Air Quality & Noise

Kyle Kirschenmann

Kyle Kirschenmann
Hazardous Materials/Air Quality and Noise Section Manager
(615) 532-8684

The primary role of the Section is to evaluate the potential air quality and noise effects on highway projects.

Air Quality

TDOT air quality studies are conducted in accordance with Section 5.3.5 (Air Quality) of the Tennessee Environmental Procedures Manual. Air quality analyses for highway projects typically address Project-Level Transportation Conformity and Mobile Source Air Toxics (MSATs).


The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) recognizes that highway traffic noise is an important environmental impact consideration in the improvement and development of the state's highway system. Noise impacts are taken into consideration in the planning, location, design, and construction phases of highway project development. Decisions made during each of these phases attempt to minimize impacts from highway traffic noise on noise-sensitive areas.TDOT noise studies are conducted in accordance with the FHWA noise standards, Procedures for Abatement of Highway Traffic and Construction Noise, 23 CFR 772, the Tennessee Department of Transportation's Policy on Highway Traffic Noise Abatement,  and Section 5.3.4 (Noise) of the Tennessee Environmental Procedures Manual.  Traffic Noise analysis is performed for developed lands containing noise-sensitive land uses and for undeveloped land that is permitted. The areas (receivers) that are chosen for modeling will be outdoor areas where frequent human use occurs. These outdoor areas could be patios, porches, decks, balconies, common grounds areas, or other areas of frequent human uses. 

Information about noise barriers (noise abatement) for Type I and Type II construction projects is also included in the Tennessee Department of Transportation's Policy on Highway Traffic Noise Abatement.

Additional Resources

Highway Traffic Noise - This Federal Highway Administration website describes some fundamentals of highway traffic noise and FHWA's noise requirements for federal highway projects. It is intended for the general public, elected officials, and anyone interested in learning about the basics of highway traffic noise.

Keeping the Noise Down - This website presents basic information on noise.