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Internal Market

Environment: Iceland fails to implement the Noise Directive



The Authority today sent a final warning to Iceland for failing to apply the Noise Directive[1].

According to the Directive, Iceland should have drawn up noise maps for the major roads by 30 June 2007, and, on this basis, prepared action plans to prevent or reduce the harmful effects of noise by 18 July 2008.

However, Iceland has not yet fulfilled its obligations, which is to draft noise maps, which are necessary to identify the problems. Nor has Iceland yet adopted action plans fulfilling the requirements of the Directive, in order to address the potential noise problems.

The purpose of the Noise Directive is to provide a common European approach to avoid, prevent or reduce the harmful effects of exposure to environmental noise. It provides a framework and tools which competent authorities must use to choose the measures best suited to address noise problems caused by transport and industrial installations. The main tools are noise maps (which show noise exposure in a given area) and noise action plans.

Issuing this final warning, a reasoned opinion, is the second stage in infringement proceedings. A letter of formal notice was issued in May 2010. The Authority can bring the matter before the EFTA Court if Iceland fails to comply with the reasoned opinion within two months.

For further information, please contact: 

Mr. Raphaël Meyer
Internal Market Affairs Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 44


[1]Directive 2002/49/EC of 25 June 2002 relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise.

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