Documents filed under Noise
This important letter by acoustician Stephen Ambrose explains how two separate court decisions, one in Massachusetts and the other in Michigan, together provide clarity on what the minimum protective noise limits should be when siting industrial wind energy facilities. Mr. Ambrose's letter includes links to the two decisions as well as supporting background information. The content of the letter is shown below. The original can be downloaded from this page.
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.
In November 2014, Health Canada released the results of its $2.1 million “Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study.” Despite public anouncements from Health Canada that the raw data originating from the Study would be made available, the data continues to be inaccessible making it impossible to validate the conclusions drawn by Health Canada researchers. For example, HC found high levels of annoyance but concluded no association to turbine noise.
This important study has identified flaws in the current compliance testing for wind turbine noise and further outlined the methods necessary for identifying and measuring the low-frequency, pulsation that isoften times reported by those impacted by the turbines. Specifically, the "presence of amplitude modulation in the low frequency region, that modulates at an infrasound rate, at or near the threshold of hearing" has been identified and may support the symptoms reported by Dr. Nina Pierpont in her work, Wind Turbine Syndrome. The introduction and conclusion of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This important paper examines the issues surrounding wind turbine noise emissions, the impact of the noise on residences nearby, and how public health professionals have failed to closely examine legitimate complaints. The abstract of the paper can be found below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The findings of this study demonstrate that infrasound near the hearing threshold may induce changes of neural activity across several brain regions, some of which are known to be involved in auditory processing, while others are regarded as keyplayers in emotional and autonomic control. In other words, sound that is not audible can still trigger a response in the human brain.
NextEra's Golden West Wind Energy Center sited in El Paso County, Colorado was required under the County permit to conduct a noise impact study after the project was placed in service in October 2015. Acoustician Robert Rand was asked by residents living near the turbines to review the noise impact study as prepared by NextEra consultant, Epsilon Associates. Mr. Rand's report, included here, identified several material errors with Epsilon's report and also found that the project appears to be operating outside the noise limits permitted by the County and the State. The Golden West Wind Energy Center consists 145 1.72-megawatt GE turbines for a total installed capacity of 249.4-megawatts Mr. Rand's executive summary is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the document icon on this page.
These papers document an important debate between wind-friendly academics who argue that those living near wind turbines benefit from the experience and those who insist such conclusions are backed by inappropriate study methodologies and broad assertions that cloud actual findings. In this circumstance, Dr Daniel Shepherd a PhD in psychoacoustics and head of research at AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand, challenges the methods and conclusions of Mroczek et al.’s “Evaluation of Quality of Life of Those Living near a Wind Farm“ published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2015, 12, 6066–6083. The academic editors of the Journal, after granting Mroczek the opportunity to respond, agree with Shepherd's main criticisms. In total, there are four papers documenting this debate; three are attached to this page. These include Shepherd's critique, Mroczek's response and the position of the Journal's academic editors. Portions of the response by the Journal's editors are also provided below.
Dr. Robert Y McMurtry and Carmen M. E. Krogh published this response to commentary contained in the presentation of McCunney et al. McCunney et al. addressing wind turbine noise and the impacts on nearby residents. A portion of the response is provided below. The full response can be accessed by clicking the document links on this page.
This important peer-reviewed paper examines 15 years of the authors' combined experience with wind turbine noise issues. The authors respond to the various responses by the wind industry regarding turbine noise and explain why audiologists, particularly those interested in community noise, should embrace the notion that all forms of noise, if sufficiently intense and prolonged, can be detrimental to public health. They also encourage audiologists to be sensitive to the non-auditory aspects of acoustic energy, including the dynamically modulated infrasound and low-frequency sound emitted by modern wind turbines. The background information about the paper is provided below. The link(s) to download the paper are included on this page.
This important paper examines how wind turbine noise, particularly noise from larger turbines, falls in the lower frequency range, below 1000 and 500 Hz. This type of noise penetrates homes and creates sleep disturbance. The researchers found that, in general, the indoor noise levels of homes near turbines are higher which helps explains noise annoyance complaints. The abstract of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by selecting the links on this page.
In this open letter, Barbara Ashbee of Mulmur, Ontario, together with hundreds of other Ontarians, sent an open letter to Health Minister Jane Philpott, asking why Health Canada has not insisted wind energy corporations report citizen complaints about noise radiation.The letter, attached here, asks the minister to meet with Ms. Ashbee and representatives of citizens suffering from turbine noise radiations. An excerpt of the letter is provided below. The full letter can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Phase I of the Bent Tree Wind Project began operation in January 2012. The project consists of 122 Vestas V82/1650 (1.65 MW, diameter 82 m) turbines for a total installed capacity of 201.3 megawatts. Noise complaints were filed by at least two landowners since September 2015. Staff for the Energy Environmental Review and Analysis (EERA) unit of the MN Department of Commerce examined the complaints and believe the complaints are both Unresolved and Substantial. In this letter with supporting documentation, EERA staff recommended the MN Public Utilities Commission initiate the process for addressing the complaint. The letter to the PUC is provided below. The full letter with documentation can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The Polish National Institute of Public Health has filed this opinion regarding the construction of industrial wind energy facilities in close proximity to residential areas.
In this paper, acoustician Steven Cooper explains how traditional methods of recording noise emissions fail to account for infrasound coming from wind turbines. The Abstract and Conclusions of the paper are provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Sarah Laurie, CEO of the Waubra Foundation in Australia, delivered this powerful speech before the Falmouth wind turbine demonstration held in Falmouth, MA on February 27, 2016.