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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of October 20, 2014

Title 24Subtitle A → Part 51


Title 24: Housing and Urban Development


PART 51—ENVIRONMENTAL CRITERIA AND STANDARDS


Contents

Subpart A—General Provisions

§51.1   Purpose.
§51.2   Authority.
§51.3   Responsibilities.
§51.4   Program coverage.

Subpart B—Noise Abatement and Control

§51.100   Purpose and authority.
§51.101   General policy.
§51.102   Responsibilities.
§51.103   Criteria and standards.
§51.104   Special requirements.
§51.105   Exceptions.
§51.106   Implementation.
Appendix I to Subpart B of Part 51—Definition of Acoustical Quantities

Subpart C—Siting of HUD-Assisted Projects Near Hazardous Operations Handling Conventional Fuels or Chemicals of an Explosive or Flammable Nature

§51.200   Purpose.
§51.201   Definitions.
§51.202   Approval of HUD-assisted projects.
§51.203   Safety standards.
§51.204   HUD-assisted hazardous facilities.
§51.205   Mitigating measures.
§51.206   Implementation.
§51.207   Special circumstances.
§51.208   Reservation of administrative and legal rights.
Appendix I to Subpart C of Part 51—Specific Hazardous Substances
Appendix II to Subpart C of Part 51—Development of Standards; Calculation Methods

Subpart D—Siting of HUD Assisted Projects in Runway Clear Zones at Civil Airports and Clear Zones and Accident Potential Zones at Military Airfields

§51.300   Purpose.
§51.301   Definitions.
§51.302   Coverage.
§51.303   General policy.
§51.304   Responsibilities.
§51.305   Implementation.

Authority: 42 U.S.C. 3535(d), unless otherwise noted.

Source: 44 FR 40861, July 12, 1979, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—General Provisions

§51.1   Purpose.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing program Assistant Secretaries and administrators and field offices with environmental standards, criteria and guidelines for determining project acceptability and necessary mitigating measures to insure that activities assisted by the Department achieve the goal of a suitable living environment.

§51.2   Authority.

This part implements the Department's responsibilities under: The National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.); sec. 2 of the Housing Act of 1949 (42 U.S.C. 1441); secs. 2 and 7(d) of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act (42 U.S.C. 3531 and 3535(d)); the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321); and the other statutes that are referred to in this part.

[61 FR 13333, Mar. 26, 1996]

§51.3   Responsibilities.

The Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development is responsible for administering HUD's environmental criteria and standards as set forth in this part. The Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development may be assisted by HUD officials in implementing the responsibilities established by this part. HUD will identify these HUD officials and their specific responsibilities through Federal Register notice.

[61 FR 13333, Mar. 26, 1996]

§51.4   Program coverage.

Environmental standards shall apply to all HUD actions except where special provisions and exemptions are contained in each subpart.

Subpart B—Noise Abatement and Control

§51.100   Purpose and authority.

(a) It is the purpose of this subpart B to:

(1) Call attention to the threat of noise pollution;

(2) Encourage the control of noise at its source in cooperation with other Federal departments and agencies;

(3) Encourage land use patterns for housing and other noise sensitive urban needs that will provide a suitable separation between them and major noise sources;

(4) Generally prohibit HUD support for new construction of noise sensitive uses on sites having unacceptable noise exposure;

(5) Provide policy on the use of structural and other noise attenuation measures where needed; and

(6) Provide policy to guide implementation of various HUD programs.

(b) Authority. Specific authorities for noise abatement and control are contained in the Noise Control Act of 1972, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4901 et seq.); and the General Services Administration, Federal Management Circular 75-2; Compatible Land Uses at Federal Airfields.

[44 FR 40861, July 12, 1979, as amended at 61 FR 13333, Mar. 26, 1996]

§51.101   General policy.

(a) It is HUD's general policy to provide minimum national standards applicable to HUD programs to protect citizens against excessive noise in their communities and places of residence.

(1) Planning assistance. HUD requires that grantees give adequate consideration to noise exposures and sources of noise as an integral part of the urban environment when HUD assistance is provided for planning purposes, as follows:

(i) Particular emphasis shall be placed on the importance of compatible land use planning in relation to airports, highways and other sources of high noise.

(ii) Applicants shall take into consideration HUD environmental standards impacting the use of land.

(2) Activities subject to 24 CFR part 58. (i) Responsible entities under 24 CFR part 58 must take into consideration the noise criteria and standards in the environmental review process and consider ameliorative actions when noise sensitive land development is proposed in noise exposed areas. Responsible entities shall address deviations from the standards in their environmental reviews as required in 24 CFR part 58.

(ii) Where activities are planned in a noisy area, and HUD assistance is contemplated later for housing and/or other noise sensitive activities, the responsible entity risks denial of the HUD assistance unless the HUD standards are met.

(3) HUD support for new construction. HUD assistance for the construction of new noise sensitive uses is prohibited generally for projects with unacceptable noise exposures and is discouraged for projects with normally unacceptable noise exposure. (Standards of acceptability are contained in §51.103(c).) This policy applies to all HUD programs providing assistance, subsidy or insurance for housing, manufactured home parks, nursing homes, hospitals, and all programs providing assistance or insurance for land development, redevelopment or any other provision of facilities and services which are directed to making land available for housing or noise sensitive development. The policy does not apply to research demonstration projects which do not result in new construction or reconstruction, flood insurance, interstate land sales egistration, or any action or emergency assistance under disaster assistance provisions or appropriations which are provided to save lives, protect property, protect public health and safety, remove debris and wreckage, or assistance that has the effect of restoring facilities substantially as they existed prior to the disaster.

(4) HUD support for existing construction. Noise exposure by itself will not result in the denial of HUD support for the resale and purchase of otherwise acceptable existing buildings. However, environmental noise is a marketability factor which HUD will consider in determining the amount of insurance or other assistance that may be given.

(5) HUD support of modernization and rehabilitation. For modernization projects located in all noise exposed areas, HUD shall encourage noise attenuation features in alterations. For major or substantial rehabilitation projects in the Normally Unacceptable and Unacceptable noise zones, HUD actively shall seek to have project sponsors incorporate noise attenuation features, given the extent and nature of the rehabilitation being undertaken and the level or exterior noise exposure. In Unacceptable noise zones, HUD shall strongly encourage conversion of noise-exposed sites to land uses compatible with the high noise levels.

(6) Research, guidance and publications. HUD shall maintain a continuing program designed to provide new knowledge of noise abatement and control to public and private bodies, to develop improved methods for anticipating noise encroachment, to develop noise abatement measures through land use and building construction practices, and to foster better understanding of the consequences of noise. It shall be HUD's policy to issue guidance documents periodically to assist HUD personnel in assigning an acceptability category to projects in accordance with noise exposure standards, in evaluating noise attenuation measures, and in advising local agencies about noise abatement strategies. The guidance documents shall be updated periodically in accordance with advances in the state-of-the-art.

(7) Construction equipment, building equipment and appliances. HUD shall encourage the use of quieter construction equipment and methods in population centers, the use of quieter equipment and appliances in buildings, and the use of appropriate noise abatement techniques in the design of residential structures with potential noise problems.

(8) Exterior noise goals. It is a HUD goal that exterior noise levels do not exceed a day-night average sound level of 55 decibels. This level is recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency as a goal for outdoors in residential areas. The levels recommended by EPA are not standards and do not take into account cost or feasibility. For the purposes of this regulation and to meet other program objectives, sites with a day-night average sound level of 65 and below are acceptable and are allowable (see Standards in §51.103(c)).

(9) Interior noise goals. It is a HUD goal that the interior auditory environment shall not exceed a day-night average sound level of 45 decibels. Attenuation measures to meet these interior goals shall be employed where feasible. Emphasis shall be given to noise sensitive interior spaces such as bedrooms. Minimum attenuation requirements are prescribed in §51.104(a).

(10) Acoustical privacy in multifamily buildings. HUD shall require the use of building design and acoustical treatment to afford acoustical privacy in multifamily buildings pursuant to requirements of the Minimum Property Standards.

[44 FR 40861, July 12, 1979, as amended at 50 FR 9268, Mar. 7, 1985; 61 FR 13333, Mar. 26, 1996]

§51.102   Responsibilities.

(a) Surveillance of noise problem areas. Appropriate field staff shall maintain surveillance of potential noise problem areas and advise local officials, developers, and planning groups of the unacceptability of sites because of noise exposure at the earliest possible time in the decision process. Every attempt shall be made to insure that applicants' site choices are consistent with the policy and standards contained herein.

(b) Notice to applicants. At the earliest possible stage, HUD program staff shall:

(1) Determine the suitability of the acoustical environment of proposed projects;

(2) Notify applicants of any adverse or questionable situations; and

(3) Assure that prospective applicants are apprised of the standards contained herein so that future site choices will be consistent with these standards.

(c) Interdepartmental coordination. HUD shall foster appropriate coordination between field offices and other departments and agencies, particularly the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Transportation, Department of Defense representatives, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. HUD staff shall utilize the acceptability standards in commenting on the prospective impacts of transportation facilities and other noise generators in the Environmental Impact Statement review process.

[44 FR 40861, July 12, 1979, as amended at 54 FR 39525, Sept. 27, 1989; 61 FR 13333, Mar. 26, 1996]

§51.103   Criteria and standards.

These standards apply to all programs as indicated in §51.101.

(a) Measure of external noise environments. The magnitude of the external noise environment at a site is determined by the value of the day-night average sound level produced as the result of the accumulation of noise from all sources contributing to the external noise environment at the site. Day-night average sound level, abbreviated as DNL and symbolized as Ldn, is the 24-hour average sound level, in decibels, obtained after addition of 10 decibels to sound levels in the night from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Mathematical expressions for average sound level and day-night average sound level are stated in the Appendix I to this subpart.

(b) Loud impulsive sounds. On an interim basis, when loud impulsive sounds, such as explosions or sonic booms, are experienced at a site, the day-night average sound level produced by the loud impulsive sounds alone shall have 8 decibels added to it in assessing the acceptability of the site (see appendix I to this subpart). Alternatively, the C-weighted day-night average sound level (LCdn) may be used without the 8 decibel addition, as indicated in §51.106(a)(3). Methods for assessing the contribution of loud impulsive sounds to day-night average sound level at a site and mathematical expressions for determining whether a sound is classed as “loud impulsive” are provided in the appendix I to this subpart.

(c) Exterior standards. (1) The degree of acceptability of the noise environment at a site is determined by the sound levels external to buildings or other facilities containing noise sensitive uses. The standards shall usually apply at a location 2 meters (6.5 feet) from the building housing noise sensitive activities in the direction of the predominant noise source. Where the building location is undetermined, the standards shall apply 2 meters (6.5 feet) from the building setback line nearest to the predominant noise source. The standards shall also apply at other locations where it is determined that quiet outdoor space is required in an area ancillary to the principal use on the site.

(2) The noise environment inside a building is considered acceptable if: (i) The noise environment external to the building complies with these standards, and (ii) the building is constructed in a manner common to the area or, if of uncommon construction, has at least the equivalent noise attenuation characteristics.

Site Acceptability Standards

  Day-night average sound level (in decibels)Special approvals and requirements
AcceptableNot exceeding 65 dB(1)None.
Normally UnacceptableAbove 65 dB but not exceeding 75 dBSpecial Approvals (2)
   Environmental Review (3).
   Attenuation (4).
UnacceptableAbove 75 dBSpecial Approvals (2).
   Environmental Review (3).
   Attenuation (5).

Notes: (1) Acceptable threshold may be shifted to 70 dB in special circumstances pursuant to §51.105(a).

(2) See §51.104(b) for requirements.

(3) See §51.104(b) for requirements.

(4) 5 dB additional attenuation required for sites above 65 dB but not exceeding 70 dB and 10 dB additional attenuation required for sites above 70 dB but not exceeding 75 dB. (See §51.104(a).)

(5) Attenuation measures to be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for CPD for approval on a case-by-case basis.

[44 FR 40861, July 12, 1979, as amended at 49 FR 12214, Mar. 29, 1984]

§51.104   Special requirements.

(a)(1) Noise attenuation. Noise attenuation measures are those required in addition to attenuation provided by buildings as commonly constructed in the area, and requiring open windows for ventilation. Measures that reduce external noise at a site shall be used wherever practicable in preference to the incorporation of additional noise attenuation in buildings. Building designs and construction techniques that provide more noise attenuation than typical construction may be employed also to meet the noise attenuation requirements.

(2) Normally unacceptable noise zones and unacceptable noise zones. Approvals in Normally Unacceptable Noise Zones require a minimum of 5 decibels additional sound attenuation for buildings having noise-sensitive uses if the day-night average sound level is greater than 65 decibels but does not exceed 70 decibels, or a minimum of 10 decibels of additional sound attenuation if the day-night average sound level is greater than 70 decibels but does not exceed 75 decibels. Noise attenuation measures in Unacceptable Noise Zones require the approval of the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, or the Certifying Officer for activities subject to 24 CFR part 58. (See §51.104(b)(2).)

(b) Environmental review requirements. Environmental reviews shall be conducted pursuant to the requirements of 24 CFR parts 50 and 58, as applicable, or other environmental regulations issued by the Department. These requirements are hereby modified for all projects proposed in the Normally Unacceptable and Unacceptable noise exposure zones as follows:

(1) Normally unacceptable noise zone. (i) All projects located in the Normally Unacceptable Noise Zone require a Special Environmental Clearance except an EIS is required for a proposed project located in a largely undeveloped area, or where the HUD action is likely to encourage the establishment of incompatible land use in this noise zone.

(ii) When an EIS is required, the concurrence of the Program Assistant Secretary is also required before a project can be approved. For the purposes of this paragraph, an area will be considered as largely undeveloped unless the area within a 2-mile radius of the project boundary is more than 50 percent developed for urban uses and infrastructure (particularly water and sewers) is available and has capacity to serve the project.

(iii) All other projects in the Normally Unacceptable zone require a Special Environmental Clearance, except where an EIS is required for other reasons pursuant to HUD environmental policies.

(2) Unacceptable noise zone. An EIS is required prior to the approval of projects with unacceptable noise exposure. Projects in or partially in an Unacceptable Noise Zone shall be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, or the Certifying Officer for activities subject to 24 CFR part 58, for approval. The Assistant Secretary or the Certifying Officer may waive the EIS requirement in cases where noise is the only environmental issue and no outdoor noise sensitive activity will take place on the site. In such cases, an environmental review shall be made pursuant to the requirements of 24 CFR parts 50 or 58, as appropriate.

[44 FR 40861, July 12, 1979, as amended at 61 FR 13333, Mar. 26, 1996]

§51.105   Exceptions.

(a) Flexibility for non-acoustic benefits. Where it is determined that program objectives cannot be achieved on sites meeting the acceptability standard of 65 decibels, the Acceptable Zone may be shifted to Ldn 70 on a case-by-case basis if all the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) The project does not require an Environmental Impact Statement under provisions of §51.104(b)(1) and noise is the only environmental issue.

(2) The project has received a Special Environmental Clearance and has received the concurrence of the Environmental Clearance Officer.

(3) The project meets other program goals to provide housing in proximity to employment, public facilities and transportation.

(4) The project is in conformance with local goals and maintains the character of the neighborhood.

(5) The project sponsor has set forth reasons, acceptable to HUD, as to why the noise attenuation measures that would normally be required for new construction in the Ldn 65 to Ldn 70 zone cannot be met.

(6) Other sites which are not exposed to noise above Ldn 65 and which meet program objectives are generally not available.

The above factors shall be documented and made part of the project file.

[44 FR 40861, July 12, 1979, as amended at 61 FR 13334, Mar. 26, 1996]

§51.106   Implementation.

(a) Use of available data. HUD field staff shall make maximum use of noise data prepared by others when such data are determined to be current and adequately projected into the future and are in terms of the following:

(1) Sites in the vicinity of airports. The noise environment around airports is described sometimes in terms of Noise Exposure Forecasts, abbreviated as NEF or, in the State of California, as Community Noise Equivalent Level, abbreviated as CNEL. The noise environment for sites in the vicinity of airports for which day-night average sound level data are not available may be evaluated from NEF or CNEL analyses using the following conversions to DNL:

DNLNEF+35

DNLCNEL

(2) Sites in the vicinity of highways. Highway projects receiving Federal aid are subject to noise analyses under the procedures of the Federal Highway Administration. Where such analyses are available they may be used to assess sites subject to the requirements of this standard. The Federal Highway Administration employs two alternate sound level descriptors: (i) The A-weighted sound level not exceeded more than 10 percent of the time for the highway design hour traffic flow, symbolized as L10; or (ii) the equivalent sound level for the design hour, symbolized as Leq. The day-night average sound level may be estimated from the design hour L10 or Leq values by the following relationships, provided heavy trucks do not exceed 10 percent of the total traffic flow in vehicles per 24 hours and the traffic flow between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. does not exceed 15 percent of the average daily traffic flow in vehicles per 24 hours:

DNLL10 (design hour)—3 decibels

DNLLeq (design hour) decibels

Where the auto/truck mix and time of day relationships as stated in this section do not exist, the HUD Noise Assessment Guidelines or other noise analysis shall be used.

(3) Sites in the vicinity of installations producing loud impulsive sounds. Certain Department of Defense installations produce loud impulsive sounds from artillery firing and bombing practice ranges. Noise analyses for these facilities sometimes encompass sites that may be subject to the requirements of this standard. Where such analyses are available they may be used on an interim basis to establish the acceptability of sites under this standard. The Department of Defense uses day-night average sound level based on C-weighted sound level, symbolized LCdn, for the analysis of loud impulsive sounds. Where such analyses are provided, the 8 decibel addition specified in §51.103(b), is not required, and the same numerical values of day-night average sound level used on an interim basis to determine site suitability for non-impulsive sounds apply to the LCdn.

(4) Use of areawide acoustical data. HUD encourages the preparation and use of areawide acoustical information, such as noise contours for airports. Where such new or revised contours become available for airports (civil or military) and military installations they shall first be referred to the HUD State Office (Environmental Officer) for review, evaluation and decision on appropriateness for use by HUD. The HUD State Office shall submit revised contours to the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development for review, evaluation and decision whenever the area affected is changed by 20 percent or more, or whenever it is determined that the new contours will have a significant effect on HUD programs, or whenever the contours are not provided in a methodology acceptable under §51.106(a)(1) or in other cases where the HUD State Office determines that Headquarters review is warranted. For other areawide acoustical data, review is required only where existing areawide data are being utilized and where such data have been changed to reflect changes in the measurement methodology or underlying noise source assumptions. Requests for determination on usage of new or revised areawide data shall include the following:

(i) Maps showing old, if applicable, and new noise contours, along with brief description of data source and methodology.

(ii) Impact on existing and prospective urbanized areas and on development activity.

(iii) Impact on HUD-assisted projects currently in processing.

(iv) Impact on future HUD program activity. Where a field office has determined that immediate approval of new areawide data is necessary and warranted in limited geographic areas, the request for approval should state the circumstances warranting such approval. Actions on proposed projects shall not be undertaken while new areawide noise data are being considered for HUD use except where the proposed location is affected in the same manner under both the old and new noise data.

(b) Site assessments. Compliance with the standards contained in §51.103(c) shall, where necessary, be determined using noise assessment guidelines, handbooks, technical documents and procedures issued by the Department.

(c) Variations in site noise levels. In many instances the noise environment will vary across a site, with portions of the site being in an Acceptable noise environment and other portions in a Normally Unacceptable noise environment. The standards in §51.103(c) shall apply to the portions of a building or buildings used for residential purposes and for ancillary noise sensitive open spaces.

(d) Noise measurements. Where noise assessments result in a finding that the site is borderline or questionable, or is controversial, noise measurements may be performed. Where it is determined that noise measurements are required, such measurements will be conducted in accordance with methods and measurement criteria established by the Department. Locations for noise measurements will depend on the location of noise sensitive uses that are nearest to the predominant noise source (see §51.103(c)).

(e) Projections of noise exposure. In addition to assessing existing exposure, future conditions should be projected. To the extent possible, noise exposure shall be projected to be representative of conditions that are expected to exist at a time at least 10 years beyond the date of the project or action under review.

(f) Reduction of site noise by use of berms and/or barriers. If it is determined by adequate analysis that a berm and/or barrier will reduce noise at a housing site, and if the barrier is existing or there are assurances that it will be in place prior to occupancy, the environmental noise analysis for the site may reflect the benefits afforded by the berm and/or barrier. In the environmental review process under §51.104(b), the location height and design of the berm and/or barrier shall be evaluated to determine its effectiveness, and impact on design and aesthetic quality, circulation and other environmental factors.

[44 FR 40861, July 12, 1979, as amended at 61 FR 13334, Mar. 26, 1996]

Appendix I to Subpart B of Part 51—Definition of Acoustical Quantities

1. Sound Level. The quantity in decibels measured with an instrument satisfying requirements of American National Standard Specification for Type 1 Sound Level Meters S1.4-1971. Fast time-averaging and A-frequency weighting are to be used, unless others are specified. The sound level meter with the A-weighting is progressively less sensitive to sounds of frequency below 1,000 hertz (cycles per second), somewhat as is the ear. With fast time averaging the sound level meter responds particularly to recent sounds almost as quickly as does the ear in judging the loudness of a sound.

2. Average Sound Level. Average sound level, in decibels, is the level of the mean-square A-weighted sound pressure during the stated time period, with reference to the square of the standard reference sound pressure of 20 micropascals.

Day-night average sound level, abbreviated as DNL, and symbolized mathematically as Ldn is defined as:

eCFR graphic ec12oc91.000.gif

View or download PDF

Time t is in seconds, so the limits shown in hours and minutes are actually interpreted in seconds. LA(t) is the time varying value of A-weighted sound level, the quantity in decibels measured by an instrument satisfying requirements of American National Standard Specification for Type 1 Sound Level Meters S1.4-1971.

3. Loud Impulsive Sounds. When loud impulsive sounds such as sonic booms or explosions are anticipated contributors to the noise environment at a site, the contribution to day-night average sound level produced by the loud impulsive sounds shall have 8 decibels added to it in assessing the acceptability of a site.

A loud impulsive sound is defined for the purpose of this regulation as one for which:

(i) The sound is definable as a discrete event wherein the sound level increases to a maximum and then decreases in a total time interval of approximately one second or less to the ambient background level that exists without the sound; and

(ii) The maximum sound level (obtained with slow averaging time and A-weighting of a Type 1 sound level meter whose characteristics comply with ANSI S1.4-1971) exceeds the sound level prior to the onset of the event by at least 6 decibels; and

(iii) The maximum sound level obtained with fast averaging time of a sound level meter exceeds the maximum value obtained with slow averaging time by at least 4 decibels.

[44 FR 40861, July 12, 1979; 49 FR 10253, Mar. 20, 1984; 49 FR 12214, Mar. 29, 1984]

Subpart C—Siting of HUD-Assisted Projects Near Hazardous Operations Handling Conventional Fuels or Chemicals of an Explosive or Flammable Nature

Authority: 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

Source: 49 FR 5103, Feb. 10, 1984, unless otherwise noted.

§51.200   Purpose.

The purpose of this subpart C is to:

(a) Establish safety standards which can be used as a basis for calculating acceptable separation distances (ASD) for HUD-assisted projects from specific, stationary, hazardous operations which store, handle, or process hazardous substances;

(b) Alert those responsible for the siting of HUD-assisted projects to the inherent potential dangers when such projects are located in the vicinity of such hazardous operations;

(c) Provide guidance for identifying those hazardous operations which are most prevalent;

(d) Provide the technical guidance required to evaluate the degree of danger anticipated from explosion and thermal radiation (fire); and

(e) Provide technical guidance required to determine acceptable separation distances from such hazards.

[49 FR 5103, Feb. 10, 1984, as amended at 61 FR 13334, Mar. 26, 1996]

§51.201   Definitions.

The terms Department and Secretary are defined in 24 CFR part 5.

Acceptable separation distance (ASD)—means the distance beyond which the explosion or combustion of a hazard is not likely to cause structures or individuals to be subjected to blast overpressure or thermal radiation flux levels in excess of the safety standards in §51.203. The ASD is determined by applying the safety standards established by this subpart C to the guidance set forth in HUD Guidebook, “Siting of HUD-Assisted Projects Near Hazardous Facilities.”

Blast overpressure—means the pressure, in pounds per square inch, in excess of normal atmospheric pressure on the surrounding medium caused by an explosion.

Danger zone—means the land area circumscribed by the radius which delineates the ASD of a given hazard.

Hazard—means any stationary container which stores, handles or processes hazardous substances of an explosive or fire prone nature. The term “hazard” does not include pipelines for the transmission of hazardous substances, if such pipelines are located underground or comply with applicable Federal, State and local safety standards. Also excepted are: (1) Containers with a capacity of 100 gallons or less when they contain common liquid industrial fuels, such as gasoline, fuel oil, kerosene and crude oil since they generally would pose no danger in terms of thermal radiation of blast overpressure to a project; and (2) facilities which are shielded from a proposed HUD-assisted project by the topography, because these topographic features effectively provide a mitigating measure already in place.

Hazardous substances—means petroleum products (petrochemicals) and chemicals that can produce blast overpressure or thermal radiation levels in excess of the standards set forth in §51.203. A specific list of hazardous substance is found in appendix I to this subpart.

HUD-assisted project—the development, construction, rehabilitation, modernization or conversion with HUD subsidy, grant assistance, loan, loan guarantee, or mortgage insurance, of any project which is intended for residential, institutional, recreational, commercial or industrial use. For purposes of this subpart the terms “rehabilitation” and “modernization” refer only to such repairs and renovation of a building or buildings as will result in an increased number of people being exposed to hazardous operations by increasing residential densities, converting the type of use of a building to habitation, or making a vacant building habitable.

Thermal radiation level—means the emission and propagation of heat energy through space or a material medium, expressed in BTU per square foot per hour (BTU/ft.2 hr.).

[49 FR 5103, Feb. 10, 1984, as amended at 61 FR 5204, Feb. 9, 1996; 61 FR 13334, Mar. 26, 1996]

§51.202   Approval of HUD-assisted projects.

(a) The Department will not approve an application for assistance for a proposed project located at less than the acceptable separation distance from a hazard, as defined in §51.201, unless appropriate mitigating measures, as defined in §51.205, are implemented, or unless mitigating measures are already in place.

(b) In the case of all applications for proposed HUD-assisted projects, the Department shall evaluate projected development plans in the vicinity of these projects to determine whether there are plans to install a hazardous operation in close proximity to the proposed project. If the evaluation shows that such a plan exists, the Department shall not approve assistance for the project unless the Department obtains satisfactory assurances that adequate mitigating measures will be taken when the hazardous operation is installed.

[49 FR 5103, Feb. 10, 1984, as amended at 61 FR 13334, Mar. 26, 1996]

§51.203   Safety standards.

The following standards shall be used in determining the acceptable separation distance of a proposed HUD-assisted project from a hazard:

(a) Thermal Radiation Safety Standard. Projects shall be located so that:

(1) The allowable thermal radiation flux level at the building shall not exceed 10,000 BTU/sq. ft. per hr.;

(2) The allowable thermal radiation flux level for outdoor, unprotected facilities or areas of congregation shall not exceed 450 BTU/sq. ft. per hour.

(b) Blast Overpressure Safety Standard. Projects shall be located so that the maximum allowable blast overpressure at both buildings and outdoor, unprotected facilities or areas shall not exceed 0.5 psi.

(c) If a hazardous substance constitutes both a thermal radiation and blast overpressure hazard, the ASD for each hazard shall be calculated, and the larger of the two ASDs shall be used to determine compliance with this subpart.

(d) Background information on the standards and the logarithmic thermal radiation and blast overpressure charts that provide assistance in determining acceptable separation distances are contained in appendix II to this subpart C.

[49 FR 5103, Feb. 10, 1984, as amended at 61 FR 13334, Mar. 26, 1996]

§51.204   HUD-assisted hazardous facilities.

In reviewing applications for proposed HUD-assisted projects involving the installation of hazardous facilities, the Department shall ensure that such hazardous facilities are located at an acceptable separation distance from residences and from any other facility or area where people may congregate or be present. The mitigating measures listed in §51.205 may be taken into account in determining compliance with this section.

§51.205   Mitigating measures.

Application of the standards for determining an Acceptable Separation Distance (ASD) for a HUD-assisted project from a potential hazard of an explosion or fire prone nature is predicated on level topography with no intervening object(s) between the hazard and the project. Application of the standards can be eliminated or modified if:

(a) The nature of the topography shields the proposed project from the hazard.

(b) An existing permanent fire resistant structure of adequate size and strength will shield the proposed project from the hazard.

(c) A barrier is constructed surrounding the hazard, at the site of the project, or in between the potential hazard and the proposed project.

(d) The structure and outdoor areas used by people are designed to withstand blast overpressure and thermal radiation anticipated from the potential hazard (e.g., the project is of masonry and steel or reinforced concrete and steel construction).

§51.206   Implementation.

This subpart C shall be implemented for each proposed HUD-assisted project by the HUD approving official or responsible entity responsible for review of the project. The implementation procedure will be part of the environmental review process in accordance with the procedures set forth in 24 CFR parts 50 and 58.

[61 FR 13334, Mar. 26, 1996]

§51.207   Special circumstances.

The Secretary or the Secretary's designee may, on a case-by-case basis, when circumstances warrant, require the application of this subpart C with respect to a substance not listed in appendix I to this subpart C that would create thermal or overpressure effect in excess of that listed in §51.203.

[61 FR 13334, Mar. 26, 1996]

§51.208   Reservation of administrative and legal rights.

Publication of these standards does not constitute a waiver of any right: (a) Of HUD to disapprove a project proposal if the siting is too close to a potential hazard not covered by this subpart, and (b) of HUD or any person or other entity to seek to abate or to collect damages occasioned by a nuisance, whether or not covered by the subpart.

Appendix I to Subpart C of Part 51—Specific Hazardous Substances

The following is a list of specific petroleum products and chemicals defined to be hazardous substances under §51.201.

Hazardous Liquids

Acetic Acid   Ethyl Benzene
Acetic Anhydride   Ethyl Dichloride
Acetone   Ethyl Ether
Acrylonitrile   Gasoline
Amyl Acetate   Heptane
Amyl Alcohol   Hexane
Benzene   Isobutyl Acetate
Butyl Acetate   Isobutyl Alcohol
Butyl Acrylate   Isopropyl Acetate
Butyl Alcohol   Isopropyl Alcohol
Carbon Bisulfide   Jet Fuel and Kerosene
Carbon Disulfide   Methyl Alcohol
Cellosolve   Methyl Amyl Alcohol
Cresols   Methyl Cellosolve
Crude Oil (Petroleum)   Methyl Ethyl Ketone
Cumene   Naptha
Cyclohexane   Pentane
No. 2 Diesel Fuel   Propylene Oxide
Ethyl Acetate   Toluene
Ethyl Acrylate   Vinyl Acetate
Ethyl Alcohol   Xylene

Hazardous Gases

Acetaldehyde   Hydrogen
Butadiene   Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
Butane   Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
Ethene   Propane
Ethylene   Propylene
Ethylene Oxide   Vinyl Chloride

(Primary Source: “Urban Development Siting with respect to Hazardous Commercial/Industrial Facilities,” by Rolf Jensen and Associates, Inc., April 1982)

[49 FR 5105, Feb. 10, 1984; 49 FR 12214, Mar. 29, 1984]

Appendix II to Subpart C of Part 51—Development of Standards; Calculation Methods

I. Background Information Concerning the Standards

(a) Thermal Radiation:

(1) Introduction. Flammable products stored in above ground containers represent a definite, potential threat to human life and structures in the event of fire. The resulting fireball emits thermal radiation which is absorbed by the surroundings. Combustible structures, such as wooden houses, may be ignited by the thermal radiation being emitted. The radiation can cause severe burn, injuries and even death to exposed persons some distance away from the site of the fire.

(2) Criteria for Acceptable Separation Distance (ASD). Wooden buildings, window drapes and trees generally ignite spontaneously when exposed for a relatively long period of time to thermal radiation levels of approximately 10,000 Btu/hr. sq. ft. It will take 15 to 20 minutes for a building to ignite at that degree of thermal intensity. Since the reasonable response time for fire fighting units in urbanized areas is approximately five to ten minutes, a standard of 10,000 BTU/hr. sq. ft. is considered an acceptable level of thermal radiation for buildings.

People in outdoor areas exposed to a thermal radiation flux level of approximately 1,500 Btu/ft2 hr will suffer intolerable pain after 15 seconds. Longer exposure causes blistering, permanent skin damage, and even death. Since it is assumed that children and the elderly could not take refuge behind walls or run away from the thermal effect of the fire within the 15 seconds before skin blistering occurs, unprotected (outdoor) areas, such as playgrounds, parks, yards, school grounds, etc., must be placed at such a distance from potential fire locations so that the radiation flux level is well below 1500 Btu/ft2 hr. An acceptable flux level, particularly for elderly people and children, is 450 Btu/ft2 hr. The skin can be exposed to this degree of thermal radiation for 3 minutes or longer with no serious detrimental effect. The result would be the same as a bad sunburn. Therefore, the standard for areas in which there will be exposed people, e.g. outdoor recreation areas such as playgrounds and parks, is set at 450 Btu/hr. sq. ft. Areas covered also include open space ancillary to residential structures, such as yard areas and vehicle parking areas.

(3) Acceptable Separation Distance From a Potential Fire Hazard. This is the actual setback required for the safety of occupied buildings and their inhabitants, and people in open spaces (exposed areas) from a potential fire hazard. The specific distance required for safety from such a hazard depends upon the nature and the volume of the substance. The Technical Guidebook entitled “Urban Development Siting With Respect to Hazardous/Commercial Industrial Facilities,” which supplements this regulation, contains the technical guidance required to compute Acceptable Separation Distances (ASD) for those flammable substances most often encountered.

(b) Blast Overpressure: The Acceptable Separation Distance (ASD) for people and structures from materials prone to explosion is dependent upon the resultant blast measured in pounds per square inch (psi) overpressure. It has been determined by the military and corroborated by two independent studies conducted for the Department of Housing and Urban Development that 0.5 psi is the acceptable level of blast overpressure for both buildings and occupants, because a frame structure can normally withstand that level of external exertion with no serious structural damage, and it is unlikely that human beings inside the building would normally suffer any serious injury. Using this as the safety standard for blast overpressure, nomographs have been developed from which an ASD can be determined for a given quantify of hazardous substance. These nomographs are contained in the handbook with detailed instructions on their use.

(c) Hazard evaluation: The Acceptable Separation Distances for buildings, which are determined for thermal radiation and blast overpressure, delineate separate identifiable danger zones for each potential accident source. For some materials the fire danger zone will have the greatest radius and cover the largest area, while for others the explosion danger zone will be the greatest. For example, conventional petroleum fuel products stored in unpressurized tanks do not emit blast overpressure of dangerous levels when ignited. In most cases, hazardous substances will be stored in pressurized containers. The resulting blast overpressure will be experienced at a greater distance than the resulting thermal radiation for the standards set in Section 51.203. In any event the hazard requiring the greatest separation distance will prevail in determining the location of HUD-assisted projects.

The standards developed for the protection of people and property are given in the following table.

  Thermal radiationBlast overpressure
Amount of acceptable exposure allowed for building structures10,000 BTU/ft2hr0.5 psi.
Amount of acceptable exposure allowed for people in open areas450 BTU/ft2hr0.5 psi.

Problem Example

The following example is given as a guide to assist in understanding how the procedures are used to determine an acceptable separation distance. The technical data are found in the HUD Guidebook. Liquid propane is used in the example since it is both an explosion and a fire hazard.

In this hypothetical case a proposed housing project is to be located 850 feet from a 30,000 gallon liquid propane (LPG) tank. The objective is to determine the acceptable separation distance from the LPG tank. Since propane is both explosive and fire prone it will be necessary to determine the ASD for both explosion and for fire. The greatest of the two will govern. There is no dike around the tank in this example.

Nomographs from the technical Guidebook have been reproduced to facilitate the solving of the problem.

ASD For Explosion

Use Figure 1 to determine the acceptable separation distance for explosion.

The graph depicted on Figure 1 is predicated on a blast overpressure of 0.5 psi.

The ASD in feet can be determined by applying the quantity of the hazard (in gallons) to the graph.

In this case locate the 30,000 gallon point on the horizontal axis and draw a vertical line from that point to the intersection with the straight line curve. Then draw a horizontal line from the point where the lines cross to the left vertical axis where the ACCEPTABLE SEPARATION DISTANCE of 660 feet is found.

Therefore the ASD for explosion is 660 feet

Since the proposed project site is located 850 feet from the tank it is located at a safe distance with regards to blast overpressure.

eCFR graphic ec12oc91.001.gif

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ASD For Fire

To determine the ASD for fire it will be necessary to first find the fire width (diameter of the fireball) on Figure 2. Then apply this to Figure 3 to determine the ASD.

Since there are two safety standards for fire: (a) 10,000 BTU/ft2hr. for buildings; and (b) 450 BTU/ft2hr. for people in exposed areas, it will be necessary to determine an ASD for each.

To determine the fire width locate the 30,000 gallon point on the horizontal axis on Figure 2 and draw a vertical line to the straight line curve. Then draw a horizontal line from the point where the lines cross to the left vertical axis where the FIRE WIDTH is found to be 350 feet.

Now locate the 350 ft. point on the horizontal axis of Figure 3 and draw a vertical line from that point to curves 1 and 2. Then draw horizontal lines from the points where the lines cross to the left vertical axis where the ACCEPTABLE SEPARATION DISTANCES of 240 feet for buildings and 1,150 feet for exposure to people is found.

Based on this the proposed project site is located at a safe distance from a potential fireball. However, exposed playgrounds or other exposed areas of congregation must be at least 1,150 feet from the tank, or be appropriately shielded from a potential fireball.

(Source: HUD Handbook, “Urban Development Siting With Respect to Hazardous Commercial/Industrial Facilities.”)

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[49 FR 5105, Feb. 10, 1984; 49 FR 12214, Mar. 29, 1984]

Subpart D—Siting of HUD Assisted Projects in Runway Clear Zones at Civil Airports and Clear Zones and Accident Potential Zones at Military Airfields

Authority: Sec. 2, Housing Act of 1949, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1441, affirmed by sec. 2, HUD Act of 1969, Pub. L. 90-448; sec. 7(d), HUD Act of 1965, 42 U.S.C. 3535(d); OMB, Fed'l Mgmt. Cir. 75-2: Compatible Land Uses At Federal Airfields.

Source: 49 FR 880, Jan. 6, 1984, unless otherwise noted.

§51.300   Purpose.

It is the purpose of this subpart to promote compatible land uses around civil airports and military airfields by identifying suitable land uses for Runway Clear Zones at civil airports and Clear Zones and Accident Potential Zones at military airfields and by establishing them as standards for providing HUD assistance, subsidy or insurance.

[49 FR 880, Jan. 6, 1984, as amended at 61 FR 13334, Mar. 26, 1996]

§51.301   Definitions.

For the purposes of this regulation, the following definitions apply:

(a) Accident Potential Zone. An area at military airfields which is beyond the Clear Zone. The standards for the Accident Potential Zones are set out in Department of Defense Instruction 4165.57, “Air Installations Compatible Use Zones,” November 8, 1977, 32 CFR part 256. There are no Accident Potential Zones at civil airports.

(b) Airport Operator. The civilian or military agency, group or individual which exercises control over the operations of the civil airport or military airfield.

(c) Civil Airport. An existing commercial service airport as designated in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems prepared by the Federal Aviation Administration in accordance with section 504 of the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982.

(d) Runway Clear Zones and Clear Zones. Areas immediately beyond the ends of a runway. The standards for Runway Clear Zones for civil airports are established by FAA regulation 14 CFR part 152. The standards for Clear Zones for military airfields are established by DOD Instruction 4165.57, 32 CFR part 256.

§51.302   Coverage.

(a) These policies apply to HUD programs which provide assistance, subsidy or insurance for construction, land development, community development or redevelopment or any other provision of facilities and services which are designed to make land available for construction. When the HUD assistance, subsidy or insurance is used to make land available for construction rather than for the actual construction, the provision of the HUD assistance, subsidy or insurance shall be dependent upon whether the facility to be built is itself acceptable in accordance with the standards in §51.303.

(b) These policies apply not only to new construction but also to substantial or major modernization and rehabilitation and to any other program which significantly prolongs the physical or economic life of existing facilities or which, in the case of Accident Potential Zones:

(1) Changes the use of the facility so that it becomes one which is no longer acceptable in accordance with the standards contained in §51.303(b);

(2) Significantly increases the density or number of people at the site; or

(3) Introduces explosive, flammable or toxic materials to the area.

(c) Except as noted in §51.303(a)(3), these policies do not apply to HUD programs where the action only involves the purchase, sale or rental of an existing property without significantly prolonging the physical or economic life of the property.

(d) The policies do not apply to research or demonstration projects which do not result in new construction or reconstruction, to interstate land sales registration, or to any action or emergency assistance which is provided to save lives, protect property, protect public health and safety, or remove debris and wreckage.

[49 FR 880, Jan. 6, 1984, as amended at 61 FR 13334, Mar. 26, 1996]

§51.303   General policy.

It is HUD's general policy to apply standards to prevent incompatible development around civil airports and military airfields.

(a) HUD policy for actions in Runway Clear Zones and Clear Zones.

(1) HUD policy is not to provide any assistance, subsidy or insurance for projects and actions covered by this part except as stated in §51.303(a)(2) below.

(2) If a project proposed for HUD assistance, subsidy or insurance is one which will not be frequently used or occupied by people, HUD policy is to provide assistance, subsidy or insurance only when written assurances are provided to HUD by the airport operator to the effect that there are no plans to purchase the land involved with such facilities as part of a Runway Clear Zone or Clear Zone acquisition program.

(3) Special notification requirements for Runway Clear Zones and Clear Zones. In all cases involving HUD assistance, subsidy, or insurance for the purchase or sale of an existing property in a Runway Clear Zone or Clear Zone, HUD (or the responsible entity or recipient under 24 CFR part 58) shall advise the buyer that the property is in a Runway Clear Zone or Clear Zone, what the implications of such a location are, and that there is a possibility that the property may, at a later date, be acquired by the airport operator. The buyer must sign a statement acknowledging receipt of this information.

(b) HUD policy for actions in Accident Potential Zones at Military Airfields. HUD policy is to discourage the provision of any assistance, subsidy or insurance for projects and actions in the Accident Potential Zones. To be approved, projects must be generally consistent with the recommendations in the Land Use Compatibility Guidelines For Accident Potential Zones chart contained in DOD Instruction 4165.57, 32 CFR part 256.

[49 FR 880, Jan. 6, 1984, as amended at 61 FR 13334, Mar. 26, 1996]

§51.304   Responsibilities.

(a) The following persons have the authority to approve actions in Accident Potential Zones:

(1) For programs subject to environmental review under 24 CFR part 58: the Certifying Officer of the responsible entity as defined in 24 CFR part 58.

(2) For all other HUD programs: the HUD approving official having approval authority for the project.

(b) The following persons have the authority to approve actions in Runway Clear Zones and Clear Zones:

(1) For programs subject to environmental review under 24 CFR part 58: The Certifying Officer of the responsible entity as defined in 24 CFR part 58.

(2) For all other HUD programs: the Program Assistant Secretary.

[61 FR 13335, Mar. 26, 1996]

§51.305   Implementation.

(a) Projects already approved for assistance. This regulation does not apply to any project approved for assistance prior to the effective date of the regulation whether the project was actually under construction at that date or not.

(b) Acceptable data on Runway Clear Zones, Clear Zones and Accident Potential Zones. The only Runway Clear Zones, Clear Zones and Accident Potential Zones which will be recognized in applying this part are those provided by the airport operators and which for civil airports are defined in accordance with FAA regulations 14 CFR part 152 or for military airfields, DOD Instruction 4165.57, 32 CFR part 256. All data, including changes, related to the dimensions of Runway Clear Zones for civil airports shall be verified with the nearest FAA Airports District Office before use by HUD.

(c) Changes in Runway Clear Zones, Clear Zones, and Accident Potential Zones. If changes in the Runway Clear Zones, Clear Zones or Accident Potential Zones are made, the field offices shall immediately adopt these revised zones for use in reviewing proposed projects.

(d) The decision to approve projects in the Runway Clear Zones, Clear Zones and Accident Potential Zones must be documented as part of the enviornmental assessment or, when no assessment is required, as part of the project file.



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