Library filed under Noise from USA
This important decision by US District Court Judge Thomas L. Ludington addresses two arguments proffered by the wind industry. The first relates to the industry's argument that noise standards for limiting turbine noise emissions that are based on Lmax are not reasonable. The second discusses the argument that restricitve ordinances, in this case an Lmax noise limit, are de facto exclusionay zoning. Judge Ludington takes both claims on and finds the wind company's arguments are without merit. A portion of the decision is provided below. The full decision can be downloaded from this page.
This new report examines how locations where industrial wind turbines were erected near residences experienced measurable upticks in suicide. The researcher identifies three indirect tests of the role of low-frequency noise exposure including those most vulnerable to the noise, prevailing wind direction and potental of greater noise impacts, and turbine noise resulting in sleep deficiency. The abstract and conclusion of the paper are provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
MONTPELIER — The Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules accepted sound standards crafted by the Public Utilities Commission for wind turbines by a 5-2 vote. This rule-making initiative is a requirement of 2016’s Act 174 energy siting policy.
In approving stricter sound limits for ridgeline wind turbines Thursday afternoon, the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules has managed to upset both sides on the wind energy debate. The proposed sound standards have been in the works for more than a year, and they long ago set off a war of words between the various factions in the wind energy debate.
A group opposing wind turbines in Vermont has taken what its organizers say is an unprecedented step by filing a public records request with several legislators who are reviewing new sound limits for future wind-energy projects. Two of the legislators have already turned over all the requested documents. Six have not.
David Dardi, who lives near the turbine and who had been keeping track of the turbine noise, said the turbine continued to “disrupt the sleep and adversely impact the lives and health of both my neighbors and myself.” ...Selectman Karen Canfield said she would support to curtail the use of the turbine from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the summer.
The rule proposed by the Public Utility Commission sets a 42-decibel limit for wind turbines during the day, when measured 100 feet from the outside of neighboring homes, and a 39-decibel limit at night. The Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules chose to extend the deadline for a vote on the rule.
The committee’s charge is rather to ask a fairly narrow set of questions about a rule, Benning said, including whether it meets the intent of the legislation that enabled it, whether the rule is arbitrary, and whether its potential economic effects are adequately described. Benning said he’s satisfied the rule meets all these criteria.
Residents in Scituate who live near a wind turbine claim it's ruining the quality of their lives. Many say the wind turbine is causing nausea, dizziness, ringing in ears and sleep deprivation and they want it shut down for good.
Acting Town Administrator Al Bangert said they agreed to shut down the turbine during the hours of 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. when the wind blows from the southwest. ...Officials said since then, complaints have dropped more than 60 percent. But there has been a financial cost as well. Bangert is forecasting a financial loss of more than $100,000 per year whenever the blades power down.
In 2015, the town conducted a study and found that complaints from residents were most common during the summer between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., when the wind was less than 10 mph and blowing in a southwest direction. During the last two summers, between June and October, the town has shut down the turbine when those conditions are met.
Residents of Savoy have the opportunity to save themselves from this same peril (most likely worse, with five much larger turbines), during the upcoming turbine hearing on Sept. 24. One hearing. One night. Make the right decision.
State regulators sided with the McLanes, generally, and operators will now have to use meteorological data to stop the blades before ice forms. The project's original state permit said the turbines would have to be paused only after ice is detected. (The PUC Order can be found by clicking the document icon to the right.)
Councilman Wayne Rogers called on his fellow Town Board members to explore modifications to the town law adopted prior to the construction of the Jericho Rise project to address some of the problems that have arisen since the wind farm began operation at the end of last year.
David Janes of rural Toronto, South Dakota, said he and his late wife had built a retirement home on their South Dakota farm site 17 years ago. ...“But when the turbines are running, I can’t hear the birds. All I hear is swoosh, swoosh swoosh, like a jet plane engine.”
It's all likely to prove academic, since LCAR is almost certain to vote down the rules sometime after leaf-peeping season. At that point, the PSB would have to resume work on a new set of rules. Given the fact that the board and the Scott administration take a dim view of ridgeline wind and most legislators are in favor of renewable energy including wind, it's going to be very tricky to find a set of rules acceptable to all parties.
A legislative panel has deferred action on a proposal that could have significant impacts on the future of ridgeline wind energy in Vermont.
Permit enforcement is a concern raised at nearly every public hearing for renewable energy projects. People want the government to protect them if and when a company violates the terms of its operating permit. It's hard to trust that the government will do that when so much of the monitoring process is in the hands of the company being monitored or its agents.
The DPS requested that the board “reject the proposed sound monitoring protocol and require Deerfield Wind to submit a revised protocol” that includes the department’s suggested changes. The department’s stance was echoed by the Wind Action Group and Thomas Shea, who owns property in Searsburg and is an intervenor in the project permit process.
Under the proposed rules, noise from large turbines would be limited to 42 dBA during the day and 39 dBA at night; smaller turbines would be limited to 42 dBA. ...Developers also would have to build large wind turbines away from local residents by a distance of 10 times the height of the turbine.