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Meng Introduces Legislation to Mitigate Excessive Aircraft Noise

Feb 14, 2020
Press Release
Congresswoman’s measure would lower FAA’s noise standard
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens), a founding member and former Co-Chair of the Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus, announced the introduction of legislation that would require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to lower the standard at which the agency determines acceptable noise levels in residential areas.
The Congresswoman’s bill aims to lower the Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL) from 65 to 60, and develop a plan to bring it down to 55 within ten years. Lowering the U.S. noise standard would mitigate the excessive airplane noise that continues to plague Queens and other communities throughout the nation. It would allow more residents to qualify for federal sound insulation programs and reduce noise pollution in their homes. Europe’s acceptable noise exposure levels from aircrafts is a full 10 decibels lower than the U.S. standard.
Meng’s measure would also require the FAA to inform communities of alternative methods of measuring aircraft noise once its study to do so is complete. Under a provision Meng helped to pass into law, the agency is working to evaluate additional metrics to the DNL.
“Queens residents need relief from the blistering sounds of airplane noise over our borough, and lowering the DNL would help combat the problem,” said Meng. “It is unacceptable that excessive noise continues to affect quality of life in our communities. I urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation so that we can alleviate the impact that aircraft noise has on my constituents, and those impacted in other parts of the country. We deserve relief!”
The 65 DNL has been in place since the 1970s when air traffic volume was much lower than it is today. The outdated metric no longer meets the needs of communities because it does not accurately reflect the daily reality of noise pollution.