ONE DIDN'T HEAR much about it, but last week was a sort of milestone for noise-control legislation in the District of Columbia. It has now been one year since the city council held its last hearing on the noise bill - and there is still no law on the books. We're told there is hope, though: A council committee headed by Jerry A. Moore has finally reported the bill to the full council and it's quite a comprehensive proposal. In fact, it really holds out a promise of at least some salvation from the wee-hour banging, clanging, whirring and honking that threatens to deafen us all.
Moreover, at least some of the enormous delay in getting a bill moving can be attributed to the complexity of such legislation.The measure, Bill 2-134, attempts to regulate nearly all sources of noise, complete with times and zones for specified maximum noise levels. In particular, the measure would greatly reduce the amount of allowable noise during the nighttime hours.
As we have noted on many an occasion in this space, noise pollution really is a serious matter of public health. That is why a regionwide effort, coordinated with the expertise and regional leadership provided by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, needs a full-blown legislative effort in the District.
To be sure, the attempt to legislate tranquillity still must depend a great deal on individual citizens - for it is they who can bring pressure to bear in the marketplace by requesting and buying quieter mowers, dishwashers and what-have-you. In the meantime, however, the council should press ahead with prompt consideration of the anti-nose bill so that final action can be taken before the summer recess next month.