Ministry of Environment did not investigate over 68% of wind turbine noise complaints received

Brian Hill, Global News
Excerpt: “Over the past two years, officials from the ministry have measured violations of the province’s noise limits at the couple’s home on two occasions, first in August 2015 and again in March 2017. Despite these violations, the couple says the government has done nothing other than order more tests.

The Stachura’s complaints of government inaction are not unique. In fact, Global News has learned that Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change does not respond to the majority of complaints made by residents concerned about wind turbines.

Documents released through Ontario’s Freedom of Information Act and obtained by Global News reveal officials from the Ministry of Environment chose not to investigate or deferred responding to – meaning they did not make immediate plans to investigate – roughly 68 per cent of all noise and health complaints lodged against wind turbine operators in the province between 2006 and 2014. This represents nearly 2,200 individual complaints.

The documents also show limited resources sometimes prevented the ministry from responding to complaints.”  Read article


Unaddressed Wind Turbine Complaints Anger Local Group
A local group opposed to wind turbines is once again calling on the province to put a stop to the controversial wind power projects, after a new report found many noise complaints related to the turbines are being ignored.

Dutton Dunwich Opponents of Wind Turbines (DDOWT), a group made up people from the rural community southwest of London, has written to Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) Glenn Murray demanding he stop any new wind turbine approvals.

Their demand comes in light of documents obtained by Wind Concerns Ontario under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents show the Ministry of Environment chose not to investigate or deferred responding to roughly 68% of all noise and health complaints made against green energy operators in the province between 2006 and 2014.

A list of 3,180 complaints is included in the documents. Of those, more than 1,700 were not investigated by the ministry. In another 446 of the complaints the ministry deferred responding. Complainants reported sleep disturbances, headaches, and dizziness from the wind turbine noise emissions. Read article

Dr. Pierpont: “ISO acknowledges motion sickness from low-frequency oscillatory motion below 1 Hz”

Wind turbine leaseholder: “They’re louder than I expected”

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer
The company that brought a four-turbine wind farm to Port Ryerse last year got an earful about noise levels at a community meeting this week. Boralex officials were on the hot seat Wednesday as 40 people from the Port Ryerse area had at them in a committee room at the Simcoe Recreation Centre. The occasion was a bi-annual meeting Boralex has agreed to have with its neighbours. Also attending were members of the Port Ryerse Community Liaison Committee.

“It’s very loud and it’s very upsetting,” Port Ryerse resident Shana Greatrex told the gathering. “Our whole village has been affected. This is something we warned about a long time ago and no one did anything about it.”

Village residents were surprised when one of the property owners who agreed to host a turbine said his neighbours aren’t imagining things. “I’m surprised I can hear them as loud as I do, and I wear an earpiece,” said Wally Faulkner. “They’re louder than I expected.”

Comments at this week’s meeting are consistent with complaints across the province that wind turbines are noisy, disruptive and interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of property. In telling her story, Gail Lyons started off calm enough. However, the bitterness she feels came through loud and clear in her words. Lyons told the gathering she lives across the road from “one of these pieces of crap that I hate” and that she is often awakened in the middle of the night because her bed is shaking. Read article

Wind Turbine Highlights Unifor’s Hypocrisy On Noise Hazards

o-WIND-TURBINE-570Karen Hunter, Huffington Post
The National Day of Mourning sends “a strong message to all governments of their obligation and responsibility to strongly enforce health and safety laws and regulations,” says Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector union, formerly the CAW.

There’s a “serious lack of commitment,” Unifor says of the provincial government, “to enforce the health and safety protections that we have fought for,” so “unfortunately, the suffering continues.” One of the hazardous dangers flagged by the union on its website notice is noise.

Meanwhile, a new online petition targets Unifor for its failure to comply with provincial health and safety protections, specifically noise regulations.

Unifor owns and operates the controversial CAW Wind Turbine, located on its property in Port Elgin, Ontario on the shore of Lake Huron. The turbine began operation in 2013 to generate money for the union. At the time, the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) approved the turbine on the condition that the Union would conduct noise audits within the first two years of operation and provide MOE with the results.

Now, as the turbine begins its fourth year of operation, the tests and results are, at a minimum, two years late.

MOE knew — as did everyone else — how important noise monitoring would be. Unifor’s turbine is located just 210 metres from the nearest home, less than half of the 550-metre distance required by provincial noise regulations. MOE approved Unifor’s turbine after the union had the community’s zoning changed from a rural tourist/recreational classification to city semi-urban to allow for increased noise.

To further address noise levels, the union stated that its powerful 800kw turbine would operate at just 500kw (despite reduced revenue generation) and that it would self-monitor its operation. Since its startup, Unifor and MOE have received hundreds of noise complaints, day and night, from the nearly 200 families who live within the turbine’s 550-metre radius. Still, the noise testing has not been done.

Back in 2013, during the turbine’s first six months of operation, 140 noise complaints prompted town council to pass a motion asking the CAW to honour President Ken Lewenza’s commitment to shut down the turbine if it harmed residents. The union dismissed the request. Read article

17 sperm whales die after becoming disoriented in the North Sea… that also happens to have 1600+ offshore wind turbines

slide_474958_6479646_freeBBC
Five sperm whales have washed up on beaches in Lincolnshire and Norfolk. They are thought to belong to the same all-male pod as 12 others that were found dead around the Netherlands and Germany last week. Read more


 

 

Impacts of Noise from Wind Farm Construction and Installation on Large Whales A Brief Summary“, by Karen Stamieszkin, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies
“Wind turbine operation also creates noise that may affect right whales and other cetaceans. Noise from operating turbines can reach a marine mammal through an initially waterborne, airborne, or substrate- borne path. Aerodynamic vibrations caused by the rotating blades travels through the air before reaching the water and then the animal. Vibrations from the structure itself will enter the water directly. Vibrations from the nacelle (the housing for the energy generating components of the turbine) will depend upon mechanical refinement and construction, and will transmit down the structure, becoming waterborne noise, as well as through the air. Vibration from this source may increase over time as the mechanical components wear. Vibrations transmitting from the base of the turbine must propagate through sediment before becoming waterborne; therefore these noise levels also depend upon substrate composition. Generally, sounds produced from operating turbines are harmonics of the rotational frequency of the blades (Nedwell & Howell 2004).”

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List of Offshore Wind Developments in the North Sea

beached whale

From Wind Turbine Syndrome:

Germany: Sick by infrasound from wind turbines

Dear Architects [and developers]: Sound Matters

amplitude modulation(If we could add just one more audio to this article – a field, before and after wind turbines.)

New York Times, By Micheal Kimmelman
We talk about how cities and buildings look. We call places landmarks or eyesores. But we rarely talk about how architecture sounds, aside from when a building or room is noisy.

The spaces we design and inhabit all have distinctive sounds. The reading rooms at the New York Public Library have an overlay of rich sound. Your office may be a big room in a glass building with rows of cubicles where people stare into computer screens.
It may be sealed off from the outside, and you may think it is quiet.

Is it?

Often the sound of a place is so pervasive that we stop noticing what we hear. Or we think the sound could not be otherwise — that is, until we, say, turn off the buzzing overhead lights.

Compare, for instance, the ear-shattering subway platform in New York City with a relatively silent station in Paris, where trains slide into platforms on whooshing wheels: Read article (and listen to the audio)

St. Columban wind project causing strife with resident’s health

health hazardSeaforth Huron Expositor
During a community liaison meeting in Seaforth at Huron East’s town hall, an engineer who works on several turbines in St. Columban admitted to the public that most statements made by consultants that residents will “never hear” the large fans are dishonesties.

It was a full community conference with almost every chair filled in the council chambers joined by the HEAT group, Veresen Inc., Huron East council members and a few locals. For all those who came, coffee, donuts and a fruit tray were available free of charge. The voice of the HEAT, Jeanne Melady and Gerry Ryan were front-row ready with pens and paper. The two have been present at three out of the last four Huron East council meeting. They expressed their needs to the political gang numerous times, a primary concern was that HEAT did not know who to call. Today was the day to move forward and be heard by the wind turbine company. At a previous council meeting, Huron East was optimistic and sure several questions would be answered at this function.

Dennis Mueller, a representative for the community liaison committee started the two-hour session by directing questions and complaints from members of 14 households that live near these wind turbines. These inquiries were aimed at Veresen Inc. and the senior engineer. Mueller put all these objections on a screen so the public could view these alleged accusations. Read article

Wind turbine noise

Trying to live with wind turbines: Co. Wexford, Ireland

Ontario wants wind turbines closer than 550m from homes: “new models are taller and quieter” ?!

2014_05140205Just when you didn’t think it could get worse, the Ontario government shows they are more vicious than imaginable. They want to put LARGER turbines CLOSER to homes, farms and schools! They are looking to do away with the meagre 550m setback to accomplish this.


Comment Period: 45 days: submissions may be made between August 04, 2015 and September 18, 2015

Environmental Registry

Updates and clarifications to the “Noise Guidelines for Wind Farms”

Description of Regulation:
O. Reg. 359/09 Renewable Energy Approvals under Part V.0.1 of the Act (REA regulation) is intended to support the Ontario Government’s Green Energy initiative to expand renewable energy generation, encourage energy conservation and promote the creation of clean energy jobs, while upholding our commitment to protecting the environment. The renewable energy approval (REA) process is based on clearly communicated complete submission requirements, whereby proponents of renewable energy projects know in advance what studies and reports are expected of them in preparing a complete application for a REA.

The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) is proposing amendments to the REA regulation to reflect the most recent Canadian Standards Association (CSA) 2013 Noise Standard, “Wind Turbine Generator Systems: Acoustic Noise Measurement Techniques”. The CSA Standard is used by proponents for the purposes of determining the sound power level of wind turbines under the REA regulation. The amendments also address advancements in wind turbine technology, issues related to operational flexibility and continued protection of noise receptors. An amendment is also being proposed that relates to the natural feature protection and assessment sections of the REA regulation to reflect current practices in the province. Additional minor amendments are also being proposed to clarify other aspects of the REA regulation.

The ministry is also proposing updates to the Noise Guidelines for Wind Farms. For more details on the proposed changes to the Noise Guidelines for Wind Farms, a link has been provided to the associated Environmental Registry posting.

Descriptions of the key proposed regulatory amendments can be found below.

Adoption of 2013 CSA standard (CAN/CSA-IEC 61400-11, Wind turbines — Part 11: Acoustic noise measurement techniques) 

MOECC’s REA Regulation currently references the CSA 2007 Noise Standard, “Wind Turbine Generator Systems: Acoustic Noise Measurement Techniques”.

An amendment is being proposed to adopt the most recent 2013 CSA standard (CAN/CSA-IEC 61400-11, Wind turbines — Part 11: Acoustic noise measurement techniques) to replace the existing CSA 2007 Noise Standard.

The CSA standard is referenced in the definition of “sound power level” in the REA Regulation and is used by proponents to determine wind facility classification. It is also referenced in the specifications report, which all proponents of Class 3, 4 and 5 wind facilities are required to submit as part of a complete REA application.
Proposed Modifications to the Definition of “sound power level”

To reflect the ministry’s conservative approach to dealing with noise emissions from wind turbines and to support the adoption of the 2013 CSA standard, three amendments are being proposed to the definition of “sound power level” in the REA Regulation to provide clarity:

Clarify that the definition of “sound power level” refers to the rating expressed as an “apparent” value.

This amendment would re-affirm MOECC’s current requirement of the use of the “apparent” sound power level when conducting a noise assessment, and is reflective of the value used by other jurisdictions.
Modify definition to require the inclusion of the positive uncertainty value.

The ministry does not currently require the inclusion of manufacturers’ uncertainty values in its definition of “sound power level”. The “uncertainty value” is a +/- value assigned under the CSA standard to account for potential range of uncertainty in the sound power level rating of a wind turbine.

The ministry is taking the conservative approach in requiring proponents to include the positive uncertainty value, given by a manufacturer of the wind turbines under the CSA Standard, as a conservative value to be accounted for in noise assessments for their project.
Clarify that proponents are not required to use a rounded value when conducting a noise assessment in accordance with the ministry’s Noise Guidelines for Wind Farms.

Proposed Changes to the Classification of Wind Facilities and the Application of the 550 Setback 

Due to technological advancements of wind turbines, such that new models are taller and quieter, amendments are being proposed to the wind facility classification table and to the 550 metre setback. The purpose of the proposed changes is to ensure that all wind turbines used on a commercial scale continue to meet all of the comprehensive standards in the REA regulation that were designed to be protective of human health and the environment.

The proposed regulatory amendment is to include a wind turbine hub height of 70 metres as additional criteria to the existing wind facility classification requirements of greatest sound power level (expressed in dBA). Complementary amendments would also be made throughout the regulation including the provisions governing the noise setbacks.  Continue reading

Dr. Swinbanks: Direct Experience of Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound within a Windfarm Community

[This paper was to be presented at the Glasgow International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise last week, but Dr. Swinbanks was relegated to only presenting his poster. Typical of this whole wind fraud – silencing the voices that speak the truth. So let’s do our part and share Dr. Swinbanks report far and wide!!]

Direct Experience of Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound within a Windfarm Community

swinbanks6th International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise
Glasgow 20-23 April 2015
M.A.Swinbanks, MAS Research Ltd
8 Pentlands Court, Cambridge CB4 1JN
E-mail: malcva@msn.com

Summary
The author first became aware of the adverse health problems associated with infrasound many years ago in 1974, when an aero-engine manufacturer approached him to consider the problems that office personnel were experiencing close to engine test facilities. He had been conducting research into the active control of sound, and the question was posed as to whether active sound control could be used to address this problem. At that time, this research was in its infancy, and the scale of the problem clearly lay outside practical implementation. Five years later, however, the author was asked to address a related problem associated with the low-frequency noise of a 15,000SHP ground-based gas-turbine compressor installation, having a 40 foot high, 10 foot diameter exhaust stack. This problem was of a more tractable scale, and the author and his colleagues successfully reduced the low-frequency noise of the installation by over 12dB. He subsequently was requested to address a similar installation of significantly greater size and power, again with accurately predicted results.

As a consequence of this and subsequent work, the author has gained considerable experience of the disturbing effects of low-frequency noise and infrasound. So when he first became aware of the nature of adverse health reports from windfarm residents, they were immediately recognisable as effects with which he had been familiar for as many as 35 years.

Since late 2009, the author has lived part-time within a Michigan community where wind turbines have been increasingly deployed. Consequently he has had significant interaction with residents whose lives and well-being have been damaged, and moreover has experienced the associated very severe effects directly, at first hand. His resultant perspective is thus based on both detailed theoretical analysis, and extensive personal, practical experience. Read full paper

Watch: Inquiry on Wind Turbine Noise in Australia

TodayTonight

The scientist told to keep silent while the community demand full disclosure and the coming clash with the local EPA

today

 Hansard from the Senate Inquiry 

Must Watch: Cape Bridgewater report that has the wind industry in a spin

TodayTonight
It’s being hailed a world first by some… The study into the Cape Bridgewater wind farm in Victoria’s south west could have far reaching implications for South Australia’s wind energy industry…. A breakthrough that may hold the key to solving a mystery… others however, have labelled it an atrocious piece of research.
bridgewater

Suncor wants much of Plympton-Wyoming’s noise bylaw axed

turbine-noiseThe Independant
A Suncor Energy representative calls Plympton-Wyoming’s noise bylaw “a novel approach” but wants much of the bylaw changed. Suncor Energy is planning a 43-industrial turbine project around Camlachie. It’s the subject of an Environmental Review Tribunal Hearing. But the town has written and passed a noise bylaw to make sure residents aren’t bothered but low-level sound – called infrasound. While the bylaw was passed, under the Municipal Act, people can ask for changes for up to a year.

Chris Scott was at Plympton-Wyoming Council recently to outline the company’s concerns with the bylaw which Suncor says “are concepts that are not well defined and not accepted by the general consensus of (acoustical) industry standards.” While the noise bylaw wouldn’t stop Suncor from building the project, Scott says operating it would be another thing. The bylaw, he says, amounts to an “outright ban on infrasound” and “the testing methods are vague and inadequately defined.”

Scott says everything, including people, emit infrasound, making it impossible to turn on the turbines. And he suggested it would be difficult to measure low-level noise. Scott says there are instruments to measure the lower limits of infrasound as Plympton-Wyoming’s bylaw suggests, but “they are not typically available…and should be struck from the bylaw.” Read article

Canadian research boosts Cooper’s case on turbines

MannVanderkooyGraham Lloyd, The Australian
[excerpt] Mr Cooper has received further support for his work at Cape Bridgewater from computer scientists in Canada who have been working to record sub-audible noise or infrasound from wind turbines since 2013.

Richard Mann, at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, said scientists there had arrived at a similar position to Mr Cooper despite working in a different way.

“Our results show that wind turbines emit a characteristic pulsation (change in barometric pressure) that repeats with every blade passage,” Professor Mann said.“This is consistent with the infra sound ‘signature’ you have reported.”

The Waterloo University research did not consider health effects from wind turbine infrasound. But Professor Mann said: “I join the many scientists and experts worldwide requesting a thorough investigation of wind turbine noise.” Read article

Timeline: 3 Decades of Wind Industry Deception

From Stop These Things

timeline

A little while back, a Scottish pen-smith posed a little rhetorical on the subtle art of skulduggery:

Oh, what a tangled web we weave

When first we practise to deceive!

There have been few industries that have had more practice, and as much success, in that subtle art, as the wind industry.

STT has popped up 880 posts in the, just over, two years since we cranked into gear – on our mission to destroy the wind industry.

A fair slice of them have concerned the topic of the adverse health effects caused by turbine generated incessant low-frequency noise and infrasound; the woefully inadequate, indeed, utterly irrelevant noise standards written by the wind industry; and the institutional corruption that:

a) allowed those standards to become the “benchmarks” in the first place; and

b) witnesses public authorities, with a responsibility to protect public health, not only sitting on their hands, but barracking in favour of the wind industry, at the expense of the very people these planning and public health agencies and authorities are paid handsomely to protect. Read article

Noise pollution is making us oblivious to the sound of nature, says researcher

Why natural sounds might be calming to people is unclear, but Fristrup speculates that over millions of years of evolution, we may have come to associate the more tranquil sounds of the natural world with safety. “I suspect there’s something about these intact soundscapes that reminds our ancestral brains of a place that’s safe, where there’s no sense of a predator nearby, and that these more cluttered soundscapes are problematic for us because we know we’ve lost that surveillance capability,” he said.

trees1The Guardian
The tranquil chorus of the natural world is in danger of being lost to today’s generation as people screen out the noises that surround them, a senior US researcher warns. Rising levels of background noise in some areas threaten to make people oblivious to the uplifting sounds of birdsong, trickling water, and trees rustling in the wind, which can often be heard even in urban centres, said Kurt Fristrup, a senior scientist at the US National Park Service.

The problem was exacerbated by people listening to iPods through their earphones instead of tuning in to the birds and other sounds of nature that can easily be drowned out by traffic, music and others noises, he said. “This learned deafness is a real issue,” Fristrup told the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in San Jose. “We are conditioning ourselves to ignore the information coming into our ears.”

“This gift that we are born with – to reach out and hear things hundreds of metres away, all these incredible sounds – is in danger of being lost through a generational amnesia,” he said. “There is a real danger, both of loss of auditory acuity, where we are exposed to noise for so long that we stop listening, but also a loss of listening habits, where we lose the ability to engage with the environment the way we were built to,” he added. Read article

A stampede to the exits

08bryce_1-popupby Harvey Wrightman
In the 6 years and 6 Environmental Review Tribunal appeals we have been appellants to, there has been a bagful of issues connected with wind projects and how they are “imposed” upon ordinary working communities without the express consent of the communities –  in newspeak, that would be “social license.”  Yet the one issue that drew us to actively oppose wind projects (health effect), remains at the top of the list and all other issues really come as a result of the harm to health that occurs, picking its victims at random, that one cannot say, “It won’t affect me.”

So the recent study done by acoustician Steven Cooper for Pacific Hydro has set a bomb off  amongst the….umm, the wind wankers – an all inclusive category for the acousticians, $800/hour lawyers, PR people, the smirking engineers and administrators of the MOECC and the ERT, the clueless politicians, the sleepy investment bankers.

But success leads to outrageous behaviour. Pac Hydro was assured by its “experts”  that nothing would be found; so, acting the bit of the good, green corporate citizen it agreed to have Cooper do the study, and agreed to provide the operational co-operation that is essential to producing accurate data. Curiously they refused to have the study submitted to a professional journal for peer review – perhaps an afterthought – what if he does find something??? No matter, peer review can be done by, well, peers in the field. And so two of the most respected names in the American acoustical community, Paul Schomer and George Hessler, have published their review of Cooper’s study. Hessler has done numerous noise assessments for wind companies. Schomer is Standards Director Acoustical Society of America.

None of what is published will come as a surprise to the many individuals I encountered who experienced the same sensations resulting in the same symptomatic responses and the entirely rational response of fleeing the scene. Now your observations have been validated by two of the most prominent acousticians in the US.  With an ethical obligation to protect the public, one awaits the stampede of engineers to the exits. Some have already done so.

The Results of an Acoustic Testing Program, Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm
Prepared for Energy Pacific by Steve Cooper, The Acoustic Group
A Review of this Study and Where It Is Leading

Paul D. Schomer, Ph.D., P.E.; Schomer and Associates, Inc.; Standards Director, Acoustical Society of America
George Hessler, Hessler Associates, Inc.
10 February 2015

Recently Cooper has completed a first of its kind test regarding the acoustical emissions of wind turbines. His is the first study of effects on people that includes a cooperating windfarm operator in conjunction with a researcher that does not work exclusively for windfarms. This study makes three very simple points:

  1. There is at least one non-visual, non-audible pathway for wind turbine emissions to reach, enter, and affect some people
  2. This is a longitudinal study wherein the subjects record in a diary regularly as a function of time the level of the effects they are experiencing at that time
  3. This periodic recording allows for responses as the wind-turbine power changes up and down, changes not known by the subject

Continue reading

Wind Turbine Infrasound Recordings Shown On An Oscilloscope

Wind Turbine Infrasound Recordings Shown On An Oscilloscope from Kevin Dooley on Vimeo.

Plympton-Wyoming stands behind new bylaw aimed at wind turbines

suncorSarnia Observer, Paul Morden
Suncor Energy and the Town of Plympton-Wyoming are at odds again over a wind turbine bylaw. Jody Hood, a manager of development and engineering with Suncor Energy, raised concerns at a recent town council meeting over a bylaw passed in 2014 to regulate wind turbine noise. Some 27 of the 46 wind turbines Suncor plans to build as part of its Cedar Point wind project would be located in Plympton-Wyoming.

“The noise limits related to our wind operations are regulated by the province,” said Suncor spokesperson Jason Vaillant. “We certainly intend to operate within those limits.” Vaillant said “from a technical perspective” the bylaw would prevent wind turbines from operating in the municipality. “Although, it’s not the bylaws that govern our project,” he added. “That approval comes from the province.”

Ontario granted environment approval in August for Suncor’s wind energy project in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township. Appeals of that approval are currently being heard by Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal. Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper said the noise bylaw was written in consultation with a lawyer, and added that it follows the province’s regulations. “But, we added the low level sounds,” Napper added. Read article

Steven Cooper’s Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm Study the Beginning of the End for the Wind Industry

wind-turbine-signatureStop These Things
Earlier this week, a small, but very effective, nuclear device was detonated at Cape Bridewater, which – before Union Super Funds backed Pacific Hydro destroyed it – was a pristine, coastal idyll in South-Western Victoria.

The bomb that went off was a study carried out by one of Australia’s crack acoustic specialists, Steven Cooper – and some typically solid journalism from The Australian’s Graham Lloyd – that put the Pac Hydro initiated pyrotechnics in the International spotlight.

Over the next few posts, STT will analyse just what the detonation, its aftermath and fallout means for an industry which, in Australia, is already on the ropes. And we’ll look at what it means to the thousands of wind farm victims here – and around the world.

We’ll kick off with the front page story that has sent the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers into a state of terror filled panic.

Turbines may well blow an ill wind over locals, ‘first’ study shows
The Australian, Graham Lloyd, 21 January 2015

PEOPLE living near wind farms face a greater risk of suffering health complaints caused by the low-frequency noise generated by turbines, a groundbreaking study has found.

The study by acoustics expert Steven Cooper is the first in the world in which a wind turbine operator had fully co-operated and turned wind turbines off completely during the testing. Read article

Township considers sound expert to deal with turbine complaints

wind-farm-noise-mapGrimsby Lincoln News
WEST LINCOLN — After an exhausting search, township officials have turned up at least one way to protect residents from industrial wind turbines. Staff was directed by the previous council to undertake a review of township bylaws, as well as those of other municipalities, to determine if any additional regulations can be put into place that would protect residents from wind turbines.

As far as the township’s existing bylaws go, there is little that can be done. But a look to Plympton-Wyoming may have turned up one way to protect residents from the nuisance noise associated with turbines.

The Municipality of Plympton-Wyoming, near Sarnia, Ont., has passed a bylaw that requires an expert in decibel reading to deal with noise complaints. Should a noise exceed the allowable limits of the municipality’s noise bylaw, a fine can be applied. The municipality’s CAO confirmed to township staff they have a sound engineer on retainer to address complaints under the bylaw, should any occur. Read article

Feeling the noise

amplitude modulationSun and Wind Energy, Torsten Thomas
By using longer blades and fine-tuning them into more aerodynamic shapes, manufacturers are squeezing more and more performance out of their wind turbines. But the background noise caused by stalling continues to grate on some people’s nerves. The phenomenon requires more than just a psychologist.

The wind power industry has grown accustomed to conflicts with environmentalists and groups of local residents. Noise pollution in particular has long been a hot issue. Whenever this topic arises, the debate quickly moves into the broad field of ­psychology. Noise pollution always seems to have a subjective component, and there are very few really empirical studies regarding the possible health ­effects on local residents.

The ongoing debates about airborne noise or the possible effects of low-frequency noise have continually led to calls for the distance between wind farms and buildings to be increased. Finland is a case in point: Jari Keinänen, Director of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, has just declared noise to be the single biggest danger to people residing near wind farms. In June, he called for the current minimum distance of 500 m to be increased to 2,000 m. “It may be possible to go closer, but only when there are reliable figures for an impact assessment”, he said. Read article

Adverse Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbine Noise: How the Ear and Brain Process Infrasound

PunchRick-JamesHearing Views, By Jerry Punch, PhD, and Richard James, INCE, BME
Part 3: Adverse Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbine Noise: How the Ear and Brain Process Infrasound

As noted in the second installment of this series, Dr. Geoff Leventhall, a co-author of the 2009 AWEA/CanWEA report, attributes the health complaints of people who live near industrial wind turbines (IWTs) to psychological stress, but does not acknowledge that IWTs can be detrimental to health because infrasound and low-frequency noise (ILFN) emitted by wind turbines are largely inaudible to humans. He stands on the argument, therefore, that what we can’t hear can’t hurt us.

We know that things we cannot see, touch, taste, or smell can hurt us, so why is it unreasonable also to believe that what we can’t hear might also hurt us?

Dr. Nina Pierpont, in describing Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS), has expressed her belief that many of the symptoms comprising WTS are mediated by overstimulation of the vestibular system of the inner ear by ILFN. Recent evidence supports the general view that the functioning of both the vestibular and cochlear components of the inner ear, and their interconnections with the brain, mediate the type of symptoms that Pierpont and others have described.

Infrasound: More of a Problem Than We Thought?
Industrial-scale wind turbines generate peak sound pressure levels at infrasonic frequencies, especially between 0.25 and 3 Hz, as the blades pass in front of the tower. Most of us do not experience the energy in this lowest of low-frequency regions as sound; instead, we perceive a variety of other sensations. When present, infrasound can be more of a problem than audible sound. Read full article

See also:
Part 1: Negative Health Effects of Noise from Industrial Wind Turbines: Some Background

Part 2: The Negative Health Impact of Noise from Industrial Wind Turbines: The Evidence

Abandoned Homes Help Understand Wind Turbine Annoyance

PalmerStop These Things
At the recent 168th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, a session was dedicated to research papers related to wind turbine noise and noise standards. Here are the slides and notes from one of these presentations – made by William Palmer, a Professional Engineer based in Canada who listened to what people were saying and used their abandoned homes to better understand the annoyance from wind turbines.

Wind Turbine Annoyance – a clue from acoustic room modes
William Palmer
Acoustical Society of America
29 October 2014

Abstract
When one admits that they do not know all the answers and sets out to listen to the stories of people annoyed by wind turbines, the clues can seem confusing. Why would some people report that they could get a better night’s sleep in an outdoor tent, rather than their bedroom?

Others reported that they could sleep better in the basement recreation room of their home, than in bedrooms. That made little sense either.

A third mysterious clue came from acoustic measurements at homes nearby wind turbines. Analysis of the sound signature revealed low-frequency spikes, but at amplitudes well below those expected to cause annoyance.

The clues merged while studying the acoustic room modes in a home, to reveal a remarkable hypothesis as to the cause of annoyance from wind turbines. In rooms where annoyance was felt, the frequencies flagged by room mode calculations and the low-frequency spikes observed from wind turbine measurements coincided.

This paper will discuss the research and the results, which revealed a finding that provides a clue to the annoyance, and potentially even a manner of providing relief. Read article

New paper published by Vanderkooy and Mann: Measuring Wind Turbine Coherent Infrasound

Measuring Wind Turbine Coherent Infrasound
MannVanderkooyJohn Vanderkooy and Richard Mann
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Department of Computer Science University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
Date posted: 2 October, 2014

Abstract
To extract the optimum coherent infrasound signal from a wind turbine whose rotation is not precisely periodic, we use an optical telescope fitted with a photodetector to obtain reference blade passage periods, recording these together with the microphone infrasound signal. Signal processing of the quasi-periodic microphone signal is then used to obtain periodic data, which are analyzed by an appropriate length DFT to extract optimum values for the fundamental and harmonics of the coherent signal. The general procedure is similar to order domain analysis for rotating machines and is thoroughly explained and illustrated with measurements and analysis from a number of different wind farms. If several turbines are measured by a single microphone with blade passage periods obtained from several separate reference tracks, it may be possible to retrieve separate useful coherent signals from multiple turbines by appropriate processing.

Conclusion
Our paper shows how the coherent part of the infrasound from a single WT can be extracted from a microphone signal by using a blade passage reference track from the turbine under study.

Our analysis reveals a characteristic infrasonic pulse. We conjecture that the pulse from a single WT is caused by the interaction of the blades against the pylon, while the rather more complex background
signal relates to the radiation of the Tyler-Sofrin spinning modes.

The random component of the infrasonic signal exceeds the coherent part, and this random component is related to wind noise, which appears to be similar whether one is near or far from a wind farm.

Our paper avoids the issue of health effects from WT infrasound. Information on both sides of the controversy abounds in the literature. Read full article

Wind Development a “Hazard to Human Health” Declares Brown County Board of Health

The Brown County Board of Health voted tonight to declare the Shirley Wind Turbine Development a Human Health Hazard. The decision was based on a report of a year-long study conducted by the Enz family with assistance from Mr Rick James to document acoustic emissions from the wind turbines including infrasound and low frequency noise, inside homes within a radius of 6 miles of the Shirley Wind turbines.

The wording of the motion was as follows:health hazard

“To declare the Industrial Wind Turbines in the Town of Glenmore, Brown County. WI. a Human Health Hazard for all people (residents, workers, visitors, and sensitive passersby) who are exposed to Infrasound/Low Frequency Noise and other emissions potentially harmful to human health.”

The context is in reference to Brown County Code 38.01 in the Brown County Ordinances, in Chapter 38, relating to Public Health Nuisance (section (b) Human Health Hazard). “Human Health Hazard” means a substance, activity or condition that is known to have the potential to cause acute or chronic illness or death if exposure to the substance, activity or condition is not abated.

The vote to declare it a Human Health Hazard now puts Duke Energy’s Shirley Wind Development on the defensive to prove to the Board they are not the cause of the health complaints documented in the study, and could result in a shut down order.

Read the Brown County Ordinances

Read more at Waubra Foundation

Fall Winds Wreaking Havoc in Turbine Infested Chatham-Kent

CHATHAM-KENT, ONTARIO, INTERNAIONAL POWER GDF SUEZ from Erieau Road 13The last couple of days have been very windy in Chatham-Kent. Here is a sample of what people are reporting from four different wind projects in Chatham-Kent:

  • Havent slept for three nights….people are telling me “you look exhausted”
  • Wind is bad today ! Been sick all night and today.Vertigo is hovering over my body with vibrations…It totally sucks !
  • I have been suffering from Tinnitus since our turbines were activated in January. I saw a specialist this week who found that I also had ocular flutter. She then had me do some balance test that I failed miserably and I was quite embarrassed.
  • very windy from the South southeast for a couple of days/nights now. My dog has been agitated. I have had a sharp pain in my right ear. Had to close all the windows to try to shut out the “pulsing jet engine” turbine roar. Called the MOE last night (for the 206th time).

    Sadly, this is just the beginning of the fall/winter turbine hell!

Royal Society warns of possible danger posed by low frequency noise from wind turbines

Wind turbine noiseThe Telegraph
Living close to wind farms may lead to severe hearing damage or even deafness, according to new research which warns of the possible danger posed by low frequency noise.  The physical composition of inner ear was “drastically” altered following exposure to low frequency noise, like that emitted by wind turbines, a study has found.  The research will delight critics of wind farms, who have long complained of their detrimental effects on the health of those who live nearby.

Published today by the Royal Society in their new journal Open Science, the research was carried out by a team of scientists from the University of Munich.  It relies on a study of 21 healthy men and women aged between 18 and 28 years. After being exposed to low frequency sound, scientists detected changes in the type of sound being emitted from the inner ear of 17 out of the 21 participants. The changes were detected in a part of the ear called the cochlear, a spiral shaped cavity which essential for hearing and balance.

“We explored a very curious phenomenon of the human ear: the faint sounds which a healthy human ear constantly emits,” said Dr Marcus Drexl, one of the authors of the report. “These are like a very faint constant whistling that comes out of your ear as a by-product of the hearing process. We used these as an indication of how processes in the inner ear change.” Dr Drexl and his team measured these naturally emitted sounds before and after exposure to 90 seconds of low frequency sound.

“Usually the sound emitted from the ear stays at the same frequency,” he said. “But the interesting thing was that after exposure, these sounds changed very drastically.  “They started to oscillate slowly over a couple of minutes. This can be interpreted as a change of the mechanisms in the inner ear, produced by the low frequency sounds.  “This could be a first indication that damage might be done to the inner ear.

“We don’t know what happens if you are exposed for longer periods of time, [for example] if you live next to a wind turbine and listen to these sounds for months of years.” Read article