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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of November 14, 2019

Title 24Subtitle APart 51Subpart B → §51.101

Title 24: Housing and Urban Development
Subpart B—Noise Abatement and Control

§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]

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