Documents filed under Noise
This paper by acoustics expert, Paul Schomer, explains how noise at very low frequency levels can be heard. The fundamental issue is: Can we hear slowly surging or pulsating sounds for which the LEQ spectrum is below the threshold of hearing, where "slowly" means that the pulses come at a rate that is no faster than about 4 pulses per second? The short answer is yes, and the longer answer is that this effect is a function of the spectral content and becomes more-and-more prominent as the spectral content goes lower-and-lower in the audible frequency range.
This important ruling by the Portuguese Supreme Court determined that noise emissions from a four turbine facility had resulted in severe impacts on a family living and working nearby. A lower court recommended that the turbines suspend operations from dusk to dawn but the Supreme Count found this decision was unacceptable since the turbines made noise during the day. The court ordered suspension of the total operation of wind turbine nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4 both day and night and the defendant, therefore, remove them. The defendant was also ordered to pay the plaintiffs as compensation the sum of thirty thousand euros. A portion of the ruling is provided below. The full ruling can be accessed by clinking the link(s) on this page.
Professor Colin Hansen of the University of Adelaide in South Australia authored this important critique where he explains that low-frequency noise produced by industrial scale wind turbines, in fact, does fall within the threashold of human hearing and can disturb sleep and lead to other possible adverse health effects.
This letter was submitted to the Victoria Department of Health in response to the Department's report entitled "Wind Farms, Sound and Health: Technical Information". Dr. Alex Salt critiques the report's assertions regarding inaudible noise and human health.
Vermont physician, Dr. Sandy Reider, delivered this testimony before the Vermont Senate Committee on Health and Welfare. His testimony discusses Dr. Reider's clinical observations regarding the health impacts of living too close to large wind turbines.
In this scientific policy advisory report, the Superior Health Council of Belgium answers questions on the impact on health and well-being of siting wind farms in residential areas, placed in a context of sustainable development. The Superior Health Council formulates general recommendations as well as recommendations linked to specific physical environmental factors in order to develop onshore wind energy in a socially acceptable way, taking a quality of life perspective.
This document by acoustician Graeme Harding offers a clear explanation surrounding the debate of wind turbine noise and the failure of acoustical experts to reach agreement on the problem.
This lawsuit filed against Consumers Energy Company, owner of the Lake Winds Energy Park consisting of fifty-six Vestas V100 1.8 megawatt turbines with a total installed capacity of 100.8 megawatts. An excerpt of the complaint is provided below. The full complaint can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
This letter by acoustician, Ray Tumney, addresses a consistent resistance by the Australian Acoustical Society to address the problem of wind turbine noise emissions. A portion of his letter is provided below. The entire letter can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page. Mr. Tumney's letter supports comments by acoustician Stephen Cooper's document on this issue (http://www.windaction.org/documents/35844 ).
Audiologist Dr. Jerry Punch (Ph.D) released this critique of a paper published in Health Psychology where Dr. Punch takes issue with the authors' study methodology and conclusion that human health responses to wind turbine infrasound emissions are psychosomatic symptoms resulting from the anticipation that the sound will be harmful.
This study was publish in Health Psychology. The abstract appears below. The full document can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
Vestas recommends relative noise limits that take into account local background noise levels (where new wind turbines are sited near existing ones, already present turbine noise should not be calculated as part of the background noise).
In this important ruling by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, the court found that a proposed wind project that was accepted for review by the State prior to more restrictive nighttime sound emissions limits being adopted, would still be subject to the new sound limits. The full ruling can be accessed at the link below.
The US EPA submitted comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) prepared for the Shu'luuk Wind Project proposed for the Campo Indian Reservation in San Diego County, California. An excerpt of the comments is provided below including EPA's concerns about infrasound and the potential impact on human health. The full submission can be accessed by clicking the link on this page. This project was officially withdrawn from consideration.
The wind developer for Fairhaven Wind, two industrial-scale towers built near residences, has admitted that the sound survey conducted on October 15, 2012 was tainted due to one of the turbines, while still spinning, was not producing power. The developer insists human error was the cause but claims the no intent to artificially reduce the sound levels. The State of Massachusetts has ordered the results be discarded and for further studies to be conducted.
Dr. Steven Cooper, an Australian acoustician with considerable experience measuring wind turbine sound emissions, prepared this important and detailed critique of a study sponsored by the South Australia EPA on low-frequency noise. The SA EPA report insisted that infrasound emitted by wind turbines was not different from infrasound from other sources in the environment. Dr. Cooper exposes the fatal flaws in the EPA's methodology for surveying the sound. Excerpts of his critique are provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.
The following speech was given on the floor of the Australian Parliament, House of Representatives, by the Member for Hume, Alby Schultz. Mr. Schultz addresses the failure of the Waubra wind farm and others to operate within the limits of their permits, the high cost and inefficient operation of wind turbines and, what he deems fraudulent issue of RECs to shell companies overseas.
New scientific measurements reveal that industrial wind turbines (IWTs) in Ontario routinely exceed acceptable noise limits set by Ministry of Environment (MOE) guidelines. The data show that when wind turbines are present, the associated sound pressure levels are repeatedly higher than government guidelines permit during the day, evenings and late at night.
This straightforward, easy to understand analysis by acousticians Stephen Ambrose and Robert Rand provide insight in to predicting whether wind turbine noise will result in community complaints. The report has four parts. Part 1 is shown below. The full report can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.