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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

Noise Control Program

Pile Driving Update

The Noise Office first learned about noise impacts from pile driving in 2014, when a group of

Pearl District residents began contacting the Noise Office about how they were impacted by

pile driving construction. Since then, the Noise Office has spent over 400 hours of staff

time to examine the issue in more detail including:


  • • Conducting research

  • • Holding meetings

  • • Investigating complaints

  • • Hearing testimony

  • • Interacting with residents, contractors, developers, and union tradespeople

  • • Participating in the Noise Task Force convened by Commissioner Fritz


Through research and discussions with construction and geotechnical professionals, the Noise Office found no current engineered solutions, acoustic damping accessories or safe noise mitigation applications that were tested and ready to be incorporated into City Code or into the process of noise variance reviews by staff and the Noise Review Board. In addition, the Noise Office found no significant differences from the 2015 findings.


Additional information and 2018 report findings are available here on our website, on the "Pile Driving Noise Study" page.



Program Overview
The City of Portland Office of Community & Civic Life's Noise Control Program works to improve neighborhood livability by enforcing the city's noise regulations and issuing Noise Variances for events and activities that cause more noise than  normally allowed. The program works to ensure that the livability of Portland communities is maintained.

Noise Code Enforcement - Title 18 Noise Code covers noise issues within the City of Portland limits and does not extend to unincorporated Multnomah or Washington Counties.  Title 18 was developed to control the level of noise in the City of Portland in a way that promotes the use, value and enjoyment of one's property and the urban environment. The Noise Code uses the measurement of decibel levels to determine if a violation exists and is based on the zone in which you live or work. Portland City Code Title 18 gives the Office of Neighborhood Involvement authority to enforce regulations covering most aspects of noise pollution.

The table below shows the allowable decibel levels set by zoning.  Our office has decibel meters we rent in order to help you determine if a violation might exist (Please note, our meters are only to help determine a baseline sound so a Noise Inspector can follow up if needed)

Decibel Table

Have a question? 

Office of Community & Civic Life 
Noise Control Program
1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110
Portland, OR  97204