Articles filed under Noise from New York
Cohocton Wind Farm leaseholder Hal E. Graham told north country residents Wednesday night about the noise and other effects the 50-turbine wind farm has had on his and his neighbors' lives. Mr. Graham has one turbine on his property, 2,000 feet from his house. A neighbor has one 1,050 feet away from Mr. Graham's house. ...
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.
The new study was done by Paul D. Schomer of Schomer & Associates Inc., Champaign, Ill. Mr. Schomer is chairman of the International Organization for Standardization working group on environmental noise and chairman of the American National Standards committee on noise, among other leadership roles in noise measurement. The finding contradicts the studies done by Hessler Associates Inc., Haymarket, Va., for the draft environmental impact statement of BP Alternative Energy's Cape Vincent Wind Farm and supplemental draft environmental impact statement of Acciona Energy North America's St. Lawrence Wind Farm.
Under the proposed regulations, noise levels also would need to fall to 40 decibels at receptors, such as dwellings or businesses. The ministry said a turbine with a sound power level of 106 decibels would have to meet a setback of 950 meters, or about 3,100 feet, from the nearest house or business.
The big blades have been welcomed by many, including Gov. Jennifer Granholm, as they've gone up in the farm fields of Huron County in recent years. But a handful of people who live near some of the 46 turbines at a wind park in Bingham and Sheridan townships are now complaining about ongoing noise and rumble from the 300-foot-tall renewable energy generators.
The company has a detailed complaint resolution process which it made available Thursday to The Daily News. It also has a 24-hour telephone hotline for reporting turbine issues. "We encourage people if they have a concern that they should call that number, and we check it daily," said Project Manager Eric Miller. "We keep a log of who calls."
"Since we've owned this home, I had no health problems previously," says a somewhat sleepless Jessica Nuhn. "I'm a registered nurse -- a critical care nurse. I've got my bachelor's degree and I know about health. "Since the turbines have been spinning, I've had headaches ... The noise has kept me up at night, the noise gives me headaches, the noise crushes my sinuses." Nuhn says she's never had sinus problems before, and now she sees floating spots, for which she's seeing a doctor.
We, the people who love Orangeville do not choose to have our homes and recreational areas turned into an industrial zone for any amount of money! We do not choose to suffer from effects of high unbearable amounts of noise and turn our quiet countryside into an unsuitable place to raise our families as a result of now, introducing an industrial park that will intrude into our midst. ...It would seem that no stone should be left unturned in comprehensively examining the likely adverse impacts of large-scale wind facilities. Industrial-scale projects must be safely sited.
Members of the Orleans Wind Committee discussed possible enforcement mechanisms at their meeting Tuesday night. One aspect is noise level enforcement. The committee agreed April 28 that audible and low-frequency noise should not exceed five decibels above ambient noise at nonparticipating property lines. The members asked if there could be an automatic monitoring system.
The Town of Lyme wants the state Department of Environmental Conservation to consider the possibility that noise from Galloo Island Wind Farm could annoy town residents on Point Peninsula. "Whereas the Impact Statement declares the noise generated by this project poses no significant noise impact, the Town of Lyme respectfully submits this letter expressing its concern to the contrary," states an April 29 letter from the town to DEC and the town of Hounsfield.
I was recently contacted by councilman Steven Kula regarding a visit some of Prattsburgh's officials had to Chatham-Kent, Ontario to visit the Kruger Port Alma wind project. I do not doubt that the people Stacey Bottoni and Sharon Quigley spoke to on their recent visit to Chatham-Kent did like the Kruger turbines and had no issues with them. However, that is not the case for everyone living near the turbines. I am in contact with a family suffering severe health/quality of life issues since the turbines began operating.
In an effort to make the Naples Town Board aware of the possible impact of Prattsburgh's wind turbines, two local residents were invited to present information about the Cohocton and Prattsburgh wind farms to the board during its April 13 meeting. The reports from Hal Graham and John Servo raised perennial questions about the hazards of wind turbines and the abrogation of property rights.
Attention over the sound made by wind turbines recently erected in Cohocton has alerted those in nearby towns considering wind projects to the potential effects of noise. But questions remain about what action - if any - towns affected by the turbines should take to protect their citizens. One wind farm has been completed in Cohocton while projects are being considered in the towns of Prattsburgh, Hartsville and Howard.
In early January, the blades in the 53-turbine First Wind project in the town of Cohocton began to spin. It was the first project in Steuben County to generate renewable energy and one of five under consideration in the county. Within weeks, dozens of Cohocton residents went to the town board in neighboring Prattsburgh to warn that the machines were proving to be noisy and harmful. "Don't let (the developers) buffalo you," Cohocton resident Hal Graham told the Prattsburgh Town Board in late February.
The town board sent an open letter to the media Monday afternoon outlining its intentions on monitoring noise generated by the 50 wind turbines erected in the town in 2008 following complaints by residents and leaseholders involved with the project. ...Under the town's wind law, the letter states, there is a distinction between participating landowners - like Graham, who has several turbines on his property - and non-participating landowners. ..."Participating landowners are viewed under the Town's local laws as, in essence, First Wind's co-applicants."
Charles E. Ebbing, retired engineer with Carrier Corp. with nearly 50 years' experience, explained the source and stress effects of low-frequency noise to the committee, which met Tuesday night. Low-frequency noise ranges from a few thousand hertz down to nearly zero hertz. "A house shuts out all high-frequency noise and allows in only low-frequency," he said. "The noise level of low-frequency can be greater inside than outside, because of the resonance inside buildings."
When contacted by the Herald in February about the noise complaints, Noble's Project Manager Brett Hastings said the town's attorney, "suggested that we have done what we need to do according to the contract." ...Hastings also commented on rumors that the wind farm company was in financial trouble, and that the company was for sale.
Now that industrial wind energy is back in the news in Cherry Valley, it might be good to take a look at recent developments regarding noise from wind turbines. A "windfarm" in Cohocton began operation a couple of months ago, and now complaints are coming in from residents (including those who favored the project) that noise is penetrating their homes and disturbing sleep.
"It's clear that the majority of sound energy from a turbine is in the low-frequency range, but none of the information from a wind developer ever describes that fact," Mr. James said. "None of the data for the lower frequencies is collected or figured as part of their tests." Mr. James said communities should have their ambient-noise levels tested by qualified engineers before a wind farm is developed.
CH2MHill, did a good job showing the sound levels in the proposed wind farm area, Mr. Carr said. It found the ambient noise levels to be as low as 28 decibels. And it said that adding the turbines would increase the noise levels by around 15 decibels at residences in the wind farm area. "That is intrusive," Mr. Carr said. "Unless you put people who are non-leaseholders in a bargaining position to give noise easements to the developers." He also warned against making short setbacks from roads and participating landowners. "Public health and safety should not be a measure of a project's success," he said.