The effects of long-term (acoustical) noise exposure on the cardiovascular system are the best-documented of the nonauditory physiological effects of noise and represent the greatest potential public health issue. As part of its modest research effort in the noise effects area, EPA has developed the plan contained in this report to organize research in this area, which has been identified by numerous experts as the number one noise effects research priority. This plan includes (1) a summary of what is known from short-term and long-term studies, (2) detailed multicomponent plans for animal experimental studies, human epidemiologic studies, and human experimental studies, (3) discussion of recent research, including EPA-sponsored research at University of Miami and Johns Hopkins University, and (4) analysis of five options. It is estimated that if research proceeds according to this plan, decision points will occur in year 3, year 6 and year 8. On the other hand, a 'rush program' could be created by simultaneously implementing Options 1-3. Estimates of yearly funding requirements for various options are provided.