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
2017 hearing dates
- March 23, 2017
- June 22, 2017
- September 28, 2017
- December 21, 2017
All hearings are from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. in Room 900 at Boston City Hall (9th floor). Detailed hearing information will appear on the City's public notices page.
Healthy air quality and noise levels
The commission enforces Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90, Section 16A. The law 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 commission also educates drivers and institutions about the costs of excessive idling (air pollution, engine wear, fuel waste) and the benefits of idling reduction.
The Air Pollution Control Commission also helps residents dealing with noise issues. The Boston Municipal Code sets the standard for noise that is unreasonable or excessive. The commission 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 commission 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.
More informationMore information
- 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