Articles filed under Noise from Michigan
Robert Rand, of Rand Acoustics, whose profession takes him from coast to coast, said wind plants are causing similar health and annoyance problems throughout the nation. "The problems are all the result of putting large industrial wind turbines too close to where people live," Rand said. "The only real solution to the noise problem is distance. Turbines have to be placed where they won't do harm to people."
“I think we can tell them right up front that we’ve had documents from Epsilon that give that information in the past, and that’s what we expect,” Brock said. “We want a complete, accurate sound study done. … What they’ve presented, we say, does not meet our current ordinance.” Paris Township resident Robert McLean asked the board to demand that Exelon hire a third-party, independent company to conduct the noise study, but he board declined.
The commission did not take action on the updates proposed for the wind energy systems ordinance, which originally was adopted in 2009. Commission chairman John Eby said members will again consider the matter at their regular meeting on Nov. 7, and will conduct an additional public hearing on the matter at that time. Any position that the planning commission takes will serve as an advisory one for the county. The proposed updates would adjust the allowable noise level for wind energy systems upward in areas with most zoning designations.
Consumers Energy will have to come up with a plan to mitigate noise from some of its 56 turbines in Lake Winds Energy Park, following a decision Thursday night by the Mason County Planning Commission that the turbines in question have violated the 45 decibel maximum noise standard.
The report concludes "the sound levels from the wind turbines were in general compliance with sound level criteria." But the results also show some values exceeding the limits set in the special land use permit - numbers opponents likely will highlight.
Swinbanks explained that noise is made up of many frequencies, and low-frequency noise is outside the range of human hearing. While people cannot hear low-frequency noise, it can impact a person's health. Unfortunately when measuring turbine noise, ordinances typically put more restrictions on noise within the human hearing range and do not restrict low-frequency noise enough.
"We've now moved our beds to the basement in a storage room," Shineldecker said. "After living in my house for 18 years, [we're sleeping] in a storage room on an air mattress so I can try to sleep . . . so my lovely wife can get up and go and try to teach second graders and be awake in the morning. "We have been up multiple, multiple nights and cannot sleep."
Consumers Energy Co. officials say the company is working to address some of the concerns of neighbors of the Lake Winds Energy Park wind farm - in particular, "shadow flicker" -- although the company says the wind farm already meets all permit requirements.
County officials have been looking at what revisions might be needed to its 2009 wind energy systems ordinance -- capping wind turbine sound at 35 decibels -- to be defendable in court. Turbine developers have called the limit "exclusionary zoning" that essentially eliminates energy systems, compared to the 55-decibel state of Michigan guideline.
The lawsuit claims the plaintiffs will continue to suffer harm, including physical injury, emotional distress and loss of property value if they continue to be exposed to the wind farm's operation. The $250 million Lake Winds Energy Park development generates 100.8 megawatts of electricity. Its Vestas turbines are 312 feet high at the hub, with rotor blades having a 328-foot diameter.
A group of homeowners living near Consumers Energy wind turbines in Riverton and Summit townships are currently suing the company for damages they say are caused by operating the turbines. There are 17 people who have joined as plaintiffs in the case, which was filed Monday. ...The 56-turbine park began operations on Thanksgiving Day 2012.
The Wiltzer family claims to have suffered from numerous issues as a result of the wind turbine's construction, including sleep disturbance, dizziness, stress, fatigue, weight loss, headaches, motion disturbance, and so on. According to the suit, the members of the family live in a cottage in order to avoid the health effects of living near the wind turbine.
Written 14 months ago, the context of the email was what appears to have been a successful effort by government bureaucrats to derail a pending noise level reduction recommendation. The email advising state employees delete conversations was one of several emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act pertaining to the wind turbine noise level issue.
A panel of experts who were appointed to work toward noise level guidelines for wind turbines in Michigan had their work discarded when state bureaucrats didn't like what the panel was coming up with and made up their own rules instead.
The Kobetzes claim the wind tower's motion and noise from the turbine has resulted in a loss of property value and loss of enjoyment of their property. The Spencers claim that placement of the electricity-generating tower is allowed by township zoning and protected under the Michigan Right to Farm Act.
While the report says published evidence directly linking noise from wind turbines to adverse health effects is based on studies of airport and road traffic noise, "there is no reason to suspect wind turbine noise will have less of a harmful effect than noise from road traffic or airplanes," Rosenman said.
County officials began reviewing their relatively new wind ordinance after Lake Effect Energy Corporation proposed a 120-foot, 20 kilowatt wind turbine in Cross Village that failed to meet the county's required 30 decibel limit -- though average sound output for the wind turbine would be just shy of the allowable limit at 26.04 decibels.
Monterey resident Nathan Steffen, who has a master's degree in industrial health from the University of Michigan and has supervised sound testing professionally, played the sound of a turbine and used a sound decibel meter to match the 45-decibel limit. "I'm just here to give the planning commission a reference point of what the difference in the sound level is," Steffen said. "We're simulating exactly what (they) have in the ordinance."
Monterey Township planning commission members hoped to quell the storm of protest to its wind energy ordinance by proposing several new amendments Tuesday, March 11. ...Amendments included a 45-decibel sound limit from each turbine at "non-associated" dwellings, which are houses that have not contractually agreed to host a turbine on their property, and a 50-decibel limit on non-associated property lines.
There was no dead air in the packed Huron County Circuit Court Room Wednesday as local residents and officials heard a presentation regarding findings from the Michigan Wind I noise study. During the Huron County Planning Commission's Feb. 3 meeting, John Deere Wind Energy officials presented the findings from the sound study, which found while the majority of the Michigan Wind I development near Ubly is in compliance, three sites measured exceeded the noise limit set in the county's wind ordinance by 1 decibel.