Articles filed under Noise from Maine
Fox Islands Wind Neighbors and other individuals are asking judges to nullify a June 2011 DEP order against the wind power project developer. Instead, the group wants the court to institute an earlier version developed by DEP staff that imposed tougher compliance requirements.
Selectman Maryann Haxton asked how the sound problem could be corrected. James replied that guidelines of 35 decibels should be set for turbines and to require them to be located a mile and a half away from homes. ...Someone asked about home appraisals and James said real estate agents were no longer appraising any homes near windmills.
While thousands of wind power enthusiasts and industry representatives gather in Anaheim Calif. for Windpower 2011, the American Wind Power Association's popular annual conference and exhibition, some 3,300 miles due east, wind power is tearing a tiny island community asunder.
The proposed minimum setback is longer than three football fields, but it's still way too short, wind opponents say, to keep people from being disturbed by the noise, low-frequency sound pressure and vibrations that turbines and their blades spinning atop 300-foot towers can make under various wind conditions.
Rufus Brown said it wasn't enough to let potentially problematic turbines be built before dealing with the consequences. He took offense to Smith's assertion that it was unfair to submit Patriot to another hearing. "That is exactly upside-down," Brown said. "It is fundamentally unfair to the people in this neighborhood to this project ... when there are so many uncertainties."
"This document says that we welcome any development as long as it's not greater than 5 decibels above the background noise during the day and it's not greater than 3 decibels over background noise at night," Aniel said.
Last week, in a letter to the wind farm's developers, Maine's Department of Environmental Protection concluded that the turbines do, under certain conditions, exceed state noise limits of 45 decibels. The agency further ordered the developer, within the next 60 days, to come up with a new operational plan.
Fox Islands Wind has until December 3rd to outline exactly what its intentions for addressing the problems. Within 60 days, the utility is required to implement a noise mitigation plan. On Nov. 6th, the neighbors filed a second official complaint and have more than a dozen additional complaints cued up for submittal.
The order came in the form of a letter from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, or DEP. In it, the department says Fox Islands Wind violated regulations on two nights back in July, when its turbines operated at 47 decibels, two decibels above the noise limit agreed to by the company.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has asked the Fox Islands Electric Cooperative to submit a revised protocol for the operation of the three turbines on Vinalhaven. The protocol could include slowing down the turbines during certain times to mitigate the noise level.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has found that three wind turbines on Vinalhaven have exceeded nighttime noise limits and has asked Fox Islands Wind LLC to modify its operations. The small island wind farm has proven controversial since it began operating a year ago, with some neighbors complaining of noise and other related problems.
On Friday, the Fox Islands Wind Neighbors filed the additional complaint based on acoustic measurements in early November. The State of Maine has delayed ruling on their earlier noise complaint registered in July.
Applicants and regulators should have foreseen the negative noise response from neighbors living near wind turbine sites. By their not adequately understanding the sound character generated by wind turbines, appropriate corrections to prevent annoyance were not included in the noise predictions. Wind turbine noise has a unique and visceral sound character, which may be perceived as being twice as loud as measured.
Building industrial size wind turbines right next to my home is NOT the same as the possibility of drowning or having allergies. I can take steps to protect myself from these things, even move if I feel the need to, but I cannot protect myself from the health effects from wind turbines.
Compliance with state regulations is not optional, and the rate payers of the Fox Islands Electric Co-op would expect it to be run within the law. Baker admits that by following state law, Vinalhaven rate payers will lose the savings FIW promised. ...He has chosen to lay the blame for his poor planning and lack of foresight wherever he can find a convenient scapegoat.
The take-home point from this and other windmill controversies is that windmills are not the magical power source they're touted to be. They should not be built near where people live.
Baker says it'll be a difficult issue to resolve. He told The Associated Press on Tuesday that slowing the turbine blades to lower the noise level by a couple of decibels may not make appease critics.
The Fox Island Wind Neighbors, a group who thinks the turbines are too noisy, say a recent report released by a sound consultant brought in by The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has raised questions about the noise the turbines produce, particularly at night.
"There exists a significant body of consistent meteorological and sound data indicating sound levels greater than applicable limits," Warren L. Brown, who also serves as the University of Maine's radiation safety officer, wrote Wednesday in a detailed letter. "Substantial changes are recommended for FIW nighttime operations." Brown reached his conclusions after reviewing a noise complaint submitted by Fox Islands Wind Neighbors.
DEP Project Manager Becky Blais said Fox Islands Wind will have to meet DEP compliance for sound levels, whether this means powering down the turbines, shutting them off or finding another technological solution. "Substantial changes are recommended for FIW nighttime operations, limiting WTG sound levels at ML-A [a site] to 45 dBA [a decibel measurement]," Brown wrote.