Documents filed under Noise
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.
In this powerful letter to the Brown County, Wisconsin Health Board, acoustician Robert Rand explains his obligations under INCE Rules of Practice to notify the appropriate authorities if he believes his professional judgment pertaining to human health impacts has been overruled. In this instance, Mr. Rand is responding to a decision by the county's health officer, Chua Xiong, to rule against the work of the Health Board and find that there is insufficient evidence to show a relationship between wind turbines and health concerns. Mr, Rand was one of four acousticians who studied the noise issues at the Shirley Wind facility. The final report showed that all of those involved with the study, including acousticians who work largely for the wind industry, agreed they had found sufficient evidence to classify low-frequency noise and infrasound emanating from the turbines as a serious issue.
This letter written by William Hallstein, MD, a practicing psychiatrist with over 40 years of experience, was delivered to the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals. Dr. Hallstein is also a resident of Falmouth Massachusetts. In his letter he explains the very real impact the Falmouth turbines on human health.
Wind Concerns Ontario submitted these comments to the Green Energy Approvals section of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), following testimony from acoustics experts at the appeal of the White Pines wind power project. In the letter (provided below and attached to this page), WCO requests that the MOECC review the testimony of the witnesses, specifically that Ontario’s noise regulations are inadequate to protect health, and to apply the information to the current review of noise regulations for wind turbines underway in the province. The White Pines Wind Project, if built, will consist of 29 wind turbines with a nameplate capacity of 59.45 megawatts (MW) situated in within the ward of South Marysburgh and a small portion of Athol, Prince Edward County, Ontario. For more information pertaining to the White Pines wind application appeal before the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal, see this website - https://appec.wordpress.com/
These documents, secured under the Australian Right to Information (RTI) Act, reveal that warnings from the Queensland Government's own noise expert were not provided to the public or passed on to the Planning Department or the Minister for Planning to inform the wind turbine siting process. Dr Antoine David, the noise expert in the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection provided his superiors with a list of nine points of concern regarding the draft Wind Farm Code. The list of his concerns is provided below and can also be found on page 7 of the attached document. A RTI request revealed that, despite making his concerns known within his department, Dr. David's findings were not forwarded to the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, the department responsible for developing the current draft (version 2) of the Wind Farm Code.
With the proliferation of recent research and the rediscovery of earlier, until now largely ignored studies, infrasound and low frequency noise (LFN) can no longer be dismissed as irrelevant. This report shows why LFN must be given full consideration as a contributing cause of the distress of some of those people living near wind turbine installations. It also demonstrates why the Ontario and Canadian governments must pay attention to this research. The table of contents for the report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clciking the links on this page.
The Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines, which was established in December 2014, released this final report based on a considerable volume of evidence collected from testimonies around the country and beyond. The committee received written and verbal evidence from State Governments, local councils, various federal government agencies, wind farm operators and manufacturers, country fire authorities, acousticians, medical experts and representatives from various associations and institutes. In addition, many private citizens had the opportunity to voice their concerns with the planning, consultation, approval, development and operation of wind farms in Australia. The recommendations from both the interim and final reports are provided below. The full reports, both final and interim, can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. In addition, a minority, dissenting report is included.
This critical work investigated the brain's response following the stimulation with sounds at infrasound frequencies was investigated. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) a significant response was detected which was localised within the auditory cortex and which was present down to the lowest frequency presented (8 Hz). The abstract of this report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.