Author(s): Licitra Gaetano
Noise maps according to CNOSSOS-EU common noise assessment methods are becoming a reality with the recent update of annex II of the Environmental Directive 2002/49/EC. Difficulties and differences among member states emerged from the previous round of noise maps. Thus, a long process resulted necessary to the EU to publish a new method aligning member states in the noise mapping procedure, which will be mandatory in the next round of mapping, to be held in 2022. The method will contribute to determine the exposure and communication information in a sound framework, solving the incomparability experienced with the interim approach. Besides CNOSSOS constitutes a relevant step forward to noise mapping implementation and usefulness, the effective mapping process still presents some flaws, especially in the information and action planning phases. The collaboration of experts first testing the method in real scenario also unveiled some dark sides of CNOSSOS that are still to be enlightened and fixed. The several issues arose on this topic will be summarized. The operational difficulties observed will be presented together with solution experienced in involving the population in the subject. Keeping in mind that the ultimate aim of noise policy is citizens’ health care, attention will be given to the initiative that will reduce the well-known effects of noise, which has been deeply investigated in the very last decade. In this concern, noise maps have been well used for epidemiological purpose in some studies that will be presented in order to show the approaches and the indicators currently used to prevent noise health effects. In fact, proper noise mitigations cannot be realized without considering the real health risks, but instead, they should be based on health indicators targets as suggested by the directive, without simply referring to zoning limits, which unfortunately does not always keep into account people disturbance to noise.
Name: Prof Gaetano Licitra