According to the German Federal Immission Control Act, the term "environmental protection" is the collective name for all measures that help to counter environmental hazards. Environmental protection is facilitated by numerous laws and regulations that are each designed to cover specific types of environmental hazard. For example, there is the German Federal Immission Control Act, the Technical Instructions on Noise Abatement, VDI (Association of German Engineers) Directive 2058 or the Accident Prevention Regulations "Noise".
Technical Instructions on Noise Abatement
The Technical Instructions on Noise Abatement (German: TA-Lärm) contain regulations for protecting the general public or neighbourhood from noise emitted by facilities and machinery that require approval under the German Federal Immission Control Act. According to these regulations, certain immission standard values for the A-weighted sound pressure level LpA (see Noise in pumps and systems) must not be exceeded.
Immission standard values for sound pressure levels that must not be exceeded (according to the German Federal Immission Control Act)
- Areas containing purely commercial or industrial facilities and living accommodation for company proprietors and managers as well as for supervisory and standby personnel: 70 dB
- Areas predominantly containing commercial facilities: 65 dB during the day/50 dB at night
- Areas containing commercial facilities and living accommodation, but where neither commercial facilities nor living accommodation are the predominant features of the area: 60 dB during the day/45 dB at night
- Areas predominantly containing living accommodation: 55 dB during the day/40 dB at night
- Areas exclusively containing living accommodation: 50 dB during the day/35 dB at night
- Spa areas, hospitals and nursing/care facilities: 45 dB during the day/35 dB at night
- Living accommodation that is structurally connected to a facility: 40 dB during the day/30 dB at night
Within the context of environmental protection, night-time is a period of eight hours, beginning at 10 p.m. and ending at 6 a.m. In urgent situations, this period can be adjusted by up to one hour.
VDI (Association of German Engineers) Directive 2058
VDI Directive 2058 (Part 1) was drafted so that industrial noise within the neighbourhood could be assessed. It is consistent with TA-Lärm (Technical Instructions on Noise Abatement).
Furthermore, VDI Directive 2058 (Part 2) is used to assess the risk of hearing impairment in noisy workplaces. According to this directive, the standard value for the sound pressure level is LpA = 90 dB.
Noise assessment in terms of what is required of people in the workplace is facilitated by VDI Directive 2058 (Part 3).
Accident Prevention Regulations "Noise"
There is a binding legal regulation for employers and insured persons that stipulates the requirements for protecting employees against noise hazards. This is the Accident Prevention Regulations "Noise" (UVV-Lärm Unfallverhütungsvorschrift Lärm)). It was issued by the accident insurance providers (German Institutions for statutory accident insurance and prevention).