Maintaining healthy air quality and noise levels
The APCC regulates activities that affect air quality and noise levels to make our city a healthier and more comfortable place to live, work, and visit. It reviews, permits, and regulates activities like parking, idling, abrasive blasting, as well as chemical cleaning of buildings, construction, open burning, and smoke from industrial sites. It also advises other City Hall departments, holds public hearings, and cooperates with other local, state, and federal agencies to ensure clean, healthy air and appropriate noise levels in Boston.
Air Pollution Control Commission
1 City Hall Square, Room 709
Boston, MA 02201
Keeping air quality and noise within healthy levels
The APCC enforces Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90, Section 16A, which states: No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the unnecessary operation of the engine of a motor vehicle while said vehicle is stopped for a foreseeable period of time in excess of five minutes. Violators are liable for a fine of up to $100 for the first offense. The APCC also educates drivers and institutions about the costs of excessive idling (air pollution, engine wear, fuel waste) and the benefits of idling reduction.
The APCC helps residents dealing with noise issues as well. The Boston Municipal Code sets the standard for noise that is unreasonable or excessive. The APCC determines whether noise exceeds these standards and shares the responsibility of enforcing them with the Boston Police Department (BPD).
Who to contact
For concerns regarding noise related to car alarms, loud parties, and amplification devices, constituents should contact the Boston Police Party Line (617-343-5500) OR your neighborhood's district police station non-emergency number.
For concerns about noise related to construction sites, industrial sites, ventilation, and air-conditioning equipment: constituents should contact the APCC.
For concerns regarding noise related to airplanes: constituents should contact the Massachusetts Port Authority.
The APCC updates the List of Approved After-Hours Construction every Friday. If you are concerned about an after-hours construction project, first check this list to see if it’s been approved.
- View List of Approved After-Hours Construction (emergency and public safety repairs are exempt and will happen on an as-needed basis).
- Guidelines for Construction
- Guidelines for High-performance Buildings and Sustainable Development