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Environment Policy S-UWN-2

Proposals that generate impulsive sound and/or ambient noise must demonstrate that they will, in order of preference:

a) avoid
b) minimise
c) mitigate significant adverse impacts on highly mobile species
d) if it is not possible to mitigate significant adverse impacts, proposals must state the case for proceeding. 

Policy Considerations

  1. Proposals should identify any potential impacts arising from impulsive sound and/or ambient noise on sensitive mobile species. Information should be provided in support of assessment. Evidence may include expert judgement where more robust data is missing.
  2. If this is not possible to avoid the impacts, they should minimise or mitigate any impacts. For example this may inlcude the use of marine mammal observers or passive acoustic monitoring which can stop noise generation while sensitive species are present, eliminating or controlling noise at source by enclosing or insulating the noise source, controlling noise generating activities during particularly sensitive periods (such as breeding, rearing, hibernation, migration) or the use of soft start piling.
  3. JNCC provide best practice guidance for offshore activities including seismic survey hammer piling and explosive use offshore and should be used for minimisation and mitigation.
  4. Understanding of noise impacts on the marine environment is still being developed and all parties should be aware of new available evidence including data from the UK Marine Noise Registry.