Residents are daily exposed to noise from various human activities in the environment, which can affect their health and quality of life. Action 2.7 of the Government’s Health Prevention Policy (PGPS) aims to make relevant departments and agencies adopt common approaches and develop a more integrated and effective management approach to environmental noise reduction.
This report presents the results of the implementation evaluation of the six projects selected by the Interministerial Expert Group on Environmental Noise (GEIBE) to update PGPS Procedure 2.7. These projects, which respond to the common interests of GEIBE member departments and agencies, mainly consist of two types:
- Research projects that make it possible to obtain data and identify information useful for the development or revision of indicative values, exposure limits, indicators and assessment methods to be applied to various environmental noise sources, such as road noise or those attributed to rail transport;
- Produce evidence to support the application of good practice in environmental noise management (eg insulating buildings against external noise and managing loud outdoor recreational activities such as music, sounds, fireworks, car racing, shooting ranges).
Interviews were conducted with GEIBE members, some of their managers, and some key members of the participating university teams in order to understand the basics of the terms and conditions applicable to the implementation of these projects, as well as the difficulties they face. Finally, the evaluation also takes into account the viewpoint of the intended beneficiaries regarding the usability of two outputs obtained in order to have an idea of the feasibility of the project objectives.
The evaluation shows that GEIBE has been able to put in place structured, rigorous, and efficient methods for selecting, defining, planning and monitoring their projects until the completion of expected deliverables. In this regard, the decision to formally assign two persons with a mandate to ensure compliance with expectations, project follow-up and links with research teams proved to be a winning formula.
Several suggestions were made by the respondents to make the implementation process more efficient, to avoid some difficulties or even to adapt to the constraints they have to deal with. It includes, among others:
- better adjust planning to the work contexts of the members of the Institute and their university partners;
- To further define the expected content in each project, as well as the intended use, intended users, and expected forms of deliverables;
- simplification of administrative procedures and requirements associated with the development and control of contracts with university teams, which in some cases have proven to be too complex and unsatisfactory;
- Encourage more direct exchanges between GEIBE and research teams on key stages of projects, such as their initiation and delivery of important deliverables.
As for the two products obtained, they have been shown to be satisfactory to the intended beneficiaries and offer good potential for use:
- The research reports, dealing specifically with indicative values and limits of population exposure to environmental noise, are considered useful by GEIBE members. They made it possible to obtain new references which would be used in their respective work. However, further discussions between them are still necessary before they can identify common directions and develop a more integrated and effective approach to managing environmental noise reduction.
- The Municipal Guide to Managing Noisy Recreational Activities is considered satisfactory or even highly satisfactory by dozens of municipal stakeholders consulted. Most also intend to implement some of the proposed recommendations to protect the public, whether they live nearby or attend or participate in these activities. Although preferred recommendations vary according to application contexts, recommendations that are inexpensive and those aimed directly at reducing exposure to noise (eg, stage direction and sound system) are considered more applicable.
Suggestions were collected to enrich the content of the guide and facilitate the implementation of recommendations and the dissemination of information. This highlights the need for GEIBE to plan not only ways to introduce these tools, but above all ways to support their active use by equipping professionals who supervise, plan or organize these events. To do this, GEIBE must build on well-established networks that already cooperate with local actors, such as the Association québécoise du loisirs Municipality, the Quebec Events and Attractions Organization, or the Community of Urban Planners.
This first GEIBE experience of awarding contracts to university research teams has proven satisfactory to its members and is sufficient to do the work required. Members are fully satisfied with the achievements made and believe that the projects have had a direct positive impact on their work as well as developing rewarding collaborative relationships, particularly with university teams. According to them, this work contributes to sharing their vision and moving towards common approaches which, over time, will help develop more consistency in guiding values, exposure limits, and the methods they use. For noise management and population protection.
The recommendations highlight key issues that GEIBE will have to consider as it prepares to plan a new batch of projects for the PGPS Action 2.7 update. It is about improving the methods and processes used to implement projects, highlighting the outputs already obtained, as well as maintaining the necessary conditions for the implementation of effective and satisfactory coordinated projects, especially with regard to governance and partnership.
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