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Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Air Quality


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Finding solutions to noise problems

Effective July 1, 1991, the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Noise Control Program was terminated. DEQ eliminated the program as a cost-saving measure, in anticipation of reduced revenue.

Were the State noise regulations rescinded?

No. The state noise regulations remain on the books. Regulated sources of noise are legally responsible for complying with all applicable provisions and standards, even though DEQ no longer investigates noise complaints.

What types of State noise standards are there?

State regulations have standards for: 1) New and used motor vehicles, 2) Industry and commerce, 3) Motor sports vehicles and facilities, 4) Airports.

What other agencies investigate noise problems?

Several Oregon cities and counties have enacted local noise ordinances. Other state and federal agencies also regulate noise. For example, the State Marine Board regulates noise from boats, with enforcement of suspected boat-noise violations handled primarily through county marine enforcement offices; the Oregon Liquor Control Commission regulates noise from licensed liquor establishments.

The Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying (OSBEELS) certifies State Licensed Acoustic Engineers. These engineers are available to provide acoustical engineering services to the public. To locate a State Licensed Acoustic Engineer:

  • Visit the OSBEELS web page "Find a Licensee."
  • In the drop down field for "Lic. Type" select "Professional Engineer."
  • In the field for "Branch" select "Acoustical Engineer."

What Other Enforcement Options are There?

  • Enforcement of local government noise or public nuisance ordinances.
  • Class B misdemeanor criminal action for violation of the state noise statutes or the state disorderly misconduct statutes.

What types of local noise standards are there?

Standards vary from city to city and county to county. Some jurisdictions use the state standards; others have enacted separate standards. A couple of cities have standards that are more stringent than the state's. In general, most local regulations include standards for:

  • Heat pumps and air conditioner units
  • Amplified music from musical groups and car stereos
  • Off-road ATVs, motorcycles, and dune buggies
  • Loud speakers
  • Musical instruments

Who Enforces Local Standards?

Generally, the county sheriff and city police departments investigate noise complaints and initiate enforcement actions. In some cases, the local codes enforcement office assumes this responsibility.

Find your local government contact:

Where Can I Get Information on Noise Pollution?

[print version]


For more information about Air Quality call 503-229-5696

For reporting pollution problems contact Complaints

For technical assistance contact DEQINFO

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97232
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900  FAX: 503-229-6124

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is a regulatory agency authorized to protect Oregon's environment by
the State of Oregon and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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