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10/27/10 Why send the PSC wind rules back? What are the concerns? 


On Tuesday, November 9th the Assembly Committee on Commerce, Utilites, Energy and Rail will hold a full public hearing at the capitol because of questions raised regarding the  Public Service Commission's new wind siting rules for the state of Wisconsin.

The public is encouraged to attend and to provide testimony regarding specific concerns about the rules.

Tuesday, November 9th at 10:30 a.m. in Room 417 North at the State Capitol Building: Hearing relating to  Clearinghouse Rule 10-057


Note from the BPWI Research Nerd: Concerns now being raised about the new wind siting rules created by the Public Service Commission were clearly outlined in this request from members of local government in three towns in Brown County. This document was submitted to the PSC on June 23, 2010.


TO: Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
Docket No. 1-AC-231 Draft Chapter 128--Wind Energy Systems

Request by the Towns of Morrison, Wrightstown and Glenmore
Brown County, Wisconsin
June 23, 2010

Issue: Request to delay issuing the PSCW wind siting standards until epidemiological studies of health complaints from Wisconsin`s current wind farms are thoroughly completed.

The towns of Morrison, Wrightstown, and Glenmore in Brown County are very concerned about the mounting evidence that there are serious negative impacts on human and animal health caused by wind turbines. It appears it is not only reasonable to delay the issuance of wind siting standards but it would be irresponsible to not do so in light of new studies and ongoing complaints of residents in and near Wisconsin`s existing wind farms.

In general, scientifically and statistically relevant studies have been limited. But, a very important report was published March 2010 by the World Health Organization (WHO) entitled "Night Noise Guidelines for Europe" (available at euro.who.int/en/what-we-publish/abstracts/night-noise-guidelines-for-europe).

The report is based on a six-year evaluation of scientific evidence by thirty-five scientists from medical and acoustical disciplines. WHO indicated that now governments have justifications to regulate noise exposure at night. WHO sets the limit for annual average exposure to not exceed 40 decibels (dB) outside of a residence.

WHO stated, "Recent research clearly links exposure to night noise with harm to health. Sleep disturbance and annoyance are the first effects of night noise and can lead to mental disorders. Just like air pollution and toxic chemicals, noise is an environmental hazard to health". WHO stated that they hope their new report will prompt governments to invest effort and money in protecting health from this growing hazard.

Our towns ask the PSCW to acquire the WHO report and evaluate its application to setting appropriate sound levels for wind turbines.

The PSCW`s draft rules do not address low frequency noise levels. It is not known whether the WHO report addresses this issue but other studies have described the likely effects. This is another area where epidemiological studies are needed before wind turbine setbacks can be reasonably proposed.

Besides sleep disturbance, there are complaints of other physiological problems. It is not acceptable to ignore or minimize the significance of these impacts as just quirks of human imagination.

Also, there is evidence that existing wind farms in Wisconsin are negatively affecting farm animals. Whether it is noise or some other physical phenomena, studies and testing should be done before setting siting standards.

At a public meeting of the Brown County Health Department and the Brown County Human Services Committee, reputable medical and health experts stressed the importance of epidemiological studies to determine the true nature of health impacts of wind turbines.

The State Board of Health pointed out that the lack of funding is a hurdle. But a conviction to do the right thing should prompt the PSCW to make a case to pursue the money issue with state legislators as well as our U.S. senators and representatives. Certainly, our towns would help in this endeavor. That said, it is even more appropriate for the wind developers and their associations to offer funding for independent studies since such studies should reduce future litigation. Electric utilities should have a stake in this effort as well. This is an opportunity to involve the University of Wisconsin research capabilities in both human health and animal health.

It appears that Act 40 does not set a deadline for completing the siting rules. This week a state senator who was one of the leaders in passing the wind siting law agreed that studies should be done to be sure the rules are adequate. If one or two years were used to study the existing wind farms while delaying any new installations, the developers would still have time to help utilities meet their 15% RPS by 2015. Again, if needed, our towns would help in getting the support of legislators.

Our towns implore the PSCW and the Wind Siting Council to not ignore the evidence of potentially serious health impacts and to not set standards until they have done the obvious and reasonable step of studying the health impacts of existing wind turbine installations in Wisconsin. Professional ethics demands no less. We believe our request aligns with the PSCW`s responsibility to protect the citizens of Wisconsin.

Submitted for the towns by Glen R. Schwalbach, P.E.




Health Impacts of Wind Energy Facilities

The Oregon Public Health Division is responding to concerns about the health impacts of wind energy facilities on Oregon communities.  We are working with a broad range of stakeholders to:

  • identify and document the major health concerns related to wind energy facilities
  • use the best available science to evaluate potential health risks
  • work with partners and decision-makers to ensure health is considered during the siting process
  • provide community members with timely and useful information, and opportunities to be involved in our work

A steering committee is being formed to oversee our work in this area.  This committee will include representatives from communities near wind energy facilities, local and state government agencies and decision-makers, and renewable energy developers. 


Get Involved

The Office of Environmental Public Health is conducting general Health Impact Assessment (HIA) on the siting of wind farms in Oregon.  HIA provides decision-makers with information about how a policy, program or project may affect people’s health.

This initial HIA on wind energy is not focused on a specific facility or community.  It will focus more broadly on what is currently known about the health impacts from wind farms, and the policies and standards used to site wind facilities in Oregon. 


We will have a survey available for you to share your input and experiences with us.  This survey is completely confidential, and your individual responses and personal information will not be shared with anyone.

The survey will be available on November 10, 2010.  

Please email us if you would like to be notified when the survey is available wind.hia@state.or.us

Steering Committee

More information coming soon.

Contact Us

Email: wind.hia@state.or.us

Phone:  971-673-0977




An important part of the health impact assessment process is ensuring that the people most likely to be impacted by a development, such as a wind energy facility, have the opportunity to participate in decisions and to express their concerns about how the facility may impact their health and well being.

Community Listening Sessions

We are hosting three community listening sessions to learn about people’s experiences and health concerns about wind energy in their community.

These sessions are open to the public. 


November 3rd, 6:30 PM to 8 PM

Eastern Oregon University

1 University Blvd La Grande, OR

Hoke Union Building

3rd Floor, RM 309

Park anywhere but reserved spaces

Call 541.962.3704 for directions


November 4th at 12 PM to 1 PM

Umatilla-Morrow ESD

2001 SW Nye Pendleton, OR

Directions: www.umesd.k12.or.us


November 4th 6:30 PM to 8 PM

Arlington Grade School Cafeteria

1400 Main St. Arlington, OR

Call 541-454-2632 for directions

Download a flyer for the listening sessions.  

Public Comment

Our reports will be available for public review and comment.  Please check back for updates on our reports, or email us to get on our mailing list for notifications and updates. 


Massive Protest Greets Wind Turbine Developers

FERGUS — A massive protest greeted officials from WPD Canada in Fergus Tuesday evening, and flowed into the renewable energy developer’s open house on the proposed Springwood Wind Project (formerly known as Belwood Wind Farm), a four turbine wind energy system planned for agricultural land in the northwest corner of Centre Wellington. Upwards of 1,000 people, several horses and a wagon filled with manure occupied the front parking lot of the Centre Wellington Sportsplex on Belsyde Ave E.




SOURCE: www.chronicle-express.com

Jerusalem, N.Y. — John Grabski, representing the Jerusalem Preservation Association, brought a seldom explored topic to the subject of wind farms at the Oct. 20 Jerusalem Town Council meeting – economic devaluation.

Public discussions on wind farms usually include noise, flicker, dead birds and discontented cows. Grabski pointed to those briefly, but his main point was to suggest measures to protect against personal property value loss.
Instead of looking at the big picture of how much money wind turbines could bring to the town and landowners, he pointed out in a detailed approach how money could be lost long term.

“According to expert organizations such as professional Certified Real Estate Appraisers, industrial wind development adversely impacts land values within the immediate wind-zone and a peripheral area of approximately two miles,” according to Grabski.




Three reports, created specifically to guide legislators in wind turbine siting decisions, and alert them to areas of concern, all identify a half mile as the minimum setback needed to mitigate major problems from turbine noise and shadow flicker.

The Reports include:

The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies of Science Report "Environmental Impacts of Wind-Energy Projects". (2007) [Download Document]

The Congressional Research Service Report prepared for Members and Committees of Congress "Wind Power in the United States: Technology, Economic, and Policy Issues (2008) [Download document]

The Minnesota Department of Health, Environmental Health Division In response to a request from: Minnesota Department of Commerce, Office of Energy Security: "Public Health Impacts of Wind Turbines" (2009) [Download Document]


The Noise Heard Round the World - the trouble with industrial wind turbines
1/2 mile more or more setback

Simple guidelines for siting wind turbines to prevent health risks
George W. Kamperman, INCE Bd. Cert. Emeritus Kamperman Associates, Inc. george@kamperman.com
Richard R. James, INCE E-Coustic Solutions rickjames@e-coustic.com
1km (3280 feet) or more setback

French Academy of Medicine warns of wind turbine noise
1.5km (.9-mile) setback

National Wind Watch
1-mile setback

U.K. Noise Association
1-mile setback
U.K. Noise Association: 1 mile setback needed for wind turbines

UK Noise Association - Wind Farms are Causing Noise Problems

Beech Ridge Wind Farm, West Virginia
1 to 4 miles setback

Deal reached in wind turbine dispute - Fayette County
6000 foot setback

Noise Radiation from Wind Turbines Installed New Homes: Effects o Health
2km (1.2 mile) setback

Location, Location, Location. An investigation into wind farms and noise by the Noise Association
1 to 1.5 mile setback

Are wind farm turbines making people sick? Some say yes.
1.5 mile setback

Dr. Nina Pierport
1.5 mile setback, more for mountainous geography
Health Effects of Wind Turbine Noise
Noisy Wind and Hot Air
Wind Turbine Syndrome - testimony before the New York State Legislature Energy Committee
except from rebuttal to Noble Environmental’s draft Environmental Impact Statement regarding noise, shadow flicker, and health

Wind Turbines, Noise and Health
Dr. Amanda Harry
1.5 mile setback

Riverside County, California
2-mile setback

Marjolaine Villey-Migraine
Docteur en sciences de l’information et de la communication, Université Paris II-Panthéon-Assas, Sp&egravecialiste de l’Information Scientifique et Technique (IST)
5 km (3.1 miles)

Microseismic and Infrasound Monitoring of Low Frequency Noise and Vibrations from Windfarms
10km (6.2-mile) setback


Facts About Wind Energy and Noise

“Anti-noise” Silences Wind Turbines, publication date August 2008

New England Wind Forum: Wind Turbine Sound
US Department of Energy

“Noise Radiation from Wind Turbines Installed Near Homes: Effects on Health.”
with an annotated review of the research and related issues
by Barbara J Frey, BA, MA and Peter J Hadden, BSc, FRICS

Noise pollution from wind turbines
September 20, 2007 by Julian Davis and S. Jane Davis

This is a list of publications from the Acoustics Laboratory and the Department of Acoustics from the period from 1974 until now. The list is sorted in chronological order starting with the most recent papers.

George W. Kamperman, INCE Bd. Cert. Emeritus Kamperman Associates, Inc. george@kamperman.com
Richard R. James, INCE E-Coustic Solutions rickjames@e-coustic.com

The “How To” Guide to Siting Wind Turbines to Prevent Health Risks from Sound
George W. Kamperman PE and Richard R. James INCE

Low Frequency Noise from Large Wind Turbines
Delta Project EFP-06. Client: Danish Energy Authority

Second International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise
Lyon, France. September 20-21, 2007

“Noisy Wind and Hot Air,” Nina Pierpoint, MD, PhD
(extract) “There need to be funds to cover damages to the health, property values, and quality of life of nearby residents, should these occur.”

Excerpts from the Final Report on the Township of Lincoln Wind Turbine Moratorium Committee
(extract) “As a result of so many noise complaints, The Moratorium Committee ordered WPS to conduct a noise study. . . . [T]he study established that the turbines added 5-20 dB(A) to the ambient sound. A 10-dB increase is perceived as a doubling of noise level. As soon as the noise study was published in 2001, WPS conceded that these homes were rendered uninhabitable by the noise of the turbines and made buyout offers for the neighboring homes.”

Wind Farm Noise and Regulations in the Eastern United States
Second International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise

Acoustic Trauma: Bioeffects of Sound
Alex Davies BFS Honours

A Review of Published Resarch on Low Frequency Noise and its Effects
Report for Defra by Dr. Geoff Leventhall

Noise Background
DART (Dorest Against Rural Turbines)

Project WINDFARMperception
Visual and acoustic impact of wind turbine farms on residents
Wind turbines more annoying than expected

G.P. van den Berg
Wind turbines at night: acoustical practice and sound research
Science Shop for Physics, University of Groningen, the Netherlands
Effects of the wind profile at night on wind turbine sound
Journal of Sound and Vibration

Vibroacoustic Disease
N.A.A. Castelo Branco and M. Alves-Pereira

Wind Turbine Acoustic Noise
Renewable Energy Research Laboratory


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