Guideline for a Common Port Noise Impact

Do you know how a correct noise simulation should be carried out? Do you know the guidelines that have been developed and introduced in order to have valid results? The aim of The ANCHOR project in this deliverable (available here) is to define how input data should be collected to realize noise mapping activities as well as noise action plans in port areas.

Moreover, the deliverable shows a method developed within Action B3 of the project to identify areas (called hot spots) where noise mitigation measures are required. This procedure allows to define a ranking between these hotspots and to select the authority responsible for mitigation actions.

This method is based on the main references of the state of the art, such as the NoMEPorts Good Practice Guide that provides a guidance for the management of noise issues or the geographical data.

Did you know that buildings and lands have a major role in this analysis? The height of a building can affect the noise propagation, while the type of ground surface deeply influences sound propagation. Moreover, we should not forget roads, rails and all the industrial noise sources, which is the real challenge. It is quite difficult to categorize the industrial noise sources in ports, because of the extreme variability of dimension and typology, like the ships or the heavy vehicles that operate by the docks. An indicator has been developed to understand which noise sources needed a more urgent intervention to limit the exposure of the population by port areas to noise. To let you better understand the procedure, we will simplify it in different steps. The first stage provides a simulation of a group of noise sources made by the same group and sub-groups of authorities, to define who is responsible for the noise levels and to carry out the most effective noise mitigation measures. In the second stage geography has a main role, given that the results of the first stage are sent to a Geographic Information system in order to be verified. The third stage consists in a noise simulation carried out by a Grid Noise Maps (GNM), whose results allow to enter the final stage that provides the identification of the noise critical areas, hot spots.

The Port Impact Assessment exposed in the guideline was applied on a real port in the city of Melilla, a strategic spot due to its position between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and for the commercial maritime routes. The application on the case study highlighted that a sub-grouping procedure after a first stage analysis may be useful to have a clearer scenario of the noise exposure caused by the noise emission of all the sources in a port area. This procedure eases the identification of areas where noise mitigation measures are more urgent and addresses the authority in charge for noise mitigation plans.

To deepen the topic, it is available the full study case in the Documents section.