AREAS of RESPONSIBILITY for NOISE IMPACTS to RESIDENTS: GOVERNMENT ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES REGARDING NOISE-RELATED ISSUES In Canada, the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government have different roles and responsibilities with respect to noise-related issues.
The federal government is responsible for establishing and ensuring compliance with standards for noise emission labelling and maximum noise emission for consumer products, equipment, and vehicles. These regulations do not extend to “after sale” situations where products deteriorate and exceed sound levels required at the time of manufacture. The federal government also establishes guidelines for noise control over interprovincial transportation systems including aircraft, trains and navigable waterways. Health Canada is legally required to provide expert advice on the health effects of environmental noise to environmental assessments involving other federal departments (Health Canada, 1998).
Provincial governments establish guidelines for noise control in land use planning. They authorize and assist municipalities in creating and implementing municipal plans and noise control by-laws to abate individual sources of noise. Provincial governments are also responsible through various statutes for controlling the operational noise levels of many consumer products, equipment and vehicles (Health Canada, 1998).
Most environmental noise control legislation has been enacted at the municipal level. Municipalities exercise environmental noise control through municipal noise control by-laws, municipal land use plans and zoning, traffic management and road noise barrier retrofit programs (Health Canada, 1998). Within the City of Toronto, Urban Development Services, Works & Emergency Services, Corporate Services, and the Public Health Division have distinct yet complementary roles and responsibilities regarding environmental noise.