The Minnesota Legislative Energy Commission in the Senate held a hearing on Wind Turbine Noise and Health Effects on Thursday, October 19, 2017. The hearing agenda, full audio and speaker submissions can be accessed here. There are bills in both the House and Senate that mandate a 10x turbine height setback distance from adjacent properties and other protective measures.
The speakers at the hearing are listed below followed by the duration of their comments in parentheses:
a. Overview of Current Wind Permitting Process: Dan Wolf, Public Utilities Commission; Jonathan Kelly, Department of Commerce (attendees from the Public Utilities Commission and Department of Commerce differed from those listed on the agenda)
b. PUC Administrative Record Report: Kristi Rosenquist, Citizen Wind Energy Expert (00:08:10)
c. Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira, Lusofona University, Portugal (00:23:30)
d. Robert Rand, Founder, Rand Acoustics (01:06:30)
e. Chris Kunkle, Regional Policy Manage – West, Wind on the Wires (01:00:00)
f. Michael Hankard, Wind Turbine Acoustics Consultant (01:17:38)
g. Dr. Mark Roberts, Health Sciences Board Certified Preventative & Occupational Medicine (01:27:00)
Dr. Alves-Periera testified that the health symptoms observed and reported by those living near operating turbines were clearly attributable to the turbines. An alternate explanation would require that we believe there is a world-wide "collective hallucination" shared by those experiencing the symptoms.
Robert Rand explains why a noise standard shouldn't be used to regulate wind turbine siting.
Michael Hankard insisted that 50 db(a) is a common noise limit in siting wind energy facilities and that low frequency turbine emissions are below the level of human hearing and of insufficient consequence to harm people. He claimed that complaints are likely related to a person's perception of wind energy. If they like the turbines they will not complain about the noise issue; if they dislike the turbines they will complain.
Dr. Mark Roberts testified that most people are offer only opinions and not science regarding wind turbine impacts on human health. He insisted that wind turbines cause a lot of annoyance but that annoyance is not scientific evidence of health impacts.
Senator question begin at the 01:42:36 in the audio. Questions included MN Senator Mathews asking wind industry representatives: 'Are you saying that if these people just changed their attitude and would have a more positive perspective of turbines, they would start having a better night's sleep?'