Library filed under Noise from Vermont
"We are becoming very ill due to these towers behind us. We have appealed to everyone, I don't know whose responsibility it is to look after our safety, but we are now sick. I have doctors' notes. I have been put out of work. I want suggestions," said Therrien. "Somebody is responsible. We need resolution. We need to get out of there."
Luanne Therrien and her family live near the Sheffield Wind Energy facility which consists of sixteen 2.5 MW Clipper turbines for a total installed capacity of 40 MW in Sheffield, Vermont. Duration: 5 minutes 5 seconds
"I'm feeling like we have to move," Steve Therrien said, adding that they can't afford to. "If you're not feeling well, and you know your kids are screaming, there's nothing you can do." The heated debate about wind energy in Vermont has moved to a new chapter: noise.
Wet snow on turbine blades during windy conditions caused the roaring sound that drew complaints about the Lowell wind turbines on Nov. 3 and 4. The noise, which at least 21 neighbors described as unbearable, began early in the morning of Saturday, Nov. 3, and continued into the next evening.
There are thousands of wind opposition groups all over the world. The story is the same everywhere. The audible noise and inaudible low frequency and infrasound are driving people from their homes. People do not abandon their homes for no reason. Noise from these big machines can extend three to six miles in mountainous terrain, with residents within 2 miles most at risk.
"I thought at first they were testing the F-35 fighter, roaring right over the mountain," said Mr. Potter, who estimates that he lives between a mile and a half and two miles from the turbines. "It sounded like a jet airplane over there," said Frank Coulter, a town selectman who lives three miles east of the turbines on the Center Hill Road. A half mile further east in Albany Center, David Lawrence said: "It was like a jet plane all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday."
The signatures represent about 17 households, all of them east of Lowell Mountain. Nelson said the wind on Saturday and Sunday was blowing from the northwest. The signers include the chairman and one member of the Albany Selectboard. At Green Mountain Power, spokeswoman Dotty Schnure said the utility had received one complaint related to the weekend noise.
Luann and Steve Therrien have been complaining since the spring about how noise from the turbines is impacting their family's sleep and more. ..."At Baily's [Luann's daughter] last doctor's visit, I voiced my concerns and she advised me move," she said. ...And Seager's [their toddler son] behavior is not good when the towers are loud." Special thanks to the Cal-Rec for permitting us to post this article in full.
The board said that GMP should look at the value of the land as it exists today on the grand list in towns, with the potential for development, versus the value of the land with the development potential lost because of project noise levels.
"I found the report to be overly complex and difficult. I disagree with some of the technical discussions and at times found them to be weak and at times misleading. Unfortunately, there was no requirement or interest to assess the acoustic environment for potential negative human responses; i.e., complaints. This greatly weakens the ability for regulating agencies to understand why people are complaining."
In light of plans he's heard about other wind farms in the Kingdom he urges property owners to be cautious and vigilant about how close to their homes turbines may be sighted. He believes, based on the view and noise, that his property value has gone down.
While GMP has said it will comply with any noise standard the Public Service Board applies to the project, Margolis questioned whether they would have the tools to do so if real-world noise levels turn out to be higher than expected from the modeling. Turbines can be switched to a "noise-reduced operation" (NRO) mode, but the current project design already calls for NRO mode to be used, perhaps for thousands of hours a year, to comply with the 45 decibel standard.
Margolis questioned McCunney's sweeping conclusion that noise below 45 decibels has a "virtually non-existent" risk of adverse health effects, based on one Dutch study. The study was on transportation noise, which McCunney agreed under questioning has a different character than the "swish swish" of wind turbine blades. McCunney also agreed, when the relevant text was pointed out to him, that the study did not even assess health effects of noise under 45 decibels.
If your elected representatives decide to industrialize rural Vermont, that is fine and well - but it should be done with the same care and diligence that governs other sources of industrial noise. Airports no longer operate at night, and major highways that come close to where people live are built with sound barriers. Surely a tax-supported, lucrative business venture such as industrial wind can step up to the plate.
Albany residents Shirley and Don Nelson would like the state to impose a moratorium on wind farm development until more studies are done on potential health problems. The Nelsons have been strong opponents to the proposed wind turbine farm in Lowell. The Nelsons live in Lowell on the eastern side of the mountain range.
A doctor who has studied the health effects of a commercial wind power project in northern Maine brought his conclusion to the State House Friday morning, May 7. "There is absolutely no doubt that people living within 3,500 feet of a ridge line arrangement of 1.5 megawatts or larger turbines in a rural environment will suffer negative effects."
These remarks were presented by Dr. Michael Nissenbaum at a press conference held at the Vermont legislature. Dr. Nissenbaum has been documenting the adverse health effects of industrial turbines on residents living near the Mars Hill Maine towers.
The public got two very different views on the potential health risks posed by wind farms during a forum Thursday night at Rutland Regional Medical Center. About 100 people turned out for the forum, which was sponsored by the hospital and held in the CVPS/Leahy Community Health Education Center. Wind power has been a local point of contention.
We drove right up to the turbines on a very wide access road. Those turbines were loud! I've heard industry experts claim that a turbine is no noisier than a refrigerator. It makes me want to shout, "You lie!" as is in vogue these days. I can tell you from first-hand experience, industrial wind turbines are loud, and when you line up a bunch of them in a row, they are very loud.
There has been much discussion lately about industrial wind power on Vermont's mountains. The Lempster, N.H., turbine site is often used as an example of a typical wind tower site, especially after Green Mountain Power's Dec. 5 bus trip for Lowell residents. I am a Vermont resident, but I have an insider's perspective of the Lempster site. I own two pieces of land on Lempster Mountain, one of which has been in my family for over 70 years.