DEP Home : Community Concerns : Noise Control: Overview
File a Citizen's Two-Party Noise Complaint (on-line form)Use this form to submit information regarding an alleged violation of the Montgomery County Noise Ordinance. The information provided on this form will be used to satisfy various legal requirements.
Download a Temporary Noise Waiver Form (PDF)Use this form to apply for a temporary noise waiver to allow after-hours and nighttime construction projects.
For questions or to report a problem/violation call: 311
Police non-emergency line (for disturbances outside regular business hours):
Just as litter degrades the landscape of the community, noise degrades the soundscape. The U.S. Census Bureau's "Surveys of Neighborhood Problems," conducted over the past three decades, has consistently placed noise among the top four issues of concern. Noise can interfere with normal residential and business activities. Persistent exposure can result in psychological stress and at high enough levels it can damage hearing.
A noise disturbance, as defined by the Montgomery County Noise Ordinance, is any sound that is:
Under the ordinance, it is unlawful to create a noise disturbance anywhere during quiet hours, including multifamily buildings and townhouses. The nuisance provision prohibits some noise disturbances anywhere at any time.
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The standard unit by which sound is measured is the decibel (dB), a relative measure of sound intensity. Decibels are calculated on a logarithmic scale (meaning that a measure of 40 dB is 10 times greater than one of 30 dB). Some examples of typical situations and their corresponding decibel levels are:
Whispering in an indoor location
Typical conversation speech
50 - 70 dBA
Hard rock band (indoors)
* Note: The ordinance uses an A-weighted scale, measured in A-weighted decibels (dBA). A-weighting is an electronic approximation.
Decibels are a measure of sound intensity—the pressure of sound
waves on the human ear. They provide a standardized, objective
unit of measure and differ from a measure of the perceived
"loudness" of a sound. Loudness is a subjective measure
because different people have different levels of hearing and don't experience sound in the same way. Someone who is hard of hearing, for example, might not perceive a jackhammer as
loud while someone with excellent hearing could be disturbed
by the same noise. Both people, however, would experience
the same level of sound intensity.
Be Aware! When continuous exposure to sound reaches 85 dBA (as in a factory), there is a great risk of permanent hearing loss.