Library filed under Noise from USA
At a meeting Friday in the Capitol Plaza Hotel, Stephen Ambrose, a sound consultant and member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering, argued that sound levels permitted in Vermont are too high and are causing sleeplessness, distress and other health-related symptoms.
At a special hearing Thursday, representatives from Georgia Mountain Wind appeared before the Vermont Public Service Board to appeal a ruling that wind turbines have violated noise and weather-related specifications listed in the project’s certificate of public good.
A hearing officer for the Public Service Board has recommended that Green Mountain Community Wind — the company led by Vermont renewable-energy pioneer David Blittersdorf — be found in violation of its permit for operating wind turbines on Georgia Mountain with iced blades. ...The iced blades produced unusually loud noise, said Melodie McLane.
Once it was just another cabin on a Vermont hillside. Now it’s an emblem in the debate over noise from the growing wind energy industry.
I find it interesting how several Falmouth residents continue to lambaste we neighbors of Falmouth’s wind turbines, categorizing us as “complainers.”
The issue of sound, and its effects on neighboring property owners, has become the brightest flashpoint in the wind-energy debate. And opponents of ridgeline turbines, like Rodgers, hope data from the state-funded sound-monitoring equipment will bolster their case.
Brouha and his attorney, Denise Anderson, had contended that it had been proven on the record that the company’s permit conditions were violated already, but the state has decided to order further testing in the matter, in a recent order.
The standards stipulate that interior sound be measured with windows open in the summer, closed in the winter and partly open during October and April. Opponents of large-scale wind power say allowing measurements with windows closed is a departure that violates lawmakers’ intention.
The board was asked to come up with the interim rules after Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a renewable energy siting bill following a special veto session in June.
The wind industry insists wind turbines are quiet. Listen for yourself. In fact, the turbines can be much louder than this!
New Brown County Board of Health member Jim Crawford, of New Denmark, has indicated a belief that some of the symptoms being reported are psychological and can be addressed via counseling. But the majority of the board said the people complaining of nausea, vertigo and sleep problems deserve to have their complaints taken seriously.
Difference of opinion and varied interpretation of county regulations consumed the discussion following the report from Hankard Environmental on the Prairie Breeze wind farm noise study, on Tuesday, July 12.
The panel voted 2-0 Thursday to remove the restrictions and require Highland to comply with a complaint resolution process and abide by noise limits in state regulations -- 50 decibels during the day and 45 decibels at night.
Brouha’s case involves his argument that Condition 8 of the CPG has been violated “…because indoor sound levels measured at Mr. Brouha’s residence exceeded the 30 dBA criterion…based on testing conducted by his expert, Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, and, according to Mr. Brouha, confirmed by the Department’s (Department of Public Service) expert.”
Residents living half a mile from a set of four wind turbines near Milton wrote in their comments to the Public Service Board that, while they’re not trained acoustical experts, experiences at their home convinced them the existing sound limits have been set too high. Melodie and Scott McLane live three-quarters of a mile from the project, and they say certain wind conditions and low ambient noise sometimes (often at night) combine to blow disturbing levels of sound their direction.
Editor’s note: This commentary is by Annette Smith, the executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment.
House Minority Leader Don Turner, R-Milton, attributed Shumlin’s veto to pressure from the renewable energy industry and said the governor’s objections could have been addressed in next year’s legislative session rather than after adjournment.
Shumlin says he appreciates lawmakers’ efforts to give towns an opportunity to have more say in the renewable energy siting process. “The bad news is from my perspective, we have some real concern that it might put the brakes on the ability to build renewables.
The Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy (BCCRWE) of Wisconsin have called for former Health Director Chua Xiong’s conclusions regarding wind turbines and health concerns to be dismissed due to the flawed process by which submitted evidence was selectively reviewed and inconsistently weighed, or ignored altogether. A summary of the situation is provided below. The full request including evidence and exhibits can be accessed by selecting the links on this page.
The Shumlin administration and legislative leaders are questioning aspects of a renewable energy siting bill passed in the waning hours of the 2016 legislative session. The concerns may prompt Gov. Peter Shumlin to veto the bill, according to Rep. Tony Klein, the chairman of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee.