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The rules on noise in Boston

Last updated: 7/1/17

The rules on noise in Boston

The Air Pollution Control Commission works to maintain healthy air quality and noise levels in the City of Boston.

The Boston Municipal Code sets the standard for noise that is unreasonable or excessive and sets regulations on what kind of noise levels are generally acceptable after certain hours:

  • Anything louder than 50 decibels from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. is considered unreasonable.
  • Anything louder than 70 decibels is considered too much at any time, except for permitted construction.

The Air Pollution Control Commission has developed regulations that apply to residential, business, and industrial districts. Our commission and the Boston police work together to enforce the rules on noise. If you have a complaint, you can report it to the appropriate authority.

Have questions? Contact us:

1 City Hall Square, Room 709
Boston, MA 02201

Who to contact

Are you concerned about noise related to car alarms, loud parties, and amplification devices? Please contact the Boston Police Party Line (617-343-5500), or your neighborhood's district police station non-emergency number.

Have a concern about noise related to construction sites, industrial sites, ventilation, or air-conditioning equipment? Please contact the commission during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), and BOS: 311 at all other times. 

Are you concerned about noise related to airplanes? Please contact the Massachusetts Port Authority.

After-hours construction

Inspectional Services approves after-hours construction on a weekly basis:

list of approved after-hours construction

You can look up a map of the City's wards and precincts. You can also contact your neighborhood coordinator to see approved after-hours construction in your area.