Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Instances Necessitating Erection of Sound Barriers at Construction Sites in Past Two Years
Mr Yip Hon Weng: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) in the past two years, what are the instances that have necessitated sound barriers to be erected at construction sites; and (b) whether the Ministry will require sound barriers if a construction site is within 150 metres from noise-sensitive premises and residential buildings and has faced multiple complaints and breaches of permissible noise levels.
1 The regulations on construction noise under the Environmental Protection and Management Act strike a balance between enabling the development of needed infrastructure and keeping construction noise to a manageable level. The National Environment Agency (NEA) adopts an outcome-based approach by stipulating maximum permissible noise limits, rather than requiring specific measures that may not be suited for every site. This allows contractors to use the most cost-effective methods to meet the regulatory noise limits, including installing perimeter noise barriers. Construction sites closer to residential buildings and noise-sensitive premises would typically require more measures to meet the noise limits.
2 NEA takes strict enforcement action against contractors found to have exceeded the noise limits, which includes a fine of up to $40,000 per offence. NEA will continue to work with the construction industry to study measures to manage construction noise, taking into account international best practices and the local context.