Tips, resources, and suggestions for addressing noise problems in Pennsylvania communities.
If a rusty pipe in the neighborhood oozed black goo and that goo was tied to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, psychiatric disorders, ulcers, learning impairment in children, impairment of life tasks, sleep disruption, migraine headaches, neuroticism, stress disorders, and early death, irate community members would have the pipe shut down immediately. And yet, today's medical research links precisely these serious, medical problems (and others) to noise pollution. Communities sometimes labor under the assumption that noise pollution is some type of secondary issue or the domain of so-called hypersensitive individuals. The science and medical research conclusively show otherwise.
Furthermore, for almost 50 years, federal law places obligations on communities to combat noise pollution to avoid adverse health consequences and maintain positive neighborhoods. Over 500 years of common law and constitutional law place an affirmative duty on each person to use their property in a way that does not interfere with the fundamental constitutional property right of the quiet enjoyment of property. Yet, many communities still treat noise as a "mere" nuisance and fail to take significant action to combat noise pollution and interference with fundamental property rights. That needs to change.