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6/28/07 More testimony: What's all this noise about noise?

Soothing%20sounds%20for%20Baby.jpgBetter Plan, Rock county agrees with every word of the following testimony which was made part of the public record during the town of Union's public hearing concerning the large wind ordinance. We thank the community member who spent the time to research it, write it, deliver it, and allow us post it.

Special Note from the BPRC Research Nerd:Please attend this Thursday's meeting at the Magnolia Town Hall, July 3, 7pm to support the adoption of an ordinance with a minimum of 2640 foot set back from homes. (Many of us think it should be further!) Please tell your neighbors and friends that just 90 minutes of their time could save our community from 30 years of 400 foot tall wind turbines 1000 feet from our homes. The wind industry will be sending corporate representatives, lobbyists, lawyers, and all manner of people who stand to gain from putting up 67 forty story tall wind turbines in our community. Their message thus far has been: "We have what it takes to take what you have." Those of us with everything to lose need to be at that meeting no matter how much we'd rather be grilling bratwurst and enjoying ourselves on the eve befoe the 4th. Please come to the meeting an let your support for a safe setback be known to the town board.

And now, some excellent testimony from a resident of the town of Union: 

I want to get back to the basics of noise as it relates to wind turbines.  There have been a lot of numbers and distances talked about, 35dBA, 38dBC 1000’, 1150’ 2640’.  It is as simple as this.  If the head of your bed faces an outside wall your ears are no more that 3 ft. from the outside of your home.  Your ears are always on they never sleep.
The wind developer and power provider would like to have you believe that they can raise the noise level outside our homes by 4 times or more and we will not notice it, wake up, or be annoyed by it in the middle of the night.  Wind turbines turn off and on at night, they rotate to follow the wind, and they speed up and slow down all night long.  All this while we are trying to sleep.  Remember all this noise 3 ft. from our ears in a quiet bedroom.  They want you to believe that we won’t be annoyed during the day when we are outside.  The constant noise described as being next to a large airport.  The swoosh and thump every time a blade passes the tower.  The motion of the rotating blades.  The shadow from the blades crossing your yard at 150 MPH.  If our power provider had any concern for our health, safety, and welfare they would never recommend a setback less than 1 mile from a customer’s home.  The noise limits and setbacks they propose are irresponsible and dangerous.
Sleep deprivation is a well documented health risk.  It can be the cause of a multitude of medical problems.  Annoyance causes adverse health effects.  The idea that people get used to noise is a myth.  Even when we think we have become accustomed to noise, biological changes still take place inside us.  Noise well below the levels usually associated with hearing damage can cause regular and predictable changes in the body.
The excessive noise produced by wind turbines is easy to explain.  The predicted masking effect of the wind used in computer modeling is not happening.  Light nighttime winds cannot cover up the noise produced by the turbines.  The noise created by the wind blowing and the low frequency turbine noise are not similar.  One cannot mask the other.
At a recent meeting one of the Plan Commissioners reminded the other board members of the responsibilities of writing an ordinance.  One item that is considered important was being able to enforce the limits that are required by the ordinance.  The task of enforcement of noise regulations will quickly out distance the ability of local government and law enforcement.  Better to be conservative now with larger setbacks from homes to reduce the risk of compliance failure.
 I encourage the town government to consider the ½ mile setback recommended by the wind committee to be the absolute minimum required to protect citizens.







Turbine foundation being readied in farmer's field. Fond Du Lac county, Wi 

Posted on Sunday, June 29, 2008 at 10:53PM by Registered CommenterThe BPRC Research Nerd | Comments Off

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