In this article, I discuss So Paulo's legal apparatus in respect of environmental noise. I begin by situating my analysis within broader citizenship issues. I then focus on three debates on noise control in the city. The first two debates involve noise ordinances created in the 1990s and enforced by So Paulo's Programa de Silncio Urbano (Urban Silence Programme, PSIU). The first revolves around the evangelical lawmakers attempts to exclude, minimize or hinder the impact of a noise ordinance on religious services. The second debate focuses on an ordinance that required bars without acoustic insulation to close at 1 am a demand that faced strong opposition from businesses involved in the night-time economy. The third debate describes the recent attempt of a group of acoustic engineers to lobby the city administration for the systematic mapping of traffic noise. I contend that environmental noise is a fruitful point of entry to investigate how the state mediates universal equality and individual freedom, welfare principles and economic gain.