16 May 2012

Ghana: EPA Sets Guidelines for Noise-Making

In recent times, the issue of noise pollution has become of serious concern, especially, in built up residential areas and other communities in the country.

To address the noise levels, ranging from residential and commercial to industrial areas, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the government wing responsible for the prudent management of the environment, has set out guidelines that come with permissible ambient noise for the aforementioned areas.

The environmental agency puts permissible ambient noise levels in residential 55 decibles (db) during the day and 48 db at night.

Those at and around educational health facilities was put 55 db during the day and 50 db at night, while the noise level for areas with commercial or light industrial activities was registered 60 db and 55 db during the day and night respectively.

The new guidelines also permit 65 db noise levels during the day and 60 db during the night for light industrial areas and places of entertainment and public assembly such as churches and mosques.

Predominant commercial areas, according to the new guidelines, are allowed 70 db during the day and 65 db at night, while the noise level for heavy industrial areas was pegged at70 db during the day and night.

The new guidelines came to the fore when the Minister of Environment, Science & Technology (MEST), Sherry Ayittey, appeared on the floor of Parliament to answer to a question posed by the Member of Parliament for Offinso North, Augustine Collins Ntim.

Mr. Ntim asked the Minister, who is a biochemist by profession, on what measures her outfit was putting in place to formulate the necessary laws and regulations on environmental pollution for the country.

Madam Sherry Ayittey expressed the firm belief that the enforcement of the new guidelines would limit to an appreciable level noise pollution in the country if not totally eliminated and urged all and sundry to comply with the rules.

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