Canada: More Details On The New NPC 300 Noise Guideline

Last Updated: November 1 2013
Article by Dianne Saxe

Ontario's updated Noise Guideline, NPC 300, mentioned in yesterday's post, is not identical to the draft posted for comments in 2010. For example, there will be no Class 5 areas.

The Ministry of the Environment describes the changes from the original draft as follows:

"59 comments were received on the proposal. Comments were received from private citizens, municipal planners, municipal public health officials, lawyers, industry, industrial associations, professional associations, utilities, the transportation sector, acoustical consultants and provincial ministries. All comments received were considered by the MOE as part of the decision making process.

In general, the comments received were supportive of consolidating and updating existing noise-related guidelines. The comments also identified the need for additional clarification and explanation in many areas of the draft guideline. Some comments were not considered relevant because they concerned matters outside the scope of this draft guideline. For example, comments concerning noise from wind farms were not relevant because it is the subject of another separate MOE guideline, entitled "Noise Guideline for Wind Farms, (PIBS 4709e)". Comments concerning racetracks and the exemption provided by a regulation from the requirement for an Environmental Compliance Approval were not relevant because they are outside the scope of this draft guideline.

Comments and response

The following highlights the key comments received and how they were considered by the MOE:


Issue 1:

Most of the comments concerned the key technical definitions included in the draft guideline. Generally, these comments identified the need for additional explanation and clarification to a number of the definitions. Some comments recommended particular wording be used in a definition. Other comments recommended specific examples be added to a definition.

MOE Response:

Most of the definitions were revised in order to clarify issues raised and answer questions posed in the comment submissions. Where appropriate, the changes recommended in the comment submissions were incorporated into the revisions the MOE made to the definitions. Additional information was also added to the guideline to further explain how to interpret and apply the definitions. For example, revisions were made to the following definitions: auxiliary transportation facility, background sound level, enclosed noise buffer balcony, exclusion limit, noise control measure, noise sensitive land use, outdoor living area, point of reception, predictable worst case, stationary source and warning clause.

To provide additional explanation and clarification the MOE also added a number of new definitions. Information was also included to explain how to interpret and apply these new definitions. For example new definitions were added for; acoustic barrier, agreement for noise mitigation, campsite, dwelling, emergency equipment, high-rise multi-unit building, inaccessible vacant lot, inoperable window, land use planning authority, layover site, noise sensitive commercial purpose building, noise sensitive institutional purpose building, noise sensitive vacant lot and plane of window.

Class 4 Areas

Issue 2:

Several comments were received on the proposal to create a new Class 4 Area. Most comments were supportive of the purpose of the new Class 4 Area to facilitate new development while protecting existing stationary sources. However, comments were also received that questioned and expressed concerns about how a new Class 4 Area would be created.

MOE Response:

The new Class 4 area concept was clarified and additional guidance was provided. The MOE revised the definition and other sections of the guideline regarding Class 4 areas. The MOE noise guideline provides for the concept of and appropriate sound level limits for a Class 4 area. The decision to classify an area as Class 4 is solely at the discretion of the land use planning authority and may be made under the procedures developed by the land use planning authority in the exercise of its responsibility and authority under the Planning Act. The MOE guideline was revised to provide additional explanation of the considerations which apply to a Class 4 area. Additional information was also provided concerning applications for MOE approvals for stationary sources located in a Class 4 area.

Class 5 Areas

Issue 3:

The draft guideline included a proposal for a new Class 5 area to address situations where background noise levels are dominated by existing rail and air traffic received several comments. Comments were submitted indicating that the concept and implementation of a Class 5 area was unclear.

MOE Response:

In response to the comments received, the concept of a Class 5 area was removed from the guideline. The issue was resolved by revising the definition of background sound level. Consequently, the contribution of noise from rail traffic can be part of the determination of the background sound level, if specific conditions set out in the guideline are met.

Land use planning

Issue 4:

Many comments concerned Part C of the draft guideline regarding land use planning. While many comments indicated that more specific and detailed guidance was needed, other comments questioned the details of the land use planning process included in the draft guideline. Many comments suggested significant changes to Part C, however, these suggestions varied widely.

MOE Response:

Significant revisions were made to Part C of the guideline, in response to the comments received. Part C concerns land use planning decisions made under the Planning Act, legislation that MOE does not administer. Accordingly, revisions were made to clarify that Part C is intended by MOE to serve as guidance / advice on the technical issues relating to noise for consideration by land use planning approval authorities, developers and consultants when decisions are made under the Planning Act. Details on how to conduct the land use planning process were removed as the procedures for decisions made under the Planning Act are the responsibility of the land use planning authority to develop and implement.


Issue 5:

Several comments indicated the need for information about how and when the guideline would be implemented.

MOE Response:

A section was added to the guideline which provided information about how it will be implemented after it is published in this decision notice posted on the Environmental Registry. The guideline will be implemented in MOE approvals issued after its publication date. Applications for MOE approvals submitted prior to the publication date of the guideline may be assessed under the guideline, at the request of the applicant.

Private consultations

Issue 6:

Comment submissions requested further consultation on the guideline.

MOE Response:

The MOE conducted additional consultation on the draft guideline after it was revised, based in part on the comments received. The revised guideline was circulated to everyone who submitted a comment or participated in the consultation activities held during the 60-day proposal posting on the Environmental Registry. Four additional consultation meetings were held to discuss the revised guideline during April 2011. The MOE received an additional 21 comment submissions in response to consultations on the revised guideline. All the additional comments were evaluated and subsequent revisions, based in part on these comments, were made to the guideline."

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Dianne Saxe
In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions