Library filed under Noise from Michigan
At least two members of the Planning Commission responsible for addressing a number of complaints about noise have contracts to install turbines on their own property. This situation prompted a suit by residents impacted by noise from the turbines. Duration: 3 minutes 7 seconds
Monterey resident Nathan Steffen, who has a master's degree in industrial health from the University of Michigan and has supervised sound testing professionally, played the sound of a turbine and used a sound decibel meter to match the 45-decibel limit. "I'm just here to give the planning commission a reference point of what the difference in the sound level is," Steffen said. "We're simulating exactly what (they) have in the ordinance."
Monterey Township planning commission members hoped to quell the storm of protest to its wind energy ordinance by proposing several new amendments Tuesday, March 11. ...Amendments included a 45-decibel sound limit from each turbine at "non-associated" dwellings, which are houses that have not contractually agreed to host a turbine on their property, and a 50-decibel limit on non-associated property lines.
There was no dead air in the packed Huron County Circuit Court Room Wednesday as local residents and officials heard a presentation regarding findings from the Michigan Wind I noise study. During the Huron County Planning Commission's Feb. 3 meeting, John Deere Wind Energy officials presented the findings from the sound study, which found while the majority of the Michigan Wind I development near Ubly is in compliance, three sites measured exceeded the noise limit set in the county's wind ordinance by 1 decibel.
It's time for our representatives, both state and federal, to take a serious look at the possible health effects of wind turbines. It's possible reported problems are psychological, but we will not know conclusively until a reliable test is available. Yes, this will cost a lot of money, but it will be nothing compared to the price we will pay if we erect hundreds of turbines in the Upper Thumb and then find proof of a problem.
John Deere officials on Wednesday reported that while a sound study conducted last fall found the majority of the Michigan Wind I development near Ubly is in compliance, three sites exceeded the noise limit set in the county's wind ordinance by 1 decibel. ...John Deere Wind Energy Vice President David A. Drescher said he was surprised by the findings that showed three sites were 1 decibel above the county's 50 decibel limit.
This letter, prepared by acoustics expert Malcolm Swinbanks, addresses three separate issues relating to wind turbines. First, an unresolved issue relating to low-frequency sound generation by wind-turbines. Second, further well-established characteristics of low-frequency noise. Third, the present status of permitted noise levels and setbacks. An excerpt of this letter is provided below. The full letter, as submitted to the State of Michigan, can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.
A public hearing held Monday served as the forum for a variety of interests, as local government officials, wind developers and residents gave input on the effect of wind turbine setback requirements and noise limitations on wind energy development. ...A majority of the residents who spoke Monday were opposed to wind energy development in their area, citing concerns that turbines sited too close to homes will cause health problems, declining property values, a loss of scenic value and wildlife, and other detrimental effects to the environment.
Dozens of angry people showed up at a public meeting Monday to complain to the Public Service Commission about how their lives have been changed for the worse by annoying wind turbines, and to recommend that if the state plans thousands more, they should be built as far as possible from homes. Some neighbors of 78 turbines in the Thumb area said they are constantly disturbed by vibrations.
In the Champagne household, there are two opinions on the whirling wind turbines that surround the family's home of 35 years. Gene Champagne is bothered by the thumping, rumbling sound of the blades that loom like giants over the house. The noise disturbs his sleep and destroys his TV reception. Flickering shadows from sun on the blades run around rooms. ...Opponents say tighter restrictions are needed. The wind industry says tougher rules will keep wind farms out of Michigan.
Epsilon Associates, Inc. of Massachusetts will be conducting a noise study at the Michigan I Wind Park next month, and the study was a focal point of conversation during the Huron County Wind Energy Subcommittee meeting. Russ Lundberg, Huron County Building and Zoning director, said he and Kurt Damrow, Huron County commissioner and head of the subcommittee, met with Rob O'Neal of Epsilon Associates earlier this month. The company was hired by John Deere Wind to complete the wind turbine noise study.
During last week's meeting of the Huron County Wind Energy Subcommittee, which was formed to address complaints about wind turbines from residents, Huron County Commissioner Kurt Damrow said a teleconference will take place in the near future, although a date has yet to be determined. Huron County Health Department officials, along with some members of the subcommittee, will discuss the protocol of a health study with the universities. Previous studies on the subject will be reviewed to determine their applicability to Huron County.
People who live near some of the 46 turbines at a wind park in Bingham and Sheridan townships are now complaining about ongoing noise and rumble from the 300-foot-tall renewable energy generators. "You can't go outside and have a nice, peaceful quiet night anymore," said Curt Watchowski, 42, who lives about 1,500 feet from two turbines on Purdy Road.
Huron County commissioners decided Tuesday to conduct a noise study of the Michigan Wind 1 development that's independent of one that will be conducted later this summer by John Deere Wind Energy. Commissioner Dave Peruski said an independent study on the existing turbines near Ubly will provide more evidence on what effects the park may be having on nearby neighbors.
Officials said the subcommittee recently formed to address a series of noise complaints the county has received regarding the Michigan Wind 1 development in Ubly will meet every Thursday. ...Damrow said Huron County Environmental Health Director Dale Lipar also was extended an invitation to participate in the subcommittee because this issue has to do with public health concerns raised by the residents who submitted the noise complaints.
The home of David Peplinski is dwarfed by one of the wind turbines that is about 1,500 feet from his property. Peplinski says he and his family are kept up at night by the sound and vibrations produced by the nearby turbines.
After receiving several letters of complaints from Huron County residents over the last several months regarding the effects wind turbines are having on their lives, the county is taking steps to properly address the issues. Advertisement At last week's Huron County Planning Commission meeting it was announced that a committee will be formed that will include commissioners David Peruski and Kurt Damrow, as well as three members from the Planning Commission.
There was standing room only at Wednesday's Huron County Planning Commission meeting, where officials discussed plans to address a series of noise complaints the county has received in recent months regarding the Michigan Wind 1 development in Ubly. Huron County Building and Zoning Director Russ Lundberg said the county has received a total of four complaints that cite problems residents have experienced as a result of the Michigan Wind 1 development in Ubly.
After receiving another letter from residents who say wind turbines near their Ubly-area home are creating noise disturbances, county officials said they still are in the process of developing a way to respond to complaints received following a wind park's construction. "We thought it would be, as we were told from the beginning of the turbine project, 'no louder than a clothes dryer. ...Now we realize that no one wants to stand right next to a running clothes dryer 24 hours a day. This is the reality of it."
The residents of Michigan's Thumb area have been writing about their experience living near industrial scale turbines. Their individual stories are remarkably consistent regarding noise, flicker, sleep interruptions, and feelings of helplessness. The testimony of one Thumb resident is included on this page. Many others can be found by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.