Documents filed under Noise from Massachusetts
This important letter by acoustician Stephen Ambrose explains how two separate court decisions, one in Massachusetts and the other in Michigan, together provide clarity on what the minimum protective noise limits should be when siting industrial wind energy facilities. Mr. Ambrose's letter includes links to the two decisions as well as supporting background information. The content of the letter is shown below. The original can be downloaded from this page.
Sarah Laurie, CEO of the Waubra Foundation in Australia, delivered this powerful speech before the Falmouth wind turbine demonstration held in Falmouth, MA on February 27, 2016.
This letter written by William Hallstein, MD, a practicing psychiatrist with over 40 years of experience, was delivered to the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals. Dr. Hallstein is also a resident of Falmouth Massachusetts. In his letter he explains the very real impact the Falmouth turbines on human health.
This important study conducted at a home situated within 1300 feet of the Falmouth MA wind turbines identified infrasonic sound pressure levels inside the residence. These results are similar to results from other international researchers with references given in the report. The executive summary and conclusions sections of the report are provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
Nate Seltenrich, a science and the environment writer, explores wind turbine noise. In this report, he writes that "anecdotal evidence strongly suggests a connection between turbines and a constellation of symptoms including nausea, vertigo, blurred vision, unsteady movement, and difficulty reading, remembering, and thinking." An excerpt of his report is provided below. The full article can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Two weeks ago, in the injunction hearing in the Town of Falmouth vs. the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals case where the ZBA decided that the wind turbines were a nuisance to Neil Andersen, both parties presented a 7AM to 7PM agreement to the judge. Falmouth Selectmen subsequently disregarded that agreement and continued to run the wind turbines 5AM to 9PM. One selectboard member advocated running the turbines 24/7 in spite of the Court's request. Hearing this, Superior Court Justice Christopher Muse granted the injunction sought by nearby residents. The order is available by clicking the link on this page.
This letter, written by William Hallstein, MD, a practicing psychiatrist with over 40 years of experience, was delivered to the Chairman of the Falmouth Board of Health. Dr. Hallstein is also a resident of Falmouth Massachusetts. In his letter he explains the very real impact of the Falmouth turbines on human health.
This letter, submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) details the appropriate methodology for surveying turbine noise post-construction. The procedure was developed under the guidance of acoustician, Richard James of E-coustics Solutions. The criteria for compliance is specific to the Massachusetts state law regarding noise and will differ from other jurisdictions. However, the procedure should be consistent for all noise surveys. The full report can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of the page.
The wind developer for Fairhaven Wind, two industrial-scale towers built near residences, has admitted that the sound survey conducted on October 15, 2012 was tainted due to one of the turbines, while still spinning, was not producing power. The developer insists human error was the cause but claims the no intent to artificially reduce the sound levels. The State of Massachusetts has ordered the results be discarded and for further studies to be conducted.
Abstract Wind turbines produce sound that is capable of disturbing local residents and is reported to cause annoyance, sleep disturbance, and other health-related impacts. An acoustical study was conducted to investigate the presence of infrasonic and low-frequency noise emissions from wind turbines located in Falmouth, Massachusetts, USA. During the study, the investigating acousticians experienced adverse health effects consistent with those reported by some Falmouth residents. The authors conclude that wind turbine acoustic energy was found to be greater than or uniquely distinguishable from the ambient background levels and capable of exceeding human detection thresholds. The authors emphasize the need for epidemiological and laboratory research by health professionals and acousticians concerned with public health and well-being to develop effective and precautionary setback distances for industrial wind turbines that protect residents from wind turbine sound. A portiion of the report is provided below. Click the links on this page to access the full paper.
The Falmouth Massachusetts Health Department send this letter to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health requesting the Mass DPH immediately initiate a health assessment of the impacts of the operation of wind turbines in the town.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection announced that one of the two turbines sited in Falmouth exceeds noise levels permitted under State law. The letter from the MassDEP confirming the findings of a sound survey as well as the study report can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page. An excerpt of the MassDEP letter is provided below.
THe map shown in this document highlights the locations where residents of Falmouth, Massachusetts have filed formal complaints due to turbine noise. The map represents the period from July 2011 to March 2012.
This study investigated the possible presence of infrasonic and low frequency noise emissions (ILFN) from the “WIND 1”, a municipally-owned Vestas V82 industrial wind turbine in the town of Falmouth, Massachusetts.
This letter provides a preliminary evaluation of the Feasibility Study for the proposed Salem Wind Turbine generator on Winter Island in Salem, MA relative to noise. Acoustic experts Robert Rand and Stephen Ambrose raise questions pertaining to how existing background noise levels were surveyed and predictive noise levels after the turbine is erected.
This letter, prepared by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, details guidelines to the Town of Falmouth on conducting background noise levels. The Mass DEP explains its preference for sound surveys to be attended by trained personnel who can ensure the readings recorded by the equipment are not contaminated by transient noise sources.
After noise complaints started coming in following the erection of WIND 1, the first Falmouth turbine at the wastewater treatment facility, Vestas required confirmation that the Town of Falmouth "understands they are fully responsible for the site selection of the turbine and bear all responsibilities to address any mitigation needs of the neighbors." WIND 2 would not be released to the town for erection until the letter was signed. The letter explaining the situation is provided below and can be accessed by selecting the link(s) on this page.
This important letter was submitted to the Commissioner John Auerbach of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in regard to industrial scale wind turbines being built close to where people live and gather.
As interest in wind energy spreads throughout the Commonwealth, it becomes clear that there is a need within the cities and towns of Massachusetts for suitable zoning by-laws that accommodate wind projects. To help address this need, the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources and Executive Office of Environmental Affairs developed this Model Amendment to a Zoning Ordinance or By-Law to assist cities and towns in establishing reasonable standards for wind power development. The by-law is developed as a model and not intended for adoption without review by municipal counsel: