What is an Acoustic
An acoustic assessment is the comprehensive testing of the levels of
that result from a facility. In Ontario, the Environmental
Protection Act (EPA) and municipal noise by-laws protect both the environment
and surrounding communities from the unauthorized release of contaminants into
the air, land and water. It is important to note that in Ontario the EPA
expands the definition of "contaminant” to also include excessive noise and
In order for a business to gain
approval to construct, alter or operate equipment at a facility there must be
an approval granted by the Minister of the Environment to ensure that the
systems are operating within industry standards. This may require an acoustic
assessment to verify that the equipment being operated at the facility is in
compliance with Section 9 of the EPA in regards to noise and vibrations. This
condition must be met in order for the business to secure an Environmental Compliance Approval
(ECA) and be able to operate legally in Ontario.
An acoustic assessment will
thoroughly assess the impact of the noise and vibration emissions that
originate from a facility. The impact is determined on any sensitive receptors
Municipal buildings; and
If the facility and the accompanying equipment are not a
minimal separation distance from these receptors, an acoustic assessment is
required to prove that the noise and vibration emissions are at acceptable
Types of Acoustic
In most cases, a business applying for
approval will require a Detailed Acoustic Assessment Report. Other types of
acoustic assessments include the following:
These assessments can all typically be useful in securing an
, but they can also be very useful in responding to a noise
complaint from a neighboring sensitive receptor. It is essential to evaluate noise emissions
from your facility and the impact on neighboring sensitive receptors limiting
liability when it comes to noise complaints and potential lawsuits over short
or long term hearing loss and/or other injuries.
Who Performs Acoustic Assessments?
Typically the different types of
acoustic assessments will be conducted by an independent third party, such as
an acoustic consultant. These consultants will have the equipment and expertise
necessary to perform high-quality testing that produces detailed results.
In the event that a business is
found to be non-compliant with the guidelines specified in the EPA, an acoustic
consultant should be able to suggest a comprehensive Noise Abatement Action
Plan. This plan will accurately identify the offending sources of noise
pollution and make suggestions on how to mitigate them.
companies typically offer the services of professional acoustic consultants.
This is very convenient for businesses that are looking to gain an Environmental
Compliance Approval for air and noise emissions.
Whether your business is located
in the Greater Toronto Area or anywhere
in Ontario, an environmental consulting company will be able to give you a
consultation. It is a good idea to take the time to choose a consultant that
you feel comfortable with since acoustic and other types of environmental
assessments will need to be completed in order to obtain an ECA approval.