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Finding Solutions to Noise Problems

DEQ is not able to investigate noise complaints as of July 1, 1991 when legislative action was taken to terminate the DEQ Noise Control Program. DEQ rules governing noise remain in place for city, county or municipal government entities to utilize.

Were the state noise regulations rescinded?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:
  • New and used motor vehicles
  • Industry and commerce
  • Motor sports vehicles and facilities
  • 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: Oregon Blue Book - Counties

Where can I get information on noise pollution?