Library filed under Noise from New York
Image of the High Sheldon wind facility taken from a farm in the town. The Invenergy facility consists of seventy-five 1.5 megawatt wind turbines (total 112.5 megawatts). The project went online in January 2009. Noise complaints have been filed by residents living within the shadows of the towers.
Prattsburgh town officials will meet Tuesday to consider hiring a sound expert to draft a general noise ordinance aimed at regulating wind turbines. The board's action followed an initial report by Seth Waltz, president of Avl Designs, Inc. of Pensfield, on his preliminary study of noise in Prattsburgh, the neighboring town of Naples and wind farm in Cohocton operated by First Wind.
Debate continues looming over a plan to put wind farms up in one Southern Tier town.Community members in Prattsburgh have one main concern when it comes to wind turbines going up in their neighborhood. That concern is the noise the turbines will make.
This short video offers an interesting tour of Cohocton's Dutch Hill wind energy facility erected by First Wind LLC. The project was commissioned in January 2009. The noise represented in this video is of interest as complaints of turbine noise have been reported at the site. Duration: 3 minutes 11 seconds
In Mr. Waltz's opinion, the task of writing a meaningful noise ordinance that would, in fact, adequately protect Prattsburgh residents is difficult. Mr. Waltz made a number of extremely provocative comments. One, ...wind turbines produce no constant tonality, no universal signature, making the creation of a noise standard challenging. Two, the most critical issue isn't audible noise; ...Three, because the DEC Noise Guidelines measure DBA without any consideration of low frequency noise, those guidelines are not an appropriate standard for a Prattsburgh Noise Ordinance.
Cohocton Wind Farm leaseholder Hal E. Graham told north country residents Wednesday night about the noise and other effects the 50-turbine wind farm has had on his and his neighbors' lives. Mr. Graham has one turbine on his property, 2,000 feet from his house. A neighbor has one 1,050 feet away from Mr. Graham's house. ...
The noise you can hear may be a problem for some individuals living near wind farms, according to Rochester- based acoustician Seth Waltz. But the noise you can't hear may be more troublesome and difficult to predict, Waltz, of avi designs, inc., told the Prattsburgh town board recently. "There is no way to guarantee you won't have a problem," Waltz told board members.
Laws regulating wind farms and a presentation on noise issues highlighted the special Prattsburgh town board meeting Tuesday night, July 7. The town is the site of proposed wind farms by two energy companies, Ecogen and First Wind.
The new study was done by Paul D. Schomer of Schomer & Associates Inc., Champaign, Ill. Mr. Schomer is chairman of the International Organization for Standardization working group on environmental noise and chairman of the American National Standards committee on noise, among other leadership roles in noise measurement. The finding contradicts the studies done by Hessler Associates Inc., Haymarket, Va., for the draft environmental impact statement of BP Alternative Energy's Cape Vincent Wind Farm and supplemental draft environmental impact statement of Acciona Energy North America's St. Lawrence Wind Farm.
Under the proposed regulations, noise levels also would need to fall to 40 decibels at receptors, such as dwellings or businesses. The ministry said a turbine with a sound power level of 106 decibels would have to meet a setback of 950 meters, or about 3,100 feet, from the nearest house or business.
The big blades have been welcomed by many, including Gov. Jennifer Granholm, as they've gone up in the farm fields of Huron County in recent years. But a handful of 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.
"Since we've owned this home, I had no health problems previously," says a somewhat sleepless Jessica Nuhn. "I'm a registered nurse -- a critical care nurse. I've got my bachelor's degree and I know about health. "Since the turbines have been spinning, I've had headaches ... The noise has kept me up at night, the noise gives me headaches, the noise crushes my sinuses." Nuhn says she's never had sinus problems before, and now she sees floating spots, for which she's seeing a doctor.
The company has a detailed complaint resolution process which it made available Thursday to The Daily News. It also has a 24-hour telephone hotline for reporting turbine issues. "We encourage people if they have a concern that they should call that number, and we check it daily," said Project Manager Eric Miller. "We keep a log of who calls."
We, the people who love Orangeville do not choose to have our homes and recreational areas turned into an industrial zone for any amount of money! We do not choose to suffer from effects of high unbearable amounts of noise and turn our quiet countryside into an unsuitable place to raise our families as a result of now, introducing an industrial park that will intrude into our midst. ...It would seem that no stone should be left unturned in comprehensively examining the likely adverse impacts of large-scale wind facilities. Industrial-scale projects must be safely sited.
This letter was prepared in response to the March 13, 2009 recommendations of the Clayton Wind Law Committee, a committee established by the Town Board. The comments contained are limited to the town’s consideration of limits on the development of utility-scale, industrial wind turbines, especially as part of a multi-turbine wind farm. NY Attorney Gary Abraham submitted the letter on behalf of Environmentally Concerned Citizens Organization (ECCO).
Members of the Orleans Wind Committee discussed possible enforcement mechanisms at their meeting Tuesday night. One aspect is noise level enforcement. The committee agreed April 28 that audible and low-frequency noise should not exceed five decibels above ambient noise at nonparticipating property lines. The members asked if there could be an automatic monitoring system.
Paul D. Schomer of Schomer & Associates Inc., was invited by the residents of Cape Vincent, NY to evaluate the pre-construction noise studies conducted Hessler and Associates. Dr. Schomer is chairman of the International Organization for Standardization working group on environmental noise and chairman of the American National Standards committee on noise, among other leadership roles in noise measurement. His findings contradict the studies done by Hessler Associates Inc. The executive summary of his report is reproduced on this page. His full report can be accessed by clicking on the link below.
The Town of Lyme wants the state Department of Environmental Conservation to consider the possibility that noise from Galloo Island Wind Farm could annoy town residents on Point Peninsula. "Whereas the Impact Statement declares the noise generated by this project poses no significant noise impact, the Town of Lyme respectfully submits this letter expressing its concern to the contrary," states an April 29 letter from the town to DEC and the town of Hounsfield.
I was recently contacted by councilman Steven Kula regarding a visit some of Prattsburgh's officials had to Chatham-Kent, Ontario to visit the Kruger Port Alma wind project. I do not doubt that the people Stacey Bottoni and Sharon Quigley spoke to on their recent visit to Chatham-Kent did like the Kruger turbines and had no issues with them. However, that is not the case for everyone living near the turbines. I am in contact with a family suffering severe health/quality of life issues since the turbines began operating.
In an effort to make the Naples Town Board aware of the possible impact of Prattsburgh's wind turbines, two local residents were invited to present information about the Cohocton and Prattsburgh wind farms to the board during its April 13 meeting. The reports from Hal Graham and John Servo raised perennial questions about the hazards of wind turbines and the abrogation of property rights.