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Meeting looks at wind noise

Laws regulating wind farms and a presentation on noise issues highlighted the special Prattsburgh town board meeting Tuesday night, July 7. The town is the site of proposed wind farms by two energy companies, Ecogen and First Wind.

PRATTSBURGH - Laws regulating wind farms and a presentation on noise issues highlighted the special Prattsburgh town board meeting Tuesday night, July 7.

The town is the site of proposed wind farms by two energy companies, Ecogen and First Wind.

Board members gave tentative approval to a local towers permit law, setting the stage for a public hearing at 7 p.m. July 21 at the town hall.

"This is simple, like what we had when we first started out," Town Supervisor Harold McConnell told the board.

The permit law allows the town to charge developers fees for building permits issued for wind turbines in Prattsburgh. The town now issues permits for cell phone towers, only.

The permit fee schedule was not set at Tuesday's board meeting.

Ecogen expects to construct 16 turbines in the Prattsburgh area, with a second phase still under consideration. First Wind announced last December it would delay its plans for a 50-turbine farm for a year.

The board failed to act on a second law, crafted by Town Attorney John Leyden, as a wind facilities law.

Councilman Steve Kula objected to the new facilities law, saying Leyden had not carried out the board's original instructions, which included... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

PRATTSBURGH - Laws regulating wind farms and a presentation on noise issues highlighted the special Prattsburgh town board meeting Tuesday night, July 7.

The town is the site of proposed wind farms by two energy companies, Ecogen and First Wind.

Board members gave tentative approval to a local towers permit law, setting the stage for a public hearing at 7 p.m. July 21 at the town hall.

"This is simple, like what we had when we first started out," Town Supervisor Harold McConnell told the board.

The permit law allows the town to charge developers fees for building permits issued for wind turbines in Prattsburgh. The town now issues permits for cell phone towers, only.

The permit fee schedule was not set at Tuesday's board meeting.

Ecogen expects to construct 16 turbines in the Prattsburgh area, with a second phase still under consideration. First Wind announced last December it would delay its plans for a 50-turbine farm for a year.

The board failed to act on a second law, crafted by Town Attorney John Leyden, as a wind facilities law.

Councilman Steve Kula objected to the new facilities law, saying Leyden had not carried out the board's original instructions, which included setbacks of 1,000 feet.

In recent months, Kula and Councilman Chuck Shick have argued wind turbines need to be sited further away from homes to reduce the potential of noisy wind turbines reported by residents in the neighboring town of Cohocton.

But noise problems reported in Cohocton and elsewhere may have more to do with sounds that can't be heard, according to acoustician Seth Waltz of avi designs, inc. in Rochester.

Waltz attended the meeting to provide the board with an independent analysis of a noise issue the board has tangled with for the past six months.

He warned the board any wind facilities law based only on decibel levels would likely outlaw other sounds falling in the same range.

Waltz said low-frequency sounds are more likely to be disruptive and are difficult to predict than high frequency noise.

Waltz expects to conduct more tests and draw up a proposal for services to be submitted when the board meets again July 21.


Source: http://www.steubencourier.c...

JUL 11 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/21105-meeting-looks-at-wind-noise
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