Library filed under Noise from USA
According to the suit, the members of the family went to live in a cottage in order to avoid the health effects of living near the wind turbine.
My local newspaper recently published an op-ed piece which is one of the ugliest, most main-spirited I have ever read. According to its author, Melody Affonce, anyone whose health is harmed by wind turbines must furnish unassailable proof before we take action to prevent further harm. She compares these victims to those seeking workers compensation, welfare, or disability benefits. At the moment, the only thing the turbine neighbors are actually asking for is relief.
Municipal Court Judge Jane Howlett ruled the town did not prove its case against Mr. Coelho because Bristol Police Officer Sean Gonsalves did not take the noise readings in the proper location. The town ordinance requires that “the measurement shall be made at the property line; Gonsalves testifiedhe recorded the noise measurement from a second-story deck on the neighbor’s home.
A workshop focused on how to draft reports that are easier to understand is scheduled, with the understanding that it "will not be a forum for discussion of the sound standard applicable to the project" or the methodology that GMP is using to study noise, the board stated.
In a ruling issued Monday, Kennebec County Superior Court justice Michaela Murphy overturned a controversial regulatory decision Aho made in June 2011 involving noise violations at a Vinalhaven wind farm, saying there was “no rational basis or relevant evidence” to support it. Aho’s decision, which reversed the recommendations of DEP staff and the Attorney General’s Office, was the exact outcome sought by Vinalhaven’s Fox Island Wind, which was represented by Pierce Atwood, the state’s largest law firm, where Aho had worked until earlier that year.
An acoustical study on the town's wind turbine has still yet to yield any solid results a year after the board of health ordered it be completed.
The findings show that at least some, if not all, of the wind turbines produce sound which exceeds the maximum level allowed under the Mason County noise ordinance. Sound was recorded at five test sites. The data was collected and analyzed by an independent party, HGC, chosen by the zoning board and paid for by Consumer’s Energy ...Four of the sites tested were found to be in non-compliance with the 45-decibel limit.
"Here’s one way to explain what’s happening. Under the Mason County ordinance there is a maximum allowable noise level. That means the turbines are never supposed to exceed that level. When the Lake Winds Energy Plant exceeds the noise limit, that's the same as when someone in an automobile breaks the speed limit. "If a policeman stops you and says you've been clocked going over the speed limit, you get a ticket. Consumers Energy is ...acting as if the noise violation is about the average sound level, not whether or not the turbines periodically exceed it.
Peter Deterra, the recently re-elected Health Board member in Fairhaven and his cohort, Jeannin Lopes,have repeatedly said we need more science before action can be taken to protect residents from the harmful effects of the wind turbines. Given this ardor for science, they have probably already read Paul Schomer’s recent research, but perhaps others might be interested.
Consumers Energy asked the 51st Circuit Court to overrule Mason County's finding that the Lake Winds industrial plant is not in compliance with the county's noise ordinance. ...the utility also wanted the court to issue a stay that would block efforts by Mason County to enforce the county's ordinance. On Monday, 51st Circuit Court Judge Richard Cooper denied the CMS request for a stay and ordered the utility to submit a plan to mitigate the noise problem.
An acoustics investigator is disputing a recently released report that indicated Beaver Ridge Wind in Freedom is operating at noise levels below the noise limit required of similar wind projects. Stephen Ambrose, of Windham, reported to the legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee that he felt the report, which was conducted by an independent third party, failed to take into account noise results from particularly windy days.
Coooper said the ordinance sections dealing with wind turbines are clear and Consumers helped draft them. “The ordinance is simple: One year after implementation, (sound) would be reviewed,” Cooper said. “If the planning commission accepts that responsibility and looks at results of independent testing, different entities would be able to appear at those sessions and give their input. If they do not, that doesn’t mean that due process was violated, it’s just the zoning process. The plaintiff today fails on the argument that there is a lack of due process.”
The board has asked for public comment on the impacts of sound from electricity generation plants on neighbors and how to measure that sound -- what is causing health impacts, what is the state-of-the-art science on noise, for example - and then will hold workshops to expand on those issues. In particular, the board wants to know if there should be a workshop specifically to hear from the people who are experiencing health problems from wind turbines and other energy projects.
One of the issues that keeps coming up is the highly technical and legal aspects of the process used to consider new energy generation projects, which make it difficult for average citizens or small towns to participate without hiring expensive experts. The order came this week after Lowell wind project neighbors Don and Shirley Nelson complained in January about the reporting and said that GMP had violated its certificate of public good.
Listen to this 4-part radio interview of Ted Hartke as he discusses the effects of turbine noise on his familiy near Invenergy's California Ridge wind energy facility. Mr. Hartke moved his family to a double-wide home eight miles away.
The Vermont Public Service Board held a prehearing conference on January 8, 2014 to discuss opening an investigation into the issue of appropriate sound standards applicable to facilities constructed pursuant to 30 V.S.A. §§ 248 and 219a. This inludes wind energy facilities. In this order the Board established a process for conducting the proceeding, as well as a proposed scope of issues to be examined through the investigation. A portion of the order is provided below. The full order can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
“Should the project build, we expect the same ratio of illness and property devaluation as the Town of Glenmore, WI has experienced with Shirley Wind, also developed by Emerging Energies,” said Salseg. Residents, industry experts, and the Brown County Board of Health believe the Shirley illnesses are the result of exposure to low frequency sound, infrasound, and electrical pollution that did not exist before the eight 500-foot turbines became operational. Three families have abandoned their homes and fifty affidavits document similar negative health effects for other Glenmore families.
“This is a medical puzzle plopped into the middle of a very political environment,” says Dr. Steven Rauch, a hearing and balance specialist at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and professor of otology and laryngology at Harvard Medical School. “I personally have no doubt that there is a real physiological phenomenon going on and some patients are vulnerable to it,” says Rauch, who has seen two such patients with a plethora of symptoms, but has not treated Funfar. “There’s a lot of science on it, and it’s growing.”
“Unlike other power generators, the only means of mitigating wind turbine noise is by increasing the distance from the turbine to homes or to reduce the power output of the turbines themselves. If the courts order CMS to curtail their output to such levels, as justice would demand, the price of energy from that project will rise substantially.”
Noise in Sebewaing Township from non-operational wind turbines has some residents complaining, according to a Huron County commissioner. ...Tietz said he believes that the noise complaints are the result of brakes screeching on the 44 turbines that are still under construction.