Library filed under Noise from USA
A new report from the Massachusetts Department of environmental Protection says in June the turbines exceeded legal noise limits, after midnight.
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.
"Your rush to test this evening and tomorrow morning is extremely curious. ...Not only does this wind direction not impact the majority of your selected locations, these higher wind speeds create a biased background noise level (rustling leaves and branches) that will clearly impact the integrity of these test results."
Invenergy's California Ridge Wind Farm sited in Vermilion county Illinois has produced significant impacts on the health and quality of life of residents living near the turbines. Those impacted tell their story in their own words. The wind industry insists that wind turbines are no louder than a the refigerator in a home or the quiet of one's livingroom. Watch the video and draw your own conclusion.
"The 'Kelly paper' is just one of many studies published in the 1980s by acousticians and other researchers working under grants from the DOE, NASA, and others. ... The acoustical conferences, at least in the U.S., all had presentations on wind turbine noise; it was one of the 'hot' topics in the field." The industry response? Ignore or deny the science.
A group of residents have complained that their health is adversely affected by the noise and shadow flicker from the turbine, which is owned by Scituate Wind LLC, made up of Palmer Capital and Solaya Energy. The town's board of health requested that Scituate Wind hire acoustical engineers to see if the turbine complies with noise standards.
Residents of Ocotillo were informed that the turbines at Pattern Energy's Ocotillo wind facility would be as quite as being in a library. This video says otherwise. The noise when more than one turbine is operating is notably loud. Duration: 44 seconds
Williams filed a lawsuit Friday against Invenergy, the Illinois-based company behind the wind farm, for non-economic losses up to $5 million, as well as economic losses -- mostly related to property value depreciation -- for $170,000. Since Invenergy began construction on the 50 wind turbines at Willow Creek in 2008, it has fought in the courts over noise compliance.
Williams acknowledged the company has tried to work on a solution, but he contends that the Chicago-based company's proposed measures are inadequate and untested. The complaint also notes that the local county commission and land-use appeals panels agreed that the wind farm was exceeding permissible noise levels, but officials have done nothing to curb the project's operations.
Tensions ran high Thursday as the Vermont Public Service Board held a hearing to determine whether Green Mountain Power should be sanctioned for operating the 21-turbine Lowell Mountain wind project at above permitted sound levels. The quasi-judicial board called the hearing after GMP reported the wind project produced noise above 45 decibels outside neighboring residences. This is the threshold that the project is not permitted to exceed.
The Public Service Department, the agency that represents ratepayers, said GMP should be fined up to $50,000. The department also wants the board to order GMP to conduct continuous audio monitoring of the Lowell turbines. But Kaliski, the utility's sound consultant, said that would be expensive.
Neighbors have complained to the PSB, the department and anti-wind groups about noise. The department is collecting that information. In some cases, GMP is working directly with neighbors to identify the causes of noisy conditions. ...Neighbor Shirley Nelson, who stated she is suffering illnesses caused by wind turbine noise, asked for the maximum penalty of $140,000 and also asked that GMP pay for more monitoring.
The family lives off the grid in a renovated hunting camp. They had plans for a bigger home near a spot where Luann says the view is spectacular when the leaves fall. But it's a view she said they will soon be forced to leave behind. "We were going to clear out back there and we were going to put a double wide in. That was what we were going to do," she said. "But now, even if we wanted to, we can't do that, because we can't stay."
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.
Shirley Nelson of Lowell, wants the maximum penalty possible of $140,000, saying GMP intentionally allowed the noise to happen - and continue. Nelson also wants full-time noise monitoring by an independent sound monitoring specialist. ...Nelson provided the board her diaries about when higher noise levels occurred and the impact on herself and her family.
Last February, the Ancram Town Board voted to strip Crocco and Gershon of the special use permits they received in 2010 from the Zoning Board of Appeals. Town Zoning Enforcement Officer Ed Ferratto handed Crocco a notice of violation, two months later, for his alleged dishonesty about the turbine's noise level.
In testimony provided before the Wisconsin Public Service Commission in reference to the Highland Wind Farm proposal (102.5 megawatts), acoustician Paul Schomer provides important perspective on why modern wind turbines installed today are creating a greater risk to nearby residents. Excerpts of his testimony are provided below. The full testimony can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
Reggie Johnson loves spending time in his yard. But since the turbines landed near his backyard, he says it's been difficult to enjoy the outdoors. "We cherish the moments we have outside. It's like a kid in a candy shop when you get the opportunity to come out when there's no noise. It's a blessed relief," he said.
"People don't become desperate to leave their homes for no reason or because it's in their heads," she said. "We have inflicted this technology on people ... now they're getting sick, and now people like David Blittersdorf are ridiculing them. "At what level when you have survey after survey finding the same symptoms do you start saying this is science?" Smith continued.
The owner of the town's two wind turbines resumed full operations of the machines Tuesday night in defiance of the Board of Health's June order that the turbines be shut off between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Turbine manager Gordon Deane, in a statement released Tuesday night, said officials of Fairhaven Wind, which owns the turbines, decided to turn them back on after a meeting of the health board earlier in the day.