Library filed under Noise from USA
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.
Zima said he asked the human services committee to take action because it oversees the board of health, where most of the debate on this issue has taken place so far. "I just feel its important that we get a hearing, a thorough review, and that it's not just left to what I consider at this point a stacked committee at the health board," Zima said.
“In my interpretation, what Vermont’s Legislature has just done is they have declared that there exists an ‘imminent peril to public health, safety and welfare from wind turbine noise,’” Smith said, quoting from the statute. Moreover, the emergency rule sound standards must not exceed an average 45 decibels outside a home and average 30 decibels inside. Smith claims those limits are not currently being met by many wind projects, including Sheffield Wind, a 40-megawatt, 16-turbine project in Sheffield.
Windham’s ban on large wind turbines is “based on the unique topography and settlement patterns of our town, our 10 years of research and knowledge and the support of the majority of our residents and property owners,” according to the town plan. Yet Iberdrola’s proposal has spurred intense debate as proponents and opponents debate the potential environmental and financial impacts. The project is expected to be the subject of votes in both towns this year.
Host Brett Gaskill speaks with Annette Smith, executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, on the current issues of industrial wind power in Vermont.
MONTPELIER, Vt. — Lawmakers agreed to send a controversial renewable energy siting bill to the governor’s desk, but opinions on what difference the bill makes — especially with regard to wind turbine noise — are mixed.
Sandy Wolfe, another resident living within the wind farm project’s footprint, said she has experienced many physical ailments since the turbines became operational, and noticed that her animals were experiencing some of the same ones. “My dog Hank was so strong, and everybody was amazed at how strong and agile and competent he still was,” she said. “When I started having nosebleeds in September, he did, too. Mine subsided because I started sleeping in my truck, ...Wolfe said Hank died this past winter. He was one of three dogs that has died since September, she said.
One remaining hurdle may involve different interpretations over whether specific language in the bill constitutes a moratorium on wind over the next year. As the bill is currently written, next year the Public Service Board will write specific rules on allowable sound decibels produced by wind turbines. The rules would be retroactive, going back to April 15 of this year.
The House bill, which passed 142-0 on Tuesday and was affirmed by a voice vote Wednesday, directs the Public Service Board to establish sound limits for wind projects through the state’s rule-making process. The sound limits would apply to any future wind projects. Wind opponents are optimistic the new sound limits will be lower than existing measures.
Bray said the bill sets the bar quite high for developers who seek to overturn siting decisions in regional and municipal plans. S.230 also directs the Public Service Board to develop standards for how much noise can come from wind energy generators. Finally, the bill would create a five-person Public Service Board working group to recommend changes that would make the PSB process easier for citizens to participate in.
This very sad, but now all too common letter discussing wind turbine impacts is published here with the permission of the author.