The Interrelation of Acoustics and the Law

Questions about acoustics frequently arise in land use planning regarding compliance with local and federal land use regulations. OAA provides information and support to attorneys, civil engineers, architects, project engineers, and municipal boards.

Land Use Planning, State and Local Regulation Compliance

OAA determines the acoustical emissions of a proposed or existing project using measurements and proven models for noise production and propagation. This allows the suitability of a project to be evaluated against objective criteria. The firm often carries out pre-construction noise surveys, which allow assessment of the potential change in ambient sound levels. OAA also evaluates compliance with state and local noise regulations. OAA prepares environmental noise impact statements and provides specific recommendations and methods to reduce noise impact.

OAA personnel testify as expert witnesses on topics of acoustics in front of municipal boards and for legal cases. This testimony typically involves a presentation of the noise sources, locations, paths of propagation, and a discussion of compliance with project criteria. In cases where a project requires local variances, OAA prepares testimony in support of such applications when defensible, and prepares our client with appropriate questions with which to examine opposing witnesses on noise issues.

Complaint Resolution

In certain cases, an existing noise complaint needs to be resolved. In this case, OAA uses expertise to identify or confirm the offending source or sources, establish criteria for remediation, and investigate methods that can meet or approach the criteria.