Noise exemptions

24 April 2008

Following a Long Period of discussion, 27 December saw Europe's lawmakers publish an amendment to the directive on noise emissions by equipment used outdoors (2005/88/EC).

Since the adoption of the directive in 2000, the construction equipment industry has warned that some of the stipulated noise limits would not be technically achievable. In the intervening period, manufacturers have made considerable efforts to reduce the noise of construction equipment to meet limits of the first stage, which came into force in January 2002.

Since then a further reduction of noise has been achieved for most types of construction equipment. However, despite dedicating significant resources to finding technical solutions, it has proved impossible to reach the lower levels stipulated by stage II of the directive for certain types of equipment.

Ban Averted

CECE has repeatedly warned about the dramatic consequences – the result would have been a market ban for machines, such as walk-behind vibrating rollers, vibratory plates above 3 kW, vibratory rammers, steel tracked dozers and loaders above 55 kW, and compacting screed paver-finishers, from the stage II implementation date of January 2006.

European lawmakers have made it clear that their intention was never to use the directive to ban certain types of equipment. Having accepted the argument that enforcement of the stage II would amount to a ban, they passed the December amendment granting a temporary exemption for certain types of equipment. In addition to this, the stage I noise limits for single engine mobile cranes will continue to apply until January 2008, after which stage II limits will apply.

The European construction equipment industry welcomes this development, and will continue its efforts to deliver the necessary technical solutions to meet the environmental and social objectives of the directive.

The original directive stipulated that the Commission would report to Council and Parliament on the implementation of the directive by January 2005. Given the technical issues raised, this deadline has been extended two years until the start of 2007. This will be the next major milestone with this piece of legislation.

CECE would like to thank the European institutions, Member States and all relevant stakeholders for their support in having this amendment pass the legislative procedure in a record time. This is an excellent example of the European Union's approach to better regulation and it will have a direct impact on the competitiveness of our industry.

CECE hopes that the need for this kind of temporary solution will be avoided in the future and that the European Commission will continue its efforts for a better and simplified regulatory environment which includes close and structured consultations with industry.

Latest News
Politics vs. practicality in decarbonization to be discussed
Leading energy consultant will examine the topic at annual Power Progress Summit
Tech company updates software for surveying robots
The update introduces a Data Logging feature which provides users with additional capabilities
Wind turbines transported in Greece
Huge wind farm shipment unloaded at Greek port