WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) introduced The Negating Neighborhood Noise Act, bipartisan legislation that would give local communities more control over improving their quality of life. Representatives Jim Himes (CT-4) and Don Bacon (NE-2) co-led the legislation.
Currently, federal funding is prohibited from being used for noise barriers along existing federal-aid highways. The Negating Neighborhood Noise Act allows Highway Trust Fund dollars to be used to build noise barriers in residential areas built before the interstates that are now impacting them. Communities will also have the power to create noise barriers that are aesthetically pleasing and can be used for dual purposes, such as hosting broadband infrastructure or solar panels.
Congresswoman Williams, who is a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said: “I’ve heard my constituents loud and clear: interstate noise disrupts the peace of their daily lives. Allowing federal funds to be used for sound barrier projects on federal infrastructure is a commonsense solution for Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District. The Negating Neighborhood Noise Act will bring much-needed relief as part of 21st Century infrastructure that works for everyone–no matter your ZIP Code.”
Congressman Himes said:
“One of the busiest – and loudest – highways in America runs through my district. In fact, my office regularly hears from constituents who are affected by the incessant noise generated from traffic on I-95. As Congress prepares to make historic improvements to our transportation infrastructure, let’s put people first and remember the families who live near major traffic corridors. It’s time for the federal government to invest in noise barriers, making them available for projects across Connecticut and the country. I’m pleased to work alongside Congresswoman Williams on this important issue.”
Congressman Bacon said:
“Allowing already allocated funds to be used to alleviate noise is a simple and easy solution to help those who live in an area where the noise interrupts the concentration or increases the heart rate of a majority of people. People who moved into an area that did not have interstate traffic and are now burdened by it, should get some relief from this.”
Georgia State Senator Nan Orrock said:
“Too many of my constituents have had to live with noise from the interstate because there hasn’t been the funding to help them build sound barriers. I brought this to Congresswoman Williams’ office, and she listened. I am proud to support the Negating Neighborhood Noise Act, which will help construct and preserve sound barriers and bring some relief to those I represent.”
NPU-Z President Mario Head said:
“For years, I have led the push to get sound barriers for my Polar Rock neighborhood and other surrounding neighborhoods impacted by highway noise. I’ve led this effort because this is about quality of life for my friends and neighbors, and getting federal funding to build sound barriers is an important response to my advocacy. I support the Negating Neighborhood Noise Act.”
NPU-P Chairperson Reginald Rushin said:
“As a leader and Chairperson of NPU-P in the Southwest Atlanta community, I am elated to hear of the impending proposed legislation. I have served this organization for nearly two decades and clearly understand the necessity and importance of sound barriers. Neighborhoods along this corridor have had to deal with unmitigated noise throughout these communities. Our community is unique whereas families have lived here in some instances for forty plus years. The Negating Neighborhood Noise Act is needed to relieve communities of unwavering noise evolving from state and local highways. Also, it would permit road maintenance and barriers that are built aesthetically pleasing. This Act would relieve undue and unjust stress and promote peace and tranquility for families throughout their communities. I am hopeful Congress will support this legislation that would make these funds available.”
Josh Freed, Senior Vice President for the Climate and Energy Program at Third Way said:
“Where we build our highways determines who will be exposed to the noise and air pollution that comes with them—and all too often, these burdens have been disproportionately placed on communities of color. Third Way applauds Congresswoman Williams for her introduction of the Negating Neighborhood Noise Act, which will help communities address the long-standing sound and air quality impacts of our highway infrastructure. We look forward to continuing to work with her to undo the decades of damage that urban freeways have done to the families who call these neighborhoods home and to ensure our transportation system better serves everybody in the future.”
Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District. Congresswoman Williams serves on the exclusive Financial Services Committee where she is Vice Chair of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the Select Committee for the Modernization of Congress. She is Freshman Class President and Co-Chairs the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as a champion of voting rights, closing the racial wealth gap, and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of their ZIP code or bank account.