Some state and federal agencies have legal authority to regulate sources of noise in Providence,
and may be more responsive to resident complaints than the city government.
Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) — Regulates vehicle compliance with state and federal laws, including laws mandating functional exhaust systems (mufflers). To file a complaint about a specific vehicle that may not be in compliance with exhaust-system noise requirements — including a car / truck / motorcycle whose functioning muffler has been removed and replaced with a louder one — contact the DMV’s Safety and Emission Control Office at (401) 462-5890.
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) — Regulates air pollution, including from modified vehicle-exhaust systems, but focuses primarily on school buses, garbage trucks, and public-sector vehicles. This responsibility resides in the Office of Air Resources. The Noise Project is investigating the DEM’s role in (or abdication of responsibility for) regulating noise sources in RI.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Region 1: New England) — The EPA regulates pollution, including both noise and air pollution, under the 1970 Clean Air Act. In practice, this has been largely relegated to vehicular sources of pollution, and especially exhausts. This responsibility resides in the Office of Air and Radiation. If you suspect someone is manufacturing, selling, or installing so-called vehicle emissions-control “defeat” devices, or is otherwise tampering with emissions controls, contact the EPA at email@example.com.