Library filed under Noise from USA
State regulators have proposed new sound limits for wind turbines that some renewable energy proponents say would effectively ban new utility-scale turbines from Vermont.
“Vermont Wind has deflected its non-compliance since 2011 and Mr. Brouha’s proposal to adhere to Vermont Wind’s original methodology ends the pretense,” argues Anderson. As the independent sound monitoring firm hired by the DPS, Acentech confirmed, Anderson argues, “…if Vermont Wind had tested with windows open, Mr. Brouha and the State of Vermont would not be here today. The proof of compliance is in the proper execution of the method and using the methodology that Vermont Wind used to get us here should be the one that ends this inquiry.”
Critics of industrial-scale wind farms say the Vermont Public Service Board’s new sound standards are a step in the right direction but ultimately may not help Vermonters. “On the surface it is a big improvement over the current standard, and over the first draft, but there will be more public process, and the industry will fight against what I view as still inadequate to address all the issues,” said Annette Smith, director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment.
"[Police] Officer confirmed that turbine noise in bedroom was excessive," the officer reported, but because the noise was coming from Plymouth, Plymouth police were called. Plymouth police told them to call the board of health, which passed the call along to the building inspector.
The Public Service Board has issued its draft rules on wind turbine sound that, if adopted, would put much stronger restrictions on wind development in the state.
Town Supervisor Don Bilow said that the town would be seeking an independent third party to conduct noise tests for the Chateaugay portion of Jericho Rise wind farm. Twenty-nine of the wind farm’s 37 turbines are located in Chateaugay, with the other eight in Bellmont.
"During the big windstorm two weeks ago the sound of the blades was plainly audible inside my home, and my house actually vibrated," McGrath said. "My wife had to steady a television on the dresser upstairs as it moved toward the edge." McGrath says he doesn't want to make this personal. He wants data to be gathered, analyzed, and appropriate action taken.
Editor’s note: This commentary is by Annette Smith, of Danby, who is the executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment.
“The PSB has sent us a clear message that we may as well stop filing complaints when GMCW is in violation,” said Melodie McLane, who issued the complaint.
Blomberg’s presentation was most clear when it was most simple, never more so than when he presented a list of six problems with industrial wind noise and six ostensibly simple solutions. Blomberg’s list stated regulatory techniques for wind turbine sound are too complicated, and suggested using setbacks, a mandatory distance between any industrial wind project and a homeowner’s house or even property line, and metrics based on maximum sound outputs rather than average sound outputs.
Kevin Sigourney, who is suffering the impact of EDPR's Jericho Rise wind facility sited in Chateaugay, NY, addressed the Hopkinton (NY) Wind Advisory Committee (WAC). Four turbines are directly behind Mr. Sigourney's home. Two are 1/3 of a mile away. The other two are 1/2 a mile a way. Mr. Sigourney explains how he is at the point where the noise makes living in his home unbearable.
The request stems from claims of wind turbines affecting the health of those who live near wind farms, such as the Shirley Wind Farm in Brown County. People have said the wind turbines generate low-frequency sound, which causes headaches, nausea and sleep disruption.
Residents living within the Golden West Wind Energy Center’s footprint in Calhan, Colorado, have reported negative physical and psychological effects from the turbines since it became fully operational in October 2015. The center consists of 145 453-foot tall industrial wind turbines, connected to an electrical substation in Falcon by 29 miles of overhead transmission lines.
Robert Gaffke, who owns property near the Big Turtle II project, addressed the Huron County Planning Commission last week regarding a noise complaint he has filed against Heritage Sustainable Energy of Traverse City. ...“It sounds like a guy’s in there with an eight-pound sledge pounding on it, every revolution,” Gaffke said.
In a complaint filed in October, the Reillys wrote, "It has been over four years now that we have respectfully requested that the BOH order an abatement to eliminate the strobing impacts to our property which, as described back in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and now here in 2016, adversely impacts our family's health and well-being."
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.”