Projects subject to the RINGThe RING applies at the project assessment stage to:
- new heavy, light and non-network rail lines extending beyond industrial sites
- the redevelopment of existing lines that are in use or disused, and
- land-use development that is likely to generate additional rail traffic on an existing rail network.
Mitigating noise impactsThe RING imposes specific trigger levels for cumulative rail noise on the different types of rail infrastructure projects. All feasible and reasonable noise mitigation measures must be considered for projects that are likely to exceed the specified levels once they are operational.
Calculating noise levelsThe noise trigger levels refer to noise at receiver locations in areas of residential land-use in urban, suburban and rural settings and do not include ambient noise from other locations.
For redeveloped projects the trigger levels take into account noise from existing projects and require the calculation of increases in noise only.
Key differences in the RING from the interim guidelineThe EPA has made several changes to the scope of the instrument:
- light rail systems and non-network rail lines are subject to the RING
- there are no exemptions for minor works
- the trigger levels for non-rail land-use developments have been revised
- rail track owners are required to assess the magnitude of any increase in noise levels over a 15 hour day time period and a 9 hour night time period where residential development encroaches on rail lines, rather than for each hour, and
- projects which exceed the specified triggers are now required to reduce noise levels towards the trigger levels.