About the Noise Program

Person holding a sound meter in front of a construction site.
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About Our Program

As Portland’s population grows, the need to equitably address environmental health issues like noise pollution is increasingly important. The Noise Program supports the city’s lively spirit, safety, and health by reviewing requests for City noise code variances for exciting and essential events — like music festivals, the Portland Marathon, and construction— and educates the public on the health issue of urban noise pollution by enforcing the City’s Noise Code, Title 18.

We live in a vibrant city with many events. Naturally, some of the events happening around Portland are expected to be louder than our Noise Code allows. When this happens, the Noise Program issues a noise variance to allow the event to take place by following certain terms. Some of the many variance requests we process each year include music events like the Rose Festival, the Waterfront Blues Festival, the Oregon Humane Society's Doggie Dash, the Portland Marathon, and numerous weddings in our neighborhood parks.

We also process many construction-related noise code variance requests, which allows construction to take place outside of normal hours. We work with other agencies repairing and replacing our sewers, bridges, and roads, trying to balance the need for sleep, safety issues, and traffic impacts. We also work with commercial construction to help ease the housing shortage and provide spaces for businesses to thrive. 

Image that reviews what is and is not covered by Title 18 Noise Code. On the left hand side under "yes" are: amplified sounds, industrial operations, commercial operations, residential equipment. On the right hand side is "no" and includes urban wildlife, residential animal noises, non-amplified human voices, vehicles, and large vehicles.

Noise Program Brochure

Download the Noise Program's brochure:

Supporting Portland Businesses as They Reopen

Many businesses have been prioritizing the health of their employees and customers by offering alternative outdoor experiences. These new changes may cause neighbors to hear more noise during operating hours. To help businesses run successfully and maintain goodwill with neighbors, we want to provide important information about the City of Portland’s noise code. To learn more please read our brochure:

The Noise Program's Primary Focus

Our program's primary focus is to address and educate the public on the following types of noise disturbances within Portland city limits:

  • Amplified sounds (speech, music, events, parades)
  • Commercial and industrial operations
  • Residential HVAC equipment
  • Motor vehicles (in rare cases)
  • Home equipment and powered tools
  • Leaf blowers
  • Construction and construction equipment

To report any of the above types of noise disturbances, please file using the online noise complaint form or email the Noise Program at noise@portlandoregon.gov.

Types of Noises Not Regulated by the Noise Program 

The Noise Program does not have the authority to address the following types of noise disturbances:

  • Animal noises from residences (i.e., barking dogs): Please contact Multnomah County Animal Services at 503-988-7387 or check out their Barking Dog Nuisance Guide.
  • Chickens/roosters and urban wildlife: Please contact Multnomah County Environmental Health at 503-988-7700 or vector.nuisance@multco.us.
  • Aircraft-in-flight (i.e., planes and helicopters): Please contact the Port of Portland at 503-460-4100.
  • Train activity regulated by Federal Code: Please contact the Federal Railway Administration at 1-800-724-5998.
  • Vehicle noise: Please contact the non-emergency police dispatch at 503-823-3333.
  • Watercraft- Please contact the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office River Patrol at 503-988-6788.
  • Garbage/recycling noise: Please contact the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability at 503-823-7202.
  • Noise from human voices: Covered under Oregon and Federal Freedom of Speech rights unless voices are so loud as to be considered “disturbing the peace,” in which case, please contact the non-emergency police dispatch at 503-823-3333.
  • Children at play: The City of Portland’s Noise Office does not regulate children and the various recreational equipment they use such as basketball nets or skateboard ramps.
  • Daycare operations: We do not regulate daycare operations and the sounds from children at daycare facilities.
  • Emergency warning devices: Devices used to alert the public of a potential danger such as back up alarms, first responder vehicle sirens, garage vehicle exiting warning devices, and similar warning sounds.

Get Involved!

The Noise Review Board works to improve neighborhood livability by striking a balance between sound-generating activities related to construction and special events, and the desire for livable communities. The board reviews applications for noise variance permits for large events and construction that impact a lot of people and take place over a long period of time. The board also works with the Noise Program to advise and make recommendations to the Portland City Council on sound-related code and policy decisions. The Noise Review Board holds meetings on the second Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m.

The board is comprised of five members — three community member-at-large positions, a representative from the construction industry, and a professional in the field of acoustics. Volunteers serve on the Noise Review Board for three-year terms and may serve a maximum of two terms. All meetings are open to the public and have time available for public comment. Find out more about the Noise Review Board here.

Contact Us

  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • Email us at noise@portlandoregon.gov
  • Call us at 503-823-7350
  • Mailing address: 1900 SW 4th Ave., Suite 5000, Portland, OR 97201