Articles filed under Noise from Massachusetts
The testing is little more than a bit of performance art, designed to appease those who are ignorant about the ill health effects caused by these industrial monstrosities. The most these noise measurements can show is that turbines comply with a law crafted in 1962 for the purpose of measuring things like the noise created by cars rushing past a residential neighborhood on a new highway.
Linda Alvarez, who lives on Collier Road, said she has talked to 10 of her neighbors who hear the turbine at night, and all of them are upset about it. "They don't call it a windmill - it's a turbine,'' she said. "It's not just a whoosh, whoosh; it's a jet engine."
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center will both pay for and conduct a sound study of the Kingston wind turbine Independence, according to Kingston Wind Independence co-manager Kially Ruiz. Ruiz said Kingston Wind Independence asked the Clean Energy Center to voluntarily step in and conduct the sound assessment, and the quasi-public agency has agreed to do so. He said he wants the facts on the table for everyone to see.
Ms. Carlson said her focus will be on sound and whether the turbines are increasing noise levels by more than the 10 decibel limit allowed by the state. Ms. Carlson said it's not in her purview to test for infrasound or the so-called flicker effect, or for any ill health effects caused by the turbines.
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center will both pay for and conduct a sound study of the Kingston wind turbine Independence, according to Kingston Wind Independence co-manager Kially Ruiz.
Carlson, who will personally conduct the testing, said the DEP is working with turbine developer Sumul Shah to coordinate turning the turbines on and off during testing so she can measure each neighborhood's ambient noise. In Massachusetts, something is in violation of noise regulations if it is 10 decibels louder than the ambient noise level.
Mass DEP Director of Public Affairs Edmund Coletta says the state has not commissioned a sound study ...Instead, he said, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, a quasi-public agency, is working with the wind turbine developer to find the resources so that the developer can conduct the sound assessment.
Board of Health member Barbara Acksen said she was appalled by Shah's letter, saying "We were not at all pleased with the report." "He should just be responding to the data and not casting aspersions on people who complain," she said. "You can't just say 'Well, these people didn't like the turbines before so their complaints don't matter.'"
Throughout the debate over Fairhaven's two wind turbines, one sentiment has been shared by opponents and proponents alike: "noise is a funny thing." That's what Fairhaven Wind Developer Sumul Shah said in May when the turbines began operating. He was trying to calm residents' fears that the turbines would be disruptive.
Town assessor and group member David Bailey said the town will need to raise $644,000 in funds if the turbines do not operate in Fiscal Year 2014. That number includes $524,000 to pay the debt on Wind 1 and ongoing turbine maintenance for one year, and $120,000 to pay for electricity at the wastewater treatment plant. That is just less than $54,000 every month that the turbines do not operate, he said.
Board member George Heufelder said the state health officials are swamped with requests for studies, but he believes they will respond to the Falmouth request. "They're not beyond moving something to the top of the pile" for political reasons, he said. The state officials should study the health effects of wind turbines, he said, because of the state energy policy promoting wind turbines and the corresponding health concerns.
But for other residents, who live nearby the turbines, they've lost sleep, they feel nauseous and dizzy from the constant noise and the flickering of sunlight through the blades spinning. Some have even had to call out of work due to lack of sleep.
The facts are, that in no other place are turbines like these as close to as many homes. They do make noise and obviously they do have an impact on property values. If the wind is blowing in your direction you will hear a constant jet plane sound ...Whenyou see those 400-foot towers with their spinning blades above your roof you can think about the loss of home equity town officials have cost you.
Coletta says the DEP hasn't finalized what to do with the task force report. The agency is deciding whether to put new regulations in place, he says, and the numerous concerns raised about Wind 1 in Falmouth will certainly play a role in the outcome.
An independent panel of scientists commissioned by the Department of Environmental Protection in January issued a report recommending new regulations on wind turbines. They include that the state monitor existing turbines, study noise effects on heavily populated areas and impose noise limits on turbines depending on the population density of their surroundings.
Sherman Derby, a selectman in the Massachusetts town of Hancock, who lives about half a mile from the Berkshire Wind turbines, says, "You wake up sometimes at two in the morning and it sounds a jet plane. When they said it would be no louder than a vacuum cleaner, that may be but if your wife starts vacuuming next to your bed in the middle of the night, you'll notice. It's a heck of a roar."
"In light of those recommendations and the results of recent sound measurements we took in Falmouth, we are giving serious consideration to implementing additional procedures to limit noise impacts,'' said Kenneth Kimmell, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection.
The Board of Health heard an emotional appeal from Karen Isherwood Monday night about the "adverse health effects" she's suffering from the wind turbines. "Right now, I'm reaching out to you desperately," she said. Ms. Isherwood said the turbines have exacerbated an existing health condition.
The state Department of Environmental Protection, in a long-awaited response to Falmouth residents' complaints about noise from two turbines, released a report Tuesday finding that one turbine less than 1,500 feet from the nearest home repeatedly exceeded allowable noise levels.
In light of the study, Falmouth's selectmen agreed to completely shut off Wind 1 for 30 days while DEP officials test the turbine's decibel level during the day, said Selectman Brent Putnam. Wind 1 is one of two town-owned 1.65-megawatt turbines located at the wastewater treatment facility on Blacksmith Shop Road.