control reestablished under section 3.

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