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Noise Regulations

Every person living in the District is entitled to reasonable noise levels that do not threaten  life,   health, and enjoyment of his or her property.

Excessive or unnecessary noises within the District  pose a menace to the welfare and prosperity of the residents and businesses of the District. It is the declared public policy of the District to reduce the ambient noise level in the District to promote public health, safety, welfare and the peace and quiet of the inhabitants of the District, and to facilitate the enjoyment of the natural attraction of the District (DCMR 20, Sec. 2700.1).

DCRA is one of several agencies that enforces noise regulations.  DCRA's primary responsibility is for noise related to activity under its regulatory authority. The two primary sources are trash truck noise complaints and construction noise complaints.

Trash Truck Noise
Trash collection by private haulers is prohibited between the hours of 9 pm and 7 am in residential, special purpose, or waterfront zones, or within 300 feet of any of these zones. These rules do not apply to Department of Public Works vehicles, only private trash collection companies.

If we find a private trash hauler is operating outside the allowable hours, the company will be issued a Notice of Infraction for $1,000.

Learn more about reporting a violation.
Legal Construction Hours

Construction is allowed Monday through Saturday from 7 am to 7 pm without any special permits. Customers must apply for an after-hours permit to work beyond these legal construction hours. If you believe work is being done after legal hours without permit, please report it to DCRA.

Learn more about reporting a violation.
Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration
Complaints about noise at establishments licensed by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration should be directed to ABRA.

Metropolitan Police Department
Other noise complaints in public space should be directed to the Metropolitan Police Department.
Roles and responsibilities for the various engaged DC government agencies will be found below: a compilation of  the District's noise regulations and standards 'Noise Regulations Handbook' can be found under Related Documents on this page, which includes Title 20 District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, Chapter 27, Noise Control and Chapter 28, Maximum Noise Levels, and Chapter 29, Noise Measuring Test Procedures.

 

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