Noise pollution control / Italian legislation

Autostrade per l’Italia and its subsidiaries are carrying out a major investment plan to develop and modernize the highway network.

Italian legislation

Noise pollution issues in Italy are governed by Law no. 447 of 26 October 1995, "Framework law on noise pollution".

The following general prescriptions are set out for highway infrastructure operators:

  • noise exposure levels and the applicable areas (noise bands) are fixed by specific decrees and implementing regulations;
  • noise pollution caused by highway traffic must be recorded within the limits of the law, as set out in decrees and regulations, by drawing up and implementing multi-year noise abatement plans;
  • since 1995, when implementing noise containment and abatement interventions, the owners or concession holders of road infrastructures are ordinarily required to commit in a fixed fee of no less than 5% of the provisions envisaged for infrastructure maintenance and expansion activities as recorded in the financial statements; the 1999 financial law subsequently increased this to 7%.

The Decree of the Ministry of the Environment of 29 November 2000 and Presidential Decree 142 of 30 March 2004 set out the noise limit values and the implementation methods of mitigation interventions.

Tabella strade esistenti e assimilabili

Decree of the Ministry of the Environment of 29 November 2000 - "Criteria for the preparation of noise containment and abatement intervention plans by the companies and operators of the public transport service or of the relevant infrastructures ". The decree sets the dates within which each highway operator shall prepare and subsequently implement the noise abatement plan for its own infrastructure; the plan shall specify the cost, priorities and methods of the intervention (barriers, road surfaces, details of any intervention on individual receptors, etc.), as well as implementation timeframes: abatement works on the entire network must be completed within 15 years of the date the plan is approved by the Minister for the Environment.  As provided by the Decree, the operator shall prioritise the interventions, taking the number of people exposed into account as well as the difference between actual and permissible noise limits. The decree sets the noise planning criteria of the interventions and identifies the requirements for the forecasting models to be used for noise simulation and barrier calculation purposes; the criteria for assessing the parity of multiple sources are also recorded, so as to guarantee that the values deemed admissible are achieved, even in the presence of noise sources other than those generated by the highway infrastructure.


Presidential Decree of 30 March 2004 - Provisions for the containment and prevention of noise pollution from vehicular traffic, pursuant to article 11 of Law no. 447 of 26 October 1995.
This Decree completes the legislative framework on road traffic noise: it sets out the maximum limits, which differ depending on the type of road infrastructure, the distance from the infrastructure (relevant bands, which should not include municipal noise zones), the type of building (residential, schools and hospitals) and the period of exposure (day or night). The most critical point of each building's most exposed façade is taken into account; permissible limits inside residential properties are also recorded as an alternative to external exposure limits. Existing infrastructures must meet immission limit values through the multi-year abatement measures pursuant to the Decree of the Ministry of the Environment of 29 November 2000.

Autostrade per l'Italia interventions
On delivery of the Noise Abatement Plan in June 2007, Autostrade per l'Italia has fulfilled its legal obligations, which envisaged:

  • identifying the areas in which the noise emitted by its infrastructure exceeds the limits of the law (Critical areas);
  • formulating a noise pollution reduction plan for all critical areas, while indicating the timeframe, cost and method of intervention (Noise Containment and Abatement Plan).