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SF Health Network
Environmental Health

Noise Enforcement Program

The Noise Program enforces noise control requirements on mechanical and other fixed noise sources in San Francisco to reduce annoyance, sleep disturbance, and a variety of health problems associated with stress response to noise. The program also reviews transportation and land use plans and projects in order to reduce the incremental growth of background noise levels in San Francisco.

Principal Activities and Services

  • Enforce local regulations regarding fixed-equipment noise, such as ventilation equipment, generators, and compressors.
  • Review planning, policy decisions, as well as mitigation measures for redevelopment projects.
  • Maintain the city's background noise level map. (pdf)

Making a Complaint

The Environmental Health Section investigates complaints regarding fixed mechanical noise sources such as rooftop air conditioning units, restaurant ventilation systems, motors and compressors. For more information on how to report a complaint to the health department, click here.

Environmental Health inspectors will go to the noise source and take noise measurements to see if the noise levels exceed the allowable limits. If the noise levels are above acceptable limits, inspectors will require the property owner of the noise source to make sure they are compliant.

Related Agencies

The following agencies are also responsible for noise control and prevention. Please contact the appropriate agency based on the issue.

Department of Planning

  • Violation of conditions of approval (includes noise)
  • Environmental review of plans and projects

Department of Building Inspection

  • Regulation of construction noise

Entertainment Commission

  • Regulation of entertainment noise (nightclubs)

Department of Public Works

  • Street opening
  • Regulation of construction noise

Police Department

  • Regulation of noise from audio equipment
  • Regulation of noise from people or animals

Planning, Policy and Research

For more information on the noise program activities around planning, policy and research please visit the Program for Health, Equity and Sustainability.