Senator Mark O. Hatfield


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Domestic Policy:

November 24, 1970

Congressional Record - Senate: Pages 38607 - 38611


Mr. HATFIELD. Mr. President, as the country has become increasingly aware of the growing threat to our environment, attention has been primarily focused on air and water pollution. But there is another form of pollution which has been shown to be very harmful yet has received little public attention: noise.

Recently the Environmental Protection Agency was formed in which the various problems of our environment could be focused and possible solutions recommended. However, there was no provision made to deal with noise abatement with this agency. Today, consequently, I am introducing legislation which would create an Office of Noise Abatement within the Environmental Protection Agency. This office would help coordinate research on Federal, State, and local levels, provide grants for such research, help provide information regarding noise abatement to interested parties, and make recommendations regarding the promulgation of standards.

Mr. President, I am confident that the legislation I am introducing today will receive close scrutiny by the various Federal agencies which are already directing their attention to the problems of noise as well as the Environmental Protection Agency. And I am assured that we will be able to make an Officie of Noise Abatement a reality through our mutual effort.

There is a bumper sticker now circulating which says "Eliminate Pollution Before Pollution Eliminates You."

Immediately we will think of studies which threaten a lack of water by 1980 and conjure up the words of California scientists stating that within 50 years their State will be uninhabitable for any form of life. Or we hold our breath for a moment remembering that 142 million tons of smoke and noxious fumes are dumped into the atmosphere each year. Momentarily we feel brief panic and then for one reason or another, we forget the threatening words of the bumper sticker and go about our daily duties in a comfortable shield of self-deception and false security. Unfortunately such an attitude has now brought us to a situation in which the rapidly deteriorating quality of our environment is the most hazardous challenge to not only our health and well-being but to our very lives and those of our children and grandchildren.

Environmental pollution may not pose the immediate destruction that nuclear war does, but I might remind you that the effects are the same and just as lasting. And I might remind you that destruction at the hands of our environment is as immediate as your and my lifetime. And finally, I might remind you that lack of inhabitable land, lack of food, lack of good water to drink and good air to breathe are the very conditions under which men become desperate and resort to any and all means to preserve their survival. It is with these thoughts in mind that I state my firm conviction that pollution - all forms of pollution: air, water, and noise pollution, overpopulation, land and soil pollution - is the most challenging and the most crucial problem facing the man of the 20th century. And it is with these thoughts in mind that I firmly believe that if we do not meet this problem with all the creativity and ingenuity of our age, then within a very short time nothing else will matter, for there will be nothing else to worry about.

Your concern with environmental pollution has brought you here today in order to form an effective citizen's group to combat this onslaught on our planet before it is indeed too late. Your special concern is with the assault of noise pollution on our society and in your recognition of noise as a pollutant you have established yourselves as somewhat pioneers in combating the effects of noise on our society. It was, therefore, an honor to be invited to speak at this organizational meeting of the Noise Abatement Council of America. Had such groups been instrumental in educating the public to appreciate the inevitable results of unconcontrolled air and water pollution and in affecting remedial action to combat these problems even 10 years ago then we would not be faced with the present national crisis in these areas. Today let us pledge ourselves to the task of preventing noise becoming another uncontrolled threat to our existence.

The effects of noise, although long a problem, have only begun to receive the well-founded concerns of government, health, industrial, and community organizations. We are already far behind the rest of the world in appreciating the scope of the problem. For our backwardness in the field of noise abatement the United States is now the noisiest country on this planet, and frankly, I hate to think that we are now carrying this lack of respect for civilized standards to other planetary bodies. Basically, noise pollution is reaching crisis proportions in the United States and I think that it is time that all of us wake up to this fact.

We should be concerned with noise as a problem because for over a century noise exposure of sufficient intensity and duration has been recognized to produce sensorineural hearing loss. But in spite of this knowledge, an overexposure to excessive noise is the major cause of hearing loss in the United States today. In fact it is estimated that 10 to 20 million people in the United States have some degree of hearing impairment.

Everyone realizes that if he is exposed to very loud noise such as an explosion he may very likely wind up deaf - at least temporarily. What is not so apparent is that the effect of noise is cumulative; it produces as Dr. Leo Beraliek, whose work is acoustics is international in scope, an "acoustic fatigue." Repeated moderate noise builds up to produce the same effect as would a single exposure to loud noise. And even more important is the fact that repeated noise is the only type, short of a shattering explosion, that produces permanent hearing loss. The importance of this is readily seen when one is considering the harmful effects of expires to daily occupational noise.

Another matter of some concern is that the noise level of the United States is increasing at an astonishing rate. Over the past 25 years the average increase in noise level has been at one decibel per year. When one considers that damage to the ears can occur at sustained exposure to the ranges around 85 decibels and over, and given our present noise levels, it will not be too many years before noise levels in the United States become lethal. To quote Dr. Vern O. Knudsen, physicist and former chancellor of the University of California:

"If the noise we make keeps increasing at the present rate, it will be as deadly in thirty years in some of our downtown cities as were the ancient Chinese tortures for executing condemned prisoners."

We know, of course, that the most pronounced physical effect of noise is damage to the ear. Exposure to intense noise over varying durations causes partial and in some cases permanent hearing loss due to actual cell damage in the organ of the Corti located within the cochlea of the inner ear.

But noise has much farther reaching effects than just hearing damage. As Paul E. Sabine stated even back as far as the March 1944 issue of the American Journal of Public Health:

"There is a wealth of reliable data from medical sources in support of the statement that sustained exposure to noise is a contributing factor in impaired hearing, chronic fatigue that lowers bodily resistance, neurasthemia, increased blood pressure, and decreased working and mental efficiency and that noise should rightfully be classified as an occupational hazard along with gases, fumes, dust, toxic liquids, and bacteria."

To put this into, if nothing else, economic perspective, the total cost to industry in compensation payments, lost production and decreased efficiency due to noise is estimated at well over $4 billion per year. In relation to business a World Health Organization report states that before 1939 office noise was costing U.S. business $2 million per day through inefficient work. Today that figure is $4 million. The psychological and physiological effects of noise are difficult to assess but the correlation between noise and such things as sleep disturbances, hypertension due to the constant response of hormonal and neurological mechanisms to noise stress, interference with basic communication, the loss in efficient performance and even damage to property must be counted as a very real and a very enormous threat to our wellbeing, not to mention the economic repercussions.

The effects of noise cannot be fully appreciated until we have more thorough studies in the field. One effect which needs to be especially explored by sociologists and criminologists is referred to in a recent Fortune magazine article. As related by Fortune:

"In the Bronx borough of New York City one evening last spring, four boys were at play, shouting and racing in and out of an apartment. Suddenly from a second-floor window came the crack of a pistol. One of the boys sprawled dead on the pavement. The victim happened to be Roy Innis, Jr., 13, son of a prominent Negro leader, but there was no political implication in the tragedy. The killer, also a Negro, confessed to police that he was a nightworker who had lost control of himself because the noise from the boys prevented him from sleeping."

This incident is extreme but worthy of our careful attention due to the implications it has on the worsening human problems which we are now experiencing in our cities.

Until recently the most authoritative voices about noise have come from within the industrial occupations due to the mere fact that noise has been a problem much longer in this area than in any other. Industrial management has become increasingly concerned with the adverse effects of noise on those persons who work under constant exposure to in-
tense levels of noise - and, I might add, with due reason. According to Dr. Glorig, director of the Callier Hearing & Speech Center in Dallas, Tex.:

"Industrial noise is now the most important single cause of hearing loss."

Despite numerous research, training, and regulatory programs now underway in some industries and in various Federal agencies, and despite the great strides accomplished in responsible noise abatement efforts in the occupational fields, there is still need for a vast amount of education in the field of occupational noise. For instance, B. F. Goodrich estimated that the total market for acoustical goods and products would reach $875 million by 1970, which if one takes into account all that this comprises is a very paltry sum.

Another example of the need for increased emphasis placed on occupational noise is the fact that permanent hearing loss caused by excessive exposure to noise is now a recognized occupation hazard and is compensable in only 35 States. I am always reminded of the basic lack of awareness in this field by an unfortunately true story which occurred when one of my aides was touring a textile factory in the South. When he commented on the high level of noise to which the workers were subjected, the manager hastened to assure him that immediate efforts were being made to correct the unpleasant conditions.

"Next week the factory is playing country-western music over the loudspeakers at a level which will block out the noise of the factory."

The noise of our industries is put into further perspective when one considers them in light of "safe" noise levels. There are differences of opinion about permissible occupational noise levels. The American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolarynaology states that our present knowledge of the relation of noise exposure and hearing loss is much too limited to propose safe amounts of exposure. However, the academy recommends noise-exposure control and tests of hearing if there is habitual exposure to continuous noise at 85 decibels at a frequency of 300-1,200 cycles per second. Noise ismeasured in a dimensionless unit called the decibel which is used to describe the levels of acoustical pressure, power, and intensity.

The decibel expresses a logarithmic ratio between two sounds. In other words, the difference between a noise with a decibel rating of 60 and that with a ratio of 70 is a relative increase of 10 times the lower level. The frequency of noise expressed in cycles per second is useful for rating noise hazards since some frequencies are more likely to cause hearing damage than others, with high pitched sounds more annoying than low pitched sounds. The British Medical Society recommends hearing conservation measures when noise exceeds 85 decibels in the 250-4,000-cycles-per-second range.

The U.S. Air Force recommends ear defenders when personnel are exposed to 85 decibles in the 300-4,800 frequency range. The American Standards Association has suggested permissible daily quotas of exposure to noise which they suggest should protect the worker from hearing loss. Over an 8 hour working day they suggest a limit of 85 decibels at any frequency range above 700 cycles per second. In the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act the Federal Government has adopted 90 decibels at any frequency range as a permissible safe occupational noise level.

Only recently has there been concern about the entire realm of urban and community noise although millions of Americans are affected each day by the repercussions of this type of noise. As Dougherty and Welsh commented in "Community Noise and Hearing Loss":

"The savings quality heretofore has been that community noise has been a short-term exposure as compared to an 8 hour day period in industry. As the power use of both home and street increase, steps must be taken to limit the noise output. Otherwise, total timed exposure will exceed industrial standards that actually rely on regular audiograms to precent severe hearing loss."

Indeed the din in the cities at times far exceeds the noise levels considered safe for an occupational situation. A noise level of 100 decibels was once recorded on the Avenue of the Americas in New York City where the transit authority was building the extension of the Sixth Avenue subway. Construction is perhaps the most irritating source of noise to the urbanite and the problem is intensified when we realize that there are virtually no legal controls on the amount of noise that can emanate from a construction site. In the absence of any forms of control the consequences are logical - existing knowledge for noise control is not even applied.

Noise control costs money, and it is not reasonable to ask sympathetic construction firms to invest in noise control only to let unsympathetic firms underbid them of jobs by avoiding the noise control costs. Air compressors, pneumatic drills, power saws, concrete mixers and other machines involved in the construction or demolition of buildings are permitted in some urban areas between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., 6 days a week and at night with special permit. Combined with the poor soundproofing in modern apartments, the sounds of congested traffic which can reach upwards of 90 decibels, and the multitudinous other sounds of civilized living, the city dweller is caught in the midst of a cacophonic catastrophe.

Europe and such countries as Russia and Japan have for some time had strictly enforced noise abatement laws, including zoning and construction measures and national councils like the Swiss Anti-Noise Commission which deals with the basic medical, acoustic, and technical questions of road, rail, and water traffic; aircraft noise, noise in industry, building construction, homes, et cetera; and legal questions.

The United States by contrast has few laws regarding noise abatement and even those that it has are barely enforced. For example, New York City is one of the cities that has strict noise laws against horn blowing and even has a legal noise limit for the city of 88 decibels at 150 feet.
If you have ever been to New York, I am sure that these laws will come as surprising news.

The final assault on the Nation’s wellbeing due to noise and the one which brings you here today is that of aircraft noise. Of all the fields of noise abatement that of air transportation has received the most attention by Industry and Government due to the obvious severity of the problem. The possible adverse effects of aircraft noise have been recognized for several years. In 1952 the Doolittle report pointed out that:

"Positive efforts should be continued by both government and industry to reduce or control aircraft noise nuisance to people on the ground and that substantial reduction of such noise is practicable."

Such firms as Pratt & Whitney, General Electric, and Boeing have been involved for some years in the research and development of a quiet engine. According to sources within the field, we are 5 years away from a prototype which when operational will only reduce the perceived noise level at takeoff and landing by 10 percent. The problem in this area is not so much a matter of money as lack of available technology. The sound of a jet taking off is approximately 130 decibels which is also the estimated maximum noise bearable to human ears. A reduction of 10 Percent will barely scratch the surface of the noise problem in this area unless there is a major technological breakthrough.

Therefore, in combating aircraft noise we also need to pursue abatement efforts in the aspects of aircraft operations and apply methods of compatible landuse around the airports. In the realm of flight patterns, airport design and placement, guaranteed buffer zones, adequate soundproofing of buildings in and around airports, extension of runways, legal controls, and so on, joint action will have to be taken by the Federal Government, the airlines, and the community. With over 98 percent of our airports owned by some level of State government, it will be primarily up to the local governments and the airport operators of the same to effect noise abatement controls. In addition airport operators should share the responsibility of enforcing the new Federal Aviation Agency noise standards to be announced this month and closely coordinating local efforts with such programs as the aircraft noise alleviation program established under the FAA in 1961.

For examples of innovative noise control efforts I recommend such programs as that taken in the Los Angeles area in which community efforts and pilot programs have been established to abate noise at the Los Angeles International Airport. The Port of New York Authority has also carried out extensions costing several million dollars to the three runways at New York’s Kennedy International Airport solely out of noise abatement considerations. Dulles International Airport near Washington is a good example of how zoning laws and design can be effectively employed to control noise levels emanating from aircraft.

But despite these examples, the fact remains that there is much left to do before we can successfully cope with aircraft noise. Your recognition of this fact has brought you here today. There are many questions which must be answered before actual work can even begin. The most important of these is funding of noise abatement efforts. Who is responsible? Should we ever obtain an operational "quiet" engine, the estimated cost of retrofitting our four engine commercial jets has been upwards of $300 million. This is perhaps the most touchy issue which will face you in your efforts to combat jet noise for the costs are formidable and the responsibility ill defined.

Another problem of considerable concern is that of the sonic boom. Until recently the shock waves from the sonic boom was confined to occasional military flights scheduled to fly over unpopulated areas of the United States. However, since President Nixon’s request for $96 million for the current fiscal year ending June 30, 1970, in order to finance the start of construction of two SST prototype aircraft it now appears that within the next 10 years we will be subjected to the sound of commercial sonic booms. I am opposed to the development of this aircraft. Aside from the obvious criticism of low cost-benefit considerations, I find it difficult to justify the vast noise disturbance of this aircraft in light of the small domestic value derived. The plane has no defense value, will cost the Government a total of $1.29 billion, out of a total development cost of $1.51 billion, and its flights have been estimated to disturb 20 million groundlings every time the SST flies from coast to coast.

The repercussions of the noise problem have just begun to be understood and much has been done to alleviate the noise onslaught on our environment. For instance, New York City has a law requiring walls soundproof enough to reduce any airborne noise passing through by 45 decibels. Some construction companies have proved that buildings can be constructed quietly, by muffling blasting by special mesh blankets, welding instead of using the horrendous racket of riveting or bolting. New machines have been offered on the market which have a vast reduction in decibel rating over their old predecessors such as a new compressor which reduces the decibel level from 110 to 85 decibels and a new paving breaker that has had its sound reduced by two-thirds.

New York, California, New Jersey, Minnesota, and other States have voted or have pending various legislation on noise abatement particularly in the realm of vehicular noise. Numerous local ordinances deal with specific noise problems of their area offering such things as prevention of transistor playing in public areas, zoning laws, et cetera. Some States have legislation which prohibits vehicles on its public highways that exceed certain established noise levels for that particular vehicle.

All of these are good beginnings but they cannot be assessed as anything more than just beginnings. What is needed are guaranteed standards for the man on the street, on his job, or in his home. In this category I would like to mention the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act which was signed into effect by Secretary of Labor Shultz on May 17, 1969. This act provides for a limit of on-the-job noise levels at 90 decibels at any frequency. This regulation only applies to firms that have a $10,000 or better contract with the Federal Government during the course of 1 year. The Walsh-Healey Act is a step in the right direction but again it is only a beginning. It only affects certain segments of Workers and sets as a standard a noise level which is of debatable safety for an occupational level.

The real question at hand in the consideration of the noise level of our society is whether we are going to preserve the basic amenities of civilized life in the onslaught of technological advance. As one noted figure in the noise abatement field, William H. Ferry, once said:

"We have been neither interested nor successful in controlling noise because we have been neither interested nor successful in coping with technology."

Some 60 years ago Robert Koch, a bacteriologist and Nobel Laureate predicted:

"The day will come when man will have to fight merciless noise as the worst enemy to his health."

That day is not so far away. The problem must be faced now before it is beyond our control. So I offer a few suggestions from my meager knowledge of the problem of what may prevent a continuation of the insult of noise on the future sensibilities of our Nation. The problem of our "cacophonic republic" requires education, public awareness, increased research and greater application of economical acoustical materials, and a great deal of cooperation and coalition of effort between industry, business, government, health officials and community groups in order to find and carry out solutions to local, regional, and national noise problems.

We need a uniform noise control standard for all industrial and office workers - a Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act of more encompassing and more rigorous standards.

We need to educate consumer demand that will call for quieter jobs and products in order to make it desirable for industry to compete to produce both at less cost.

We need the city code level to handle such noise sources as garbage collection, construction, loud speakers, and motor vehicles. We need a regional approach to the research and development of programs directed toward the alleviation of the noises that plague particular areas of the United States. Lastly we need the full cooperation of the Federal Government in assisting, coordinating and financing these efforts to provide a quieter environment.

As Dr. William H. Steward of the Public Health Service once stated:

"Those things within man's power to control which impact upon an individual in a negative way, which infringe upon his integrity, and interrupt his pursuit of fulfillment, are the hazards to the public health."

Noise can and must be controlled as a danger to the public health and economy, but above all else we must commit ourselves to the control of the noise in our society on the basis of civilized standards.

Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the bill be printed in the RECORD following my introductory remarks.

The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore (Mr. EAGLETQN). The bill will be received and appropriately referred; and, without objection, the bill will be printed in the RECORD.

The bill (S. 4538) to promote public health and welfare by expanding, improving and better coordinating the noise abatement and control services of the Federal Government, introduced by Mr. HATFIELD, was received, read twice by its title, referred to the Committee on Government Operations, and ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:

S. 4538 Whereas excessive noise jeopardizes the health and welfare of all Americans and unnecessarily detracts from the quality of American life;

Whereas millions of Americans are now exposed to noise levels that have been shown conclusively to produce hearing damage as well, in specific instances, physical damage to structures, interference with normal communication, performance degradation and disturbance and annoyance to daily living;

Whereas noise levels in the United States have been rising steadily especially in urban concentrations creating a sufficiently serious problem to warrant preventive action;

Whereas local groups seeking to improve their acoustical environment through meaningful political or legislative action are often impeded by the absence of authoritative, comprehensive, and well-balanced information from a readily accessible source;

Whereas the Federal Government should provide leadership in the attainment of a suitable acoustical environment;

Whereas, federal noise abatement and control efforts are currently spread throughout a number of Departments and agencies lacking the mechanisms to coordinate the total Federal noise abatement program, to handle administrative matters and to disseminate information;

Whereas it is the policy of the Congress to assist the Federal Government in fostering the quality of life in the United States: Now, therefore, Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


SECTION 1. It is the purpose of this Act -

(a) to make available authoritative information relating to noise pollution, its effects and available means for its control upon request;

(b) to undertake an intensive campaign to inform the public, the consumer, state and local governments, educational institutions and industry of the risks and damaging effects incumbent in excessive noise.

(c) to provide a structure through which concerned citizens and administrators in the states, counties, and municipalities can become aware of the noise problems their constituencies have in common, leading to the development of more uniform noise abatement programs.

(d) to provide technical assistance and advice to states, counties, municipalities, and regional governmental bodies, commissions and councils for establishing and implementing noise abatement procedures and programs.

(e) to make small vs. technical assistance on a matching basis to States, counties, municipalities and regional government bodies, commissions and councils in order to assist in establishing noise control and abatement programs (that are not specifically handled through present grant programs in other Federal agencies and Departments charged with noise abatement responsibilities),

(f) to develop in cooperation with other Federal agencies, Departments and instrumentalities quantitative model local noise standards, codes and regulations,

(g) to establish a coordinating mechanism to assure the smooth and consistent operation of all Federal activities in the field of noise abatement and research.

(h) to establish an Office of Noise Abatment in the Environmental Protection Agency to carry out the above mentioned functions and to serve as the primary administrative focus Within the Federal government on matters pertaining to the control and prevention and abatement of noise; to act as a liaison with the activities carried on by other agencies, Departments and instrumentalities of the Federal Government relating to noise abatement, prevention and control; to assist in defining the Federal role in noise abatement and to make recommendations with respect to any administrative or legislative action desirable in carrying out the goal of attaining a suitable acoustical environmental for all Americans; and to coordinate its concern and activities in the realm of noise abatement in the larger overall environmental program of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Office of Noise Abatement would not be given authority for implementing noise abatement actions except at the State, regional and local levels in assisting in the establishment of noise abatement programs, but would carry out staff studies, answer public inquiries; serve as a focal point for disseminating information and educating the public; provide coordinating and reporting functions; and for other purposes.


SEC. 2. (a) There is hereby established within the Environmental Protection Agency an Office of Noise Abatement (hereinafter in this Act referred to as the "Office")
(b) The Office for administrative purposes shall be headed by a Director and Deputy Director appointed in accordance with civil service laws.

(c) The Director is authorized to provide the Office with such full time professional and clerical staff and with the services of such consultants as may be determined as necessary for the Office to carry out its duties and functions as delineated in this act.


SEC. 3 (a) The Office shall establish identifiable units to carry out at the minimum the four following functions -

(1) PUBLIC INFORMATION - There should be established in the Office a National Clearinghouse on Noise Abatement to serve as a repository for all information relating to noise pollution, its effects and control. The Clearinghouse is charged with collecting and maintaining a library of noise and vibration information, abatement measures, detailed data on noise sources, and standards and regulatory actions throughout the world. The Clearinghouse would be charged with the responsibility of handling all Public Inquiries made to the Federal Government of a routine nature, directing those inquiries outside of their jurisdiction or expertise to the appropriate Federal agency, Department, or instrumentality or to another section of the Office of Noise Abatement. In addition to the responsibility of disseminating authoritative and well-balanced information relating to noise pollution, its effects and available means for control upon request, the Clearinghouse would be charged with initiating as a public service information to concerned segments of the public on the risks and damages incumbent in excessive noise levels and methods available to meet the problem of noise pollution.

(2) COORDINATION OF FEDERAL PROGRAM PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT IN NOISE ABATEMENT. - There should be established in the Office of Noise Abatement an Interagency Committee on Noise Abatement headed by the Director of the Office and composed of a representative from the following Federal agencies, Departments and instrumentalities who have the authority to act as a spokesman for the agencies’ noise abatement policies and programs -

Council on Environmental Quality
Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce
Department of HEW
Department of HUD
Department of the Interior
Department of Labor
Department of Transportation
Civil Service Commission
General Services Administration
Veterans Administration
National Science Foundation
(Department of Defense, Post Office Department)

Functions and Duties of the Interagency Committee on Noise Abatement

(1) Serve as a mechanism for coordinating the noise abatement activities of these Federal instrumentalities.

(2) Meet as often as deemed necessary by the Director.

(3) Report not less than once each fiscal year to the President on the work of the Office, the work of the Interagency Committee, the work of Federal agencies and departments in the field of noise abatement as well as on the work and activities relating to noise control, prevention and abatement in the States, counties, and municipalities and regional government bodies and the role the assistance provided for under this act has played in such Work and activity and make recommendations with respect to any additional legislative or administrative action necessary or desirable in carrying out the goal of attaining a. suitable acoustical environment for all Americans.

(4) The Interagency Committee can be broken into groups for the purposes of carrying out their functions.

(5) The Interagency Committee shall meet as deemed necessary to -

assist the Office of Noise Abatement in formulating model noise codes, regulations, and standards;

to discuss the merits and implementations of such recommendations in the realm of the federal role in noise abatement as come to its attention (thinking here of Panel on Noise Abatement recommendations);

review the progress of federal noise programs, how Federal programs in the realm of noise abatement can be assisted and coordinated and what the needs are for the Federal role to be fulfilled in attaining a suitable acoustical environment for all Americans.

to air ways in which the Office can best assist other Federal agencies, Departments and instrumentalities in the discharge of its noise abatement responsibilities;

to review and make recommendations on Federal noise activities for its fiscal year report to the President.


SEC. 4. Not later than six months after the passage of this bill the Director shall make a report to Congress setting forth the estimate of the costs and personnel requirements of the Office of Noise Abatement to meet the objectives of the Office as set forth in this Act and the steps to be taken to achieve a systematic accomplishment of said objectives.

Report of the Interagency Committee

On January 1 following submission of the Director’s report and on each January 1 thereafter the Director in conjunction with the Interagency Committee on Noise Abatement shall submit a report to Congress based on the findings of the Interagency Committee which compares the results achieved during the preceding fiscal year for provision of services with the objectives stated under this Act; state the accomplishments of the Office, Interagency Committee, other Federal agencies and instrumentalities in the realm of noise and the interaction of these programs with state and local governments; and make recommendations with respect to any additional legislative or administrative action necessary or desirable in carrying out the goals of attaining a suitable acoustical environment for all Americans.


SEC. 5. The Director is authorized to make through the Office grants on a matching basis to States, counties, municipalities and regional governmental bodies, commissions, or councils for the purpose of establishing effective noise control programs.

Grants made under this section will be made according to regulations promulgated by the Director. Funds shall be allocated after taking into account the number of people to be served by such a proposed program, the extent to which the program is needed, the relative need of the applicant and its capacity to make rapid and effective use of such assistance.

Any grant made under this section shall be payable in such installments and subject to such conditions as the Director may determine to be appropriate to assure that such grants will be effectively utilized for the purpose for which it is made.

Under the direct supervision of the Director with the assistance of Interagency Committee there is to be a unit which reviews project proposals submitted to the Office of Noise Abatement for grant application in order to assist States, counties, municipalities and regional governmental bodies in the development of noise control programs. These grants are to be made on a matching basis and should only be made in those instances which are not covered by programs under other Federal instrumentalities.

For the purpose of making grants under this section there is authorized to be appropriated such funds as are necessary for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1971.

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