DCMR Environmental Protection Agency

Schiedam, Netherlands

DCMR Environmental Protection Agency

Schiedam, Netherlands

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Velders G.J.M.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | Snijder A.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency | Hoogerbrugge R.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2011

Concentrations of sulphur dioxide (SO 2) have been decreasing in the Netherlands since the beginning of the 1980s, as a result of national and international emission control measures. Since 2007, concentrations observed at the Rotterdam port and industrial areas have shown a large decrease that is in line with recent emission control measures. The average annual SO 2 concentration in 2010 was about 50% below 2000-2006 levels. This drop in concentration level corresponds with recent decreases in emissions of SO 2 from Dutch refineries and international sea shipping, on top of the gradual decreases in emissions from sources outside the Netherlands. The reduction in the emissions from refineries was initiated by a ceiling on the total amount of emissions from this sector, effective since 2010. Emission reductions from sea shipping result from two types of regulations to reduce the sulphur content in marine fuel, by 2010; regulation by the International Maritime Organization for sea ships on the North Sea, and by the EU directive for ships at berth in ports. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Weber M.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency
41st International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2012, INTER-NOISE 2012 | Year: 2012

Current practices about selection, assessment and management of quiet urban areas in European countries appear to be fragmented and widely varying, or even lacking. Although the EU Directive 49/2002/CE on Environmental Noise (commonly abbreviated END) and national (nature, noise or urban planning) policy instruments set requirements on the delineation and management of these areas of 'good acoustic environment'. The QUADMAP project (QUiet Areas Definition and Management in Action Plans), financed by the EU programme LIFE+, aims at developing a harmonized methodology for selection, assessment and management of quiet urban areas (QUAs). Best practices, lessons learned and empirical study data are assessed in order to define - acoustic and other - parameters relevant for the perception and evaluation of quiet urban areas by the citizens. Tools will be available for local stakeholders, such as (noise policy) decision makers, urban planners, and citizens, in order to assess and manage QUAs. The project's objective is to reposition current approaches and facilitate a transition to sustainable, multi-sector and multi-facet policy instruments. This paper presents preliminary results regarding one of the assessment tools, i.e. questioning visitors on soundscape and other qualities of the quiet (urban) area.


Milan B.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency | Bootsma S.,Comon Invent BV. | Bilsen I.,VITO NV
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2012

In the heavily industrialized and densely populated Port of Rotterdam odour nuisance is the second largest reason for complaints. The DCMR EPA has a control room that is manned 24 hours, 7 days per week. It receives on a yearly basis about 5,000-6,000 odour complaints of residents. One of the tasks of DCMR EPA is to investigate the cause of odour nuisance by field inspection with the human nose. Comon Invent has developed an online E-nose technology. Various industries are using this technology to monitor odours emitted of their own operations. DCMR EPA and Comon Invent cooperate in a long-term program in the port of Rotterdam to explore the potential of this technology. The target is to establish a real-time monitoring system which provides situational awareness about odour and air safety related issues. The program involves networks of electronic noses in the port area and the neighbouring residential areas. The data gathered by the e-nose data is processed and related to other information sources. Among them are odour complaints of residents, field observations of DCMRinspectors and results of olfactometer laboratory testing. The olfactometry testing is performed in collaboration with VITO. This paper details some results of the program. Copyright © 2012, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.


Bootsma S.,Comon Invent BV | Milan B.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2010

In the heavily industrialized and densely populated Port of Rotterdam odour nuisance is the second largest reason for complains. The DCMR EPA has a control room that is manned 24 hours, 7 days per week. It receives on a yearly basis about 5,000-6,000 odour complaints from residents. One of the tasks of DCMR EPA is to investigate the cause of odour complaints by field inspection with the human nose. Comon Invent has developed an online e-nose technology for the evaluation of odour plumes in the field. DCMR EPA has employed this technology during an one year pilot study in order to investigate its feasibility to evaluate odour emissions originating from several petrochemical industries in the Port of Rotterdam. The technology has demonstrated a good potential to become a proactive Odour Management System. This presentation details the outline and some results of a research project that was carried out in the port of Rotterdam for one year. The project involved a temporarily installation of networks of electronic noses in the Rijnmond area which carried out continuous measurements under ambient air conditions. The electronic sensor data was evaluated in relation to odour complaints which are reported at the EPA control room and metrological information. A numerical data analysis was carried on electronic sensor data, metrological data and residential odour complaints. The main research questions of such a data-analyses reads: can a network of electronic noses be used for the automated detection and distribution of odour plumes? The analysis showed promising results. DCMR and Comon Invent have therefore decided to start a second pilot project in 2010. The first pilot project was performed with a coarse network of 10 online e-noses in an area of 50 km2. In the second pilot project a dense network of 30 e-noses will observe an industrial area of 10 km2. Copyright © 2010, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.


Weber M.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency | Driessen P.P.J.,University Utrecht
Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy | Year: 2010

Interest in environmental policy integration (EPI) has recently been strong, both in the literature and in practice. We explore Dutch initiatives to integrate noise management into spatial planning policy in light of the body of literature on EPI. The main approaches of EPI are translated into a conceptual framework consisting of organizational, procedural, and contextual factors. The objective of this literature review is to relate paradigm shifts and policy innovations regarding noise management and spatial planning to empirical windows of opportunity for and barriers to implementation of EPI. It shows how instruments allowing a flexible approach and deviation from standards at the local level fit in with the discourse on decentralized and area oriented policy. The analysis suggests that procedural and decision-making rules and organizational arrangements can bridge implementation gaps in local-level planning practice. However, EPI in the Netherlands has not solved the noise problem, and the number of affected inhabitants is increasing. We conclude the paper by examining the conceptual and normative issues affecting the integration and prioritization of noise management policy. © 2010 Pion Ltd and its Licensors.


Weber M.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency
40th International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2011, INTER-NOISE 2011 | Year: 2011

In the EU Directive on Environmental Noise (END) Lden and Lnight have been introduced as noise indicators for noise mapping, noise action planning, and more general, noise policy. In previous research the authors Weber and Jabben (2010) proposed an area-specific proposed an area-specific group noise level Gden. The Gden is a generalized indicator for the noise impact on a group (area) of people, and is calculated by adding the Lden levels at all exposed dwellings in the designated area. So far the correlation with perception could not be evaluated thoroughly because of scarce suitable annoyance data. In this paper we will compare noise annoyance data from a biannual field survey amongst 3.500 inhabitants in Rotterdam (35% response rate) with Lden and Gden levels in residential areas. In the field survey people indicate the level of annoyance (on a 5-point scale) due to noise from traffic (in general and source specific), industrial activities and wind turbines. Noise annoyance data for the areas considered are related to various noise indicators, as derived from noise maps. The aim of the paper is to validate the predictive power of group noise levels for area-specific assessment of annoyance, as an alternative to the traditional approach combining EU indicators Lden and Lnight with Miedema dose-response relations.


Weber M.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency
40th International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2011, INTER-NOISE 2011 | Year: 2011

In Rotterdam soundscapes of parks are assessed following two approaches. The first approach consists of an acoustic characterization of city parks based upon noise measurements and (statistical) analyses of various noise indicators. In addition, the perception of (acoustic quality of) the parks is further assessed by field surveys. This paper compares different methods on questioning on soundscapes experienced in city parks. One method has been developed in Swedish research and translated into Dutch. The other method has been developed in French and Italian studies and has been adjusted to the pilot study in Rotterdam. A second alternative approach will be applied by RIVM and DCMR in a joint research project. It is envisaged to relate perception data from a biannual environmental field survey to noise levels in parks and on the facades of the dwellings the residents live in. As such we aim to gain knowledge on the noise impact in residential areas and compensatory noise quality in nearby parks. The paper will discuss (dis)advantages of the various approaches applied.


Wolfert H.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency
22nd International Congress on Sound and Vibration, ICSV 2015 | Year: 2015

Transportation noise is capturing European cities already for decades and it could be expected that the noise burden will increase coming years. Currently more than 20% of the population in urban areas are exposed to 55 dB LDEN and higher and even 30% is exposed to noise levels above 50 dB LNIGHT. In the last decades the volume of vehicles has grown and also the mileage driven grew. Due to the economic downturn these developments have shown a temporary lapse however, it can be expected that when economy is back to the old level, the development of the last decades will continue. Although local and regional governments are obliged to draft action plans as meant in the Environmental Noise Directive 2002/49/EC the magnitude of exposed people has hardly decreased in urban areas. It could be assumed that this is due to numerous reasons. An important reason is that the action plans, sent in by the competent bodies, are rather poor meaning that these action plans hardly comprise concrete measures. Also the lack of political attention should be seen as an important reason. Another reason to be mentioned here are the limitations met when trying to solve the noise problems in urban areas. Traditional technical noise measures are not sufficient so other measures should be employed by the local government. The measures to be employed should be holistic. The smart cities approach could offer a window of opportunity.


Weber M.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency
22nd International Congress on Sound and Vibration, ICSV 2015 | Year: 2015

Increasing numbers of people are living in, densely built, cities, and this trend will continue. Municipalities consequently are facing serious challenges such as accommodating spatial claims from housing, mobility and economy and in the meantime improve environmental quality and public health. Healthy urban living is gaining interest from academics as well as public administrations, integrating several of the aforementioned local policy issues. The city of Rotterdam,. For example, currently implements policy on greening the city. Nature and green elements in the city, such as green roofs and green facades, catch rain water, isolate houses against energy loss and prevent water flooding and heat stress. In addition, research has shown the positive effects of green on stress reduction and masking of non-wanted noise sources. The Rotterdam ambition for 2014 is to increase the amount of blue (water) and green parts of the city, with a specific focus on the social-weaker southern parts of the city. In longer timeframe green has to be a standard topic in the policy instruments employed in noise, health climate, water and air quality domains. Currently research is conducted by various municipal (health and environment) departments to develop tools and instruments in order to integrate noise in this healthy urban living policy domain. Ideas are, for example, to define a geographical norm for green and relatively quiet areas, to develop a cost-benefit analysis for relatively quiet areas, and to - hands on - redevelop three residential areas in Rotterdam Zuid with a focus on public participation (specifically by unemployed and social weaker groups), green features and health. In the latter, noise will be a minor topic. The main aim though is to get a better insight in the common language, approaches and tools used by social workers, public health and other municipal departments, and integrate noise and soundscape knowledge into their daily working practice.


Weber M.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency | Driessen P.P.J.,University Utrecht | Runhaar H.A.C.,University Utrecht
Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning | Year: 2011

Shifts from government to governance in the environmental policy domain have been observed by many authors. However, the question arises as to whether these shifts are apparent in all environmental policy sub-domains. And which explanations are to be given for observed differences in specific sub-domains? In this article we introduce insights from policy science literature on drivers of and barriers to shifts towards governance, providing an analytical framework to illustrate and explain the changes in environmental policy in general, and in noise policy specifically. Dutch environmental policy in general has changed distinctly from previous decades: from high profile execution by public institutions and the use of coercive policy instruments into an increasing reliance on dialogue, networks and social inclusion. Dutch noise policy, however, is still state dominated and its legislative approach seems to better fit the dominant style of government. In this paper, we show that while shifts in governance and a changing role of the state are evident for environmental policy, as a whole, similar shifts are not seen in noise policy. The main barriers to such a shift are actors with a vested interest in maintaining the current policy arrangements and the institutional settings which are not considered problematic in achieving national and municipal goals. In addition, drivers for change such as severe incidents which have resulted in shifts in environmental governance, were largely absent from the noise policy domain. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

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