Many of the Federal government's acoustics regulations have been directed toward abating environmental noise. The Noise Control Act of 1972 designated the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the principal agency for leading Federal noise control efforts, and EPA's primary tool was to be through its regulatory authority. Regulating noise sources requires not only designating a maximum acceptable sound level but also specifying the measurement protocol. The measurement protocol addresses such issues as measurement geometry, atmospheric conditions, acoustical properties of pavement and ground surfaces, ambient level, spatial and temporal sampling rates and instrument specifications. Because the development of measurement protocols is the focus of consensus standards activities, EPA participated in the activities of consensus standards organizations. However, the EPA Noise Office developed its own measurement protocols—a measurement process that proved lengthy and contentious. Frequently, it was the measurement protocol that was challenged, delaying the issuance of regulations.