Noise policies and procedures

Learn how to comply with noise regulatory requirements on your Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) projects.

Read Chapter 446: Noise of the Environmental Manual to learn about the policy context for project-level noise analyses. 

The Updated WSDOT Noise Policy (2020) (pdf 528 kb) describes the policies for project-level noise analysis. The policy was updated in March 2020 and the new version must be followed for all new projects. Projects with modeling that started prior to March 2020 may continue to follow the previous WSDOT Noise Policy (2011) (pdf 375 kb). 

  • Appendix 1 - Use of state funds (pdf 188 kb)
  • Appendix 2 - Improving the noise environment when standard options aren't available (pdf 460 kb)
  • Appendix 3 - Noise analysis and mitigation (pdf 62 kb)
  • Appendix 4 - Noise studies (pdf 59 kb)
  • Appendix 5 - Hard shoulder running project guidance (pdf 695 kb)

The Traffic Noise Model (TNM) Guidance (pdf 743 kb) explains how to use the TNM model for WSDOT projects.

Information on noise requirements for transit or rail projects is available from the Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Rail Administration

 

Project analysis request and checklist

Use the noise report checklist (pdf 96 kb) to make sure you have included all information needed for WSDOT's review and approval. The checklist can also help with project scoping. 

The noise report template (doc 499 kb) provides an outline and standardized background text to ensure your project documentation meets WSDOT criteria.

If you are working on a WSDOT project and need a noise quality analysis, contact Jim Laughlin, jim.laughlin@wsdot.wa.gov

 

Qualified noise professionals

Lead authors on WSDOT noise studies must have completed the National Highway Institute (NHI) Highway Traffic Noise course, or equivalent as determined by WSDOT. Our list of qualified noise professionals (pdf 84 kb) includes the names and contact information of consultants and WSDOT staff that have met this requirement. If you have taken the course, but are not listed, contact Jim Laughlin, jim.laughlin@wsdot.wa.gov, with a copy of the Certificate of Training from NHI to verify qualifications.

 

Nighttime noise variances

If your WSDOT project requires work at night, tell the Environmental Documentation and Permit Specialist assigned to your project. Find additional information on our Local permits & approvals page.

 

Underwater noise monitoring

WSDOT's Biological Assessment guidance provides information to address underwater noise impacts.

Use the Fisheries Hydroacoustic Working Group's (FHWG) Underwater Noise Monitoring Plan template (doc 319 kb) to standardize collecting and reporting underwater noise monitoring data. For additional background on the template, see the FHWG template cover Letter (pdf 22 kb).