The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) says it has taken several steps to address the "scourge of noise pollution."
Some of these steps include amendments to Rule 2 of the Noise Pollution Control which reduces the timeframe required to monitor noise levels from three hours to thirty minutes and also appealing a court decision that the EMA thinks will settle the law in relation to the power of the EMA and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service to shut down events.
According to a press release from the EMA, noise pollution is the number one complaint received via its hotline and for the year so far, they have received in excess of 118 complaints.
The full details are below:
"The EMA joins with concerned citizens and Columnists in confirmation of the seriousness and extent of noise pollution in Trinidad and Tobago. Indeed, noise pollution is a scourge that has been afflicting many societies across the world and countries continue to seek ways to address it. In this regard, the United Nations’ Frontiers 2022 report highlights noise pollution as one of the top emerging issues for people and the planet.
Trinidad and Tobago is not exempt; noise pollution continues to plague us. In fact, it is the number one complaint received via the Environmental Management Authority’s (EMA’s) Complaints Hotline. Thus far, for 2022, the EMA has received in excess of 118 noise complaints and responded to 61% of these complaints.
Accordingly, the EMA outlines below several recent initiatives to address the scourge of noise pollution:
1. Appealed a High Court decision, which is currently before the Court of Appeal of Trinidad and Tobago namely Civ. Appeal P133-2021 Environmental Management Authority v. Wild Goose Limited which the EMA expects will settle the law in relation to the power of the EMA and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service to shut down events and the circumstances in which this power should be exercised;
2. In March 2022, the EMA successfully amended Rule 2 of the Noise Pollution Control Rules, 2001 (NPCR), thus reducing the timeframe required to monitor noise levels from three (3) hours to thirty (30) minutes. This amendment increases the EMA’s ability to monitor a larger number of events and activities in a given day and generate noise level readings with greater efficiency;
3. Issued a Notice of Violation to the Event Managers regarding the event at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba on 15 May 2022 in accordance with the provisions of Environmental Management Act Chap.35:05;
4. Commenced a collaborative partnership with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), which saw Heads of all Divisions of the TTPS present at the inaugural meeting, to boost the EMA’s efforts in capacity building and field training of TTPS officers on the use of noise metres and clarify the role and responsibilities of controlling noise pollution by the TTPS in Trinidad and Tobago; and
5. Engaged in discussions with the Trinidad and Tobago Promoters Association (TTPA) to determine noise mitigation strategies, the inclusion of noise monitoring stations at major events, for more robust monitoring of noise levels and education of members of the TTPA on noise mitigation strategies and compliance with existing laws governing noise pollution.
The EMA has therefore taken affirmative action toward strengthening the legislative framework and engaging in dialogue with the TTPS and other key stakeholders such as event promoters and bar-owners and continues to initiate public awareness campaigns.
The EMA maintains its stance that an all-of-society approach is required to fight the scourge of noise pollution and is thus making an appeal in tandem with the TTPS to fete-promoters, event organizers, bar-owners and to the general public to be responsible, civic-minded, and cognizant of the damaging effects of noise pollution."