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RELEASE: Calumet County Wisconsin adopts wind ordinance

Board of Supervisors enacts wind turbine siting regulations including comprehensive sound level limits and safety setbacks.

WISCONSIN (March 21, 2008). The County Board of Supervisors of Calumet County, Wisconsin voted at its March 18 meeting to adopt regulations governing noise limits and setbacks pertaining to industrial scale wind turbines. With this vote, the County brought to a close a controversial issue involving the safe placement of industrial turbines within the county. The vote comes on the heels of intense political wrangling in the State legislature, which sought to assign all wind siting authority over to the Public Service Commission.

"We applaud the County Supervisors for putting the citizens of Calumet County ahead of the State interest," said Ron Dietrich, a member of the Board's Ad Hoc Committee that researched the ordinance. "There is considerable pressure on communities to follow the State's recommendations of turbine placement. Our research found the standards developed by the PSC's staff for noise and setbacks were insufficient in regard to health and safety issues," he added.

The ordinance adopted by the County details the limits on sound emissions from the turbines. Unlike other ordinances, this law codifies the protocols for measuring sound emissions to ensure consistent studies regardless of when a... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

WISCONSIN (March 21, 2008). The County Board of Supervisors of Calumet County, Wisconsin voted at its March 18 meeting to adopt regulations governing noise limits and setbacks pertaining to industrial scale wind turbines. With this vote, the County brought to a close a controversial issue involving the safe placement of industrial turbines within the county. The vote comes on the heels of intense political wrangling in the State legislature, which sought to assign all wind siting authority over to the Public Service Commission.

"We applaud the County Supervisors for putting the citizens of Calumet County ahead of the State interest," said Ron Dietrich, a member of the Board's Ad Hoc Committee that researched the ordinance. "There is considerable pressure on communities to follow the State's recommendations of turbine placement. Our research found the standards developed by the PSC's staff for noise and setbacks were insufficient in regard to health and safety issues," he added.

The ordinance adopted by the County details the limits on sound emissions from the turbines. Unlike other ordinances, this law codifies the protocols for measuring sound emissions to ensure consistent studies regardless of when a sound survey is conducted and by whom. "This is an important aspect of the law," stated Dietrich. The Ad Hoc Committee found considerable variation in noise level studies conducted for other sites because the differences in methodologies employed in collecting sound levels had not been specified. The County was assisted in developing the ordinance requirements by an acoustical consultant, Richard James, of E-Coustic Solutions, Okemos, Michigan who had experience in community noise and land-use compatibility with other industrial noise sources. Mr. James was present at the Board meeting to answer questions from the Board before the vote.

Highlights of the ordinance include:

Audible Sound Standard: The audible sound emitted by Wind Energy System operations shall not be greater than 5 dBA above the background noise level (L90) for the quietest period of the day measured during the pre-build noise study. Procedures are provided in Appendix. All measurements must be taken using procedures meeting American National Standard Institute (ANSI) Standards.

Low Frequency Sound or Infrasound: No low frequency sound or infrasound from wind energy system operations shall be created which causes the sound pressure level both within the project boundary at any sensitive receptor and within a one-mile radius beyond the project boundary to exceed the following limits established in the ordinance. (Refers to a Table of not-to-exceed levels.)

Operations - Low Frequency Noise: A Wind Energy System that emits sound (or causes structural or human body vibration) with strong low frequency content where the time-average C-weighted sound level exceeds the A-weighted sound level by at least 20 dB when measured inside a structure and adversely affects the subjective habitability or use of any existing dwelling unit, hospital, school, library, nursing home, or other sensitive noise receptor shall be deemed unsafe and must be shut down immediately. Exceedances of any of the limits of the Table in Section 79-19 (a)(5) will also be considered as proof that the Wind Energy System is unsafe and must be shut down immediately.

Setback: The County Board also approved a change to the existing ordinance that requires an 1800 foot setback for residences. The previous ordinance specified a 1000 foot setback.

The full ordinance, as adopted by the county can be found at http://www.windaction.org/documents/14789.

MEDIA CONTACT: John Thatcher
McKinley Reserve Media Group
(949) 852-8605
jthatcher@mckinleyreserve.com

 


Source: http://www.wispolitics.com/...

MAR 21 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/13993-release-calumet-county-wisconsin-adopts-wind-ordinance
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