Implementation of Directive 2002/49/EC

PROTECTION FROM ENVIRONMENTAL NOISE ACT (PENA) and the related by-laws ensure full compliance of Bulgarian legislation with the requirements of Directive 2002/49/EC relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise.

The aim of the Directive is to apply a common approach to measures and actions to avoid, prevent or reduce the harmful effects of exposure to various types of environmental noise, through noise mapping and the development of action plans based on the results obtained.

Strategic noise maps (SNM), designed in accordance with the terms of the Directive, are intended to provide a global assessment of the noise levels in a territory caused by different sources and to present the previous, present and expected noise situation. They reflect the number of people, housing, children's, educational, medical, research facilities and public buildings that are exposed to different
noise levels.

SNM are used as a basis for identifying priority issues when developing Action plans (AP) to reduce noise pollution, and as a source of information for the public.

The competent authorities responsible for developing and approving SNM and AP for them are regulated by the PENA.

The SNM and the AP are commissioned for development by:

  • mayors of municipalities - for agglomerations;
  • the Minister of Transport - for major railways and major airports;
  • the Minister for Regional Development and Public Works - for the main roads;

The SNM and the AP are approved by:

  • municipal councils - for agglomerations;
  • the Minister of Health - for the major railways, major airports and major roads, on the proposal of a specially created Expert Council.

The Minister of Environment and Water is responsible for the submission of the approved SNM and AP as report to the European Commission.

A key requirement of the directive is to make public all information about the environmental noise - the noise levels from different sources in the big cities and the harmful effects on human health of prolonged exposure to high noise levels. In this regard, all competent authorities need to keep up-to-date information on their internet sites about the actions taken to reduce the high noise levels, as well as to maintain places where noise levels are good.

Below you can find links to all of the SNM developed so far and their AP:

Strategic noise maps of:

  • agglomeration Sofia: 2009; 2018
  • agglomeration Plovdiv: 2009; 2017
  • agglomeration Varna: 2009; 2017
  • agglomeration of Burgas: 2011; 2017
  • agglomeration of Stara Zagora: 2014; -
  • agglomeration Pleven: 2012; 2017
  • agglomeration of Ruse: 2012; 2017
  • major road sections in the Republic of Bulgaria: 2010; 2012; 2018
  • major railway sections - none
  • Sofia major airport: 2019

Action plans for the management, prevention and reduction of environmental noise of:

  • agglomeration Sofia: 2011; 2014; -
  • agglomeration Plovdiv: 2010; 2019
  • agglomeration Varna: 2011; 2019
  • agglomeration of Burgas: 2013; 2019
  • agglomeration of Stara Zagora: 2015; -
  • agglomeration Pleven: 2013; 2019
  • agglomeration of Ruse: 2014; 2019
  • major road sections in the Republic of Bulgaria: 2011; 2014; 2020
  • major railway sections - none
  • Sofia major airport: -
In accordance with the requirements of Directive 2002/49/EC, the next fourth round of revision, updating and reporting of strategic noise maps is due by 31 December 2022, and the maps must be developed in accordance with the methods set out in Commission Directive (EU) 2015/996 of 19 May 2015 establishing common noise assessment methods according to Directive 2002/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.

For this fourth round, the relevant action plans should be reviewed, updated and reported by 18 January 2025 at the latest, due to the amendment of the Directive by the new Regulation (EU) 2019/1010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on the alignment of reporting obligations in the field of legislation related to the environment, and amending Regulations (EC) No 166/2006 and (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Directives 2002/49/EC, 2004/35/EC, 2007/2/EC, 2009/147/EC and 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Regulations (EC) No 338/97 and (EC) No 2173/2005, and Council Directive 86/278/EC.