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Turbines' noise within limits

Wind turbines in Juniata Township sometimes make annoying and atypical noise, but not enough to violate the township's ordinance, a Vermont company has concluded. RSG Inc., which specializes in environment, energy and acoustics studies, has issued a 36-page report determining that noise made by Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm turbines in Juniata Township is less than 45 decibels, the maximum level allowed by ordinance.

DUNCANSVILLE - Wind turbines in Juniata Township sometimes make annoying and atypical noise, but not enough to violate the township's ordinance, a Vermont company has concluded.

RSG Inc., which specializes in environment, energy and acoustics studies, has issued a 36-page report determining that noise made by Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm turbines in Juniata Township is less than 45 decibels, the maximum level allowed by ordinance.

The noise level sometimes exceeds 45 decibels, the study states, but only when turbine noise is combined with other noises such as those made by lawn mowers, engines, barking dogs and wind blowing through trees.

Residents were not happy with the conclusion they hoped would give the township clout to insist on changes that would quiet the wind turbines they've complained about for two years.

"I kept saying that the annoying nature of that whoosh, whoosh, whooshing isn't related to the decibel level," resident Myrle Baum told township supervisors Monday night. "Would you like to sit at your residence and listen to the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh?"

Township solicitor Michael Routch, who revealed the study results to township supervisors and residents, told Baum... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

DUNCANSVILLE - Wind turbines in Juniata Township sometimes make annoying and atypical noise, but not enough to violate the township's ordinance, a Vermont company has concluded.

RSG Inc., which specializes in environment, energy and acoustics studies, has issued a 36-page report determining that noise made by Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm turbines in Juniata Township is less than 45 decibels, the maximum level allowed by ordinance.

The noise level sometimes exceeds 45 decibels, the study states, but only when turbine noise is combined with other noises such as those made by lawn mowers, engines, barking dogs and wind blowing through trees.

Residents were not happy with the conclusion they hoped would give the township clout to insist on changes that would quiet the wind turbines they've complained about for two years.

"I kept saying that the annoying nature of that whoosh, whoosh, whooshing isn't related to the decibel level," resident Myrle Baum told township supervisors Monday night. "Would you like to sit at your residence and listen to the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh?"

Township solicitor Michael Routch, who revealed the study results to township supervisors and residents, told Baum no.

"We believe you, that these [turbines] can be down right annoying," Routch said in reply to residents who insisted that the turbines have affected their quiet, rural lifestyles.

"The question is: What now?" Routch asked.

Supervisors agreed that Routch will contact Babcock & Brown, the wind farm owner, and point out that RSG Inc. documented the annoying and atypical noise coming from their turbines. Routch is to ask them to address the matter.

Residents Todd and Jill Stull, who have a lawsuit pending in Blair County Court over the noise, said they didn't think RSG personnel did enough testing or testing at the right time.

"The second time they came, the turbine nearest our property was not even moving," Todd Stull said. "And if they're not capturing the noise we're talking about, the study is meaningless."

Jill Stull reminded supervisors that she used a meter and recorded noise readings reaching 72 decibels.

"I didn't make them up, I didn't pull them out of the air," she said.

Todd Stull also took issue with why the township adopted an ordinance setting 45 decibels as an acceptable level of noise. He accused the township of "going along" with an ordinance Portage Township adopted, as suggested by wind farm builder Gamesa Energy, rather than doing their own research.

Routch countered that the proposal involved technology that was new for the area.

"We relied on them," Routch said. "It was a little high tech for Juniata Township."


Source: http://www.altoonamirror.co...

JUN 2 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/20495-turbines-noise-within-limits
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