European Environment Agency sponsors

The impacts of unwanted noise can range from mild disturbance to serious disease. At a prestigious ceremony in London last night, the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) announced a new European noise award, which will recognise innovative solutions to noise problems.

The 10th annual John Connell Awards, dubbed the ‘Noise Oscars’, are awarded by the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) to various Local Authorities, industry, individuals and organisations that have made a positive impact on the reduction of excessive noise in the community, helping to improve the aural environment.

The awards are named in honour of the Society’s founder, John Connell OBE, who successfully lobbied the Noise Abatement Act through Parliament in 1960 when noise became a statutory nuisance for the first time in the UK.

Noise pollution affects many Europeans. Approximately 56 million people are exposed to excessive noise from road traffic alone in Europe’s largest cities. Exposure to unwanted noise can cause stress and interfere with basic activities such as sleep, rest and study. But prolonged exposure can also trigger illnesses as serious as hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

NAS has for the last 10 years awarded ‘Noise Oscars’ to UK initiatives that help reduce excessive noise. They are now teaming up with the EEA to raise awareness and reward initiatives all over Europe. A new European noise award will be presented for the first time in November 2011. Any product, campaign, innovation or scheme offering a creative solution to a noise problem can be nominated for the award.

Colin Nugent, noise project manager at the European Environment Agency, launched the new award on Tuesday said:

“We are delighted to be associated with the Noise Abatement Society and to be launching a European award from 2011 onwards. Noise is a key policy area and the EEA is keen to contribute to its implementation and further development. From our networks of noise experts across our 38 member and cooperating countries, we are aware of the valuable work that is ongoing in the field of noise across Europe, and know all too well that these efforts often go unrecognised and unrewarded.”

Gloria Elliott, chief executive of the Noise Abatement Society, said:

“The Noise Abatement Society is thrilled to have the support of the European Environment Agency. Working towards a common cause of raising awareness and interest in noise as a key issue naturally leads to this collaboration, and we look forward to working in partnership with Colin and his team.

“It is important to recognise the achievements of those that have created practical solutions to reduce noise pollution, enabling us all to benefit from a more harmonious environment, not just in the UK, but across the whole of Europe.”

The awards were hosted at the House of Commons by Mike Weatherly MP for Hove and Portslade on behalf of the NAS Trustees.

For more information on the Awards or to see the list of winners and photos, visit www.noiseabatementsociety.com.

ENDS

Media contacts: Sarah Whelband or Emma Batchelor 01732 779 087 or sarahw@westgatecomms.com

Notes to editors

About Noise Abatement Society

The objective of the Noise Abatement Society is to raise awareness of noise and noise-related pollutants (for example, light disturbance and air pollution). Its work helps to find solutions and relieve the physical and mental distress and ill health which noise and related pollutants cause and which profoundly affect public health, productivity, the quality of life and marine and wildlife. The Society was established in 1959 by John Connell OBE, who successfully lobbied the Noise Abatement Act through Parliament in 1960, establishing noise as a statutory nuisance for the first time in the UK. The Society operates a free advice helpline for those people that are suffering from noise nuisance, and don’t know where to turn to find a solution to the problem. The number to call is: 01273 823 850 or email info@noiseabatement.org

About European Environment Agency

The European Environment Agency (EEA) is an agency of the European Union. Its task is to provide sound, independent information on the environment. It is a major information source for those involved in developing, adopting, implementing and evaluating environmental policy, and also the general public. Currently, the EEA has 32 member countries. For more information, please visit http://www.eea.europa.eu/

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