PROPOSALS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL NOISE MANAGEMENT BOOST AT A NATIONAL LEVEL IN THE EUROPEAN UNION MEMBER STATES
Keywords:environmental noise, management, improvement, national level, European Union, Latvia
Environmental noise is currently becoming one of the most dominant types of environmental pollution. The effects of environmental noise closely correlate with quality of life especially regarding the physical and psychological health of inhabitants, social and economic costs, and thus also impacting the sustainable development of a country. Environmental noise management, therefore, is one of the most necessary and exigent aspects of environmental pollution management governance. The management of noise need to be developed in a comprehensive, integrative and cross-sectorial way, and appropriate methods and approaches for the management of overall noise impacts need to be found to deal with them in the most effective and sustainable manner.
Taking into account above mentioned, the aim of this research is to study environmental noise management at a national level, taking into account environmental noise management framework in the European Union (hereinafter – EU). Research mostly focuses on new EU member states that joined EU after the year 2000, including Baltic countries.
The objectives of this research are as follows: (1) to justify the need for development of environmental noise management, based on theoretical studies of environmental noise as a comprehensive environmental pollution component; (2) to analyze the established practices for noise management in EU in order to identify the best practice examples; (3) to study and analyse problem situations in Latvia that is chosen as an example of new EU member states; (4) to propose improvements for noise management processes at a national level, based on the analysis of the case.
In the scope of the study authors analyze existing legislation and the institutional system for environmental noise management, and provide conclusions from Latvian case studies.
The research allows providing suggestions for improvements of a noise management at a national level. Latvian case study allows concluding that necessary improvements are related to following processes: development of legislation, noise policy, environmental noise mapping and action planning, environmental noise control and complaints management, data and information collection, analysis and dissemination, as well as environmental impact assessment.