World Health Organiz says BigWind IS too noisy!

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“The wind industry has denied and ignored evidence directly linking wind turbines and sleep disruption leading to negative human and animal impacts worldwide. Expect WHO’s new Guidelines to give rise to new standards to mitigate if not eliminate this ongoing suffering.”

“The burden of environmental noise with wind turbines is not episodic or random: for the most part its effects are constant and unrelenting…. This is an undeniable health pressure of enormous magnitude.”

Abstract: While only “conditional,” acknowledgement is given to pulsation (impulsive amplitude modification, as Mr. Steven Cooper calls it) and ILFN (Infra and Low Frequency Noise), the new World Health Organization report underscores the failure of current regulations of dB to manage health impacts from industrial wind installations worldwide.

The other irrefutable conclusion is that the wind industry has been given a regulatory path to profits with an unfathomable license to hurt in the form of sleep deprivation (and associated disease) for a very long time.  Master Resource reported earlier on the findings of the Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines (June 29, 2015). This court established that there is a direct pathway to disease resulting from wind turbine noise.

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For years, a host of professionals and interested parties have asked World Health Organization to include wind turbine noise in its Guidelines. For the first time, WHO has announced guidelines for wind turbine ‘noise.

While issued only for the European Region (with data compiled from various continents), worldwide industry, governments, and interested and impacted people will all take note. (Key people in the presentation of copious and reputable information to the WHO for years, have been Christine Metcalfe of the UK, and Dr. Sarah Laurie of AU.)

This Guideline recognizes that the “noise” is more than ‘annoyance’ (and “annoyance” is of lesser concern than sleep deprivation)–and that chronic noise contributes to cardiovascular disease; lack of sleep, hearing loss, tinnitus and stress; and increased changes in blood pressure and heart health. These, of course, are well known impacts to communities and professionals worldwide. These negative impacts have, however, been slow to be recognized at levels such as the WHO.

The impacts recognized by the WHO Guidelines are likely to cause some concern for the wind industry that has chronically, methodically, and systemically, over a long period of time, blocked the flow of information, denying, obfuscating, and blaming helpless victims for “poor coping skills.”

Analyses of the WHO findings are happening around the world, with some looking to the anticipated mass of class action lawsuits, and others more cautiously examining  the omissions, and overly cautious, and even erroneous WHO findings, which conclude that there is insufficient evidence to provide night time wind turbine noise guidelines.

Also, but only gently underscored, not highlighted in the Wind Turbine Noise Guidelines, are the now obvious and historically reported impacts of ILFN, shadow flicker, vibration, pressure pulsation…

Five Advancements

Compared to previous WHO guidelines on noise, this version contains five significant developments:

  • stronger evidence of the cardiovascular and metabolic effects of environmental noise;
  • inclusion of new noise sources, namely wind turbine noise and leisure noise, in addition to noise from transportation (aircraft, rail and road traffic);
  • use of a standardized approach to assess the evidence;
  • a systematic review of evidence, defining the relationship between noise exposure and risk of adverse health outcomes;
  • use of long-term average noise exposure indicators to better predict adverse health outcomes.

The executive summary can be found here:

For average noise exposure (WIND TURBINES), the GDG (Guideline Development Group) conditionally recommends reducing noise levels produced by wind turbines below 45 dB Lden, as wind turbine noise above this level is associated with adverse health effects.

How loud is too loud? WHO asks:

The WHO guidelines for community noise recommend less than 30 A-weighted decibels (dB(A)) in bedrooms during the night for a sleep of good quality and less than 35 dB(A) in classrooms to allow good teaching and learning conditions.

The WHO guidelines for night noise recommend less than 40 dB(A) of annual average (Lnight) outside of bedrooms to prevent adverse health effects from night noise.

…The burden of environmental noise with wind turbines is not episodic or random: for the most part its effects are constant and unrelenting (nothing like an occasional aircraft over the house, nor the 70 plus dB experienced at a concert for a few hours). This is an undeniable health pressure of enormous magnitude.

As the WHO prescribes various adjustments or mitigation, say, for road traffic (choice of tires, road surface, lowering traffic flow, different adjustments to road tunnels, insulation, etc.), it acknowledges that it does not have the ability or facts to recommend mitigation for the burden of wind turbine noise. However, to so many now studied persons about noise and night time sleep disruptions, the remediation is fairly obvious.

This particular burden, wind turbine noise, one unto itself in terms of environmental noise, unique in noise dynamics, heard, and felt sound pulsations/pressures, deserves a full-blown international guideline/regulation on all the sound “assets” of the machine.

Shortcomings

While the WHO acknowledges finally after many years that health effects can be reduced from industrial wind, and “conditionally” recommends that “policymakers implement suitable measures to reduce noise exposure from wind turbines in the population exposed to levels above the guideline values for average noise exposure,” its recommendations are disappointingly scant or non-existent on three very important impacts:

  • pressure pulsation and ILFN, and vibration.
  • acknowledgement and recommendations of the tens of thousands or even millions of persons worldwide, many children and elderly, who have registered complaints of seriously disrupted sleep. These are anecdotal and recorded in numerous papers and findings. Missing completely is the seriously necessary Guideline for Night time noise with wind turbines.
  • Impacts reported worldwide to animals, livestock, pets, wildlife. Of every description, wild, domesticated and “husbanded”.

The wind industry has denied and ignored evidence directly linking wind turbines and sleep disruption leading to negative human and animal impacts worldwide. Expect WHO’s new Guidelines to give rise to new standards to mitigate if not eliminate this ongoing suffering.

 

WHO details

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(Life sucks) In the Shadow of Wind Farms

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This is a very comprehensive study, investigating individuals from all over the USA, regarding the negative effects of living in the shadow of BigWind…

A six-month GateHouse Media investigation found that wind developers representing some of the world’s biggest energy companies divide communities and disrupt the lives of residents forced to live in the shadow of their industrial wind farms.

Reporters interviewed more than 70 families living near three dozen current or proposed wind farms. They also spoke to 10 state and local lawmakers, read hundreds of pages of public-service-commission records about wind projects, reviewed court filings in seven wind-related lawsuits and inspected lease agreements from at least eight wind farms.

GateHouse Media also identified through public documents and media reports an additional 400 families living near industrial wind turbines that have publicly complained about shadow flicker, noise, health problems and/or misleading statements by wind companies in an effort to solicit land agreements.

The investigation found that companies convince landowners to sign away their property rights for generations based on the promise of potential profits and the minimization of potential problems associated with wind turbines.

Those problems include shadow flicker, loud noises and low-frequency vibrations that have driven dozens of families from their homes. Many of them claim to have suffered serious health issues from the turbines before departing. Some say they’ll never be the same.

The wind industry has known about these issues for years – many of its contracts contain clauses acknowledging these effects – but it denies turbines affect human health, even as complaints mount nationwide.

Landowners often overlook potential problems until it’s too late. Many who sign contracts can’t terminate the agreements, even if they later beg for relief from what they deem intolerable living conditions. Some covenants bar people from suing or even publicly criticizing the projects.

Those who don’t sign agreements can face the same impact of living near wind turbines erected on neighboring properties. But they receive no compensation for the shadow flicker, noises and vibrations…

Wind developers have settled more than a half-dozen such cases nationwide, even while admitting no wrongdoing. Among the companies to settle is Michigan-based Consumers Energy, which owns Lake Winds Energy Park. The Shineldeckers were among several neighbors who sued the company…

Proposed wind projects also have fractured rural communities across America, pitting neighbor against neighbor in fights over property rights and money.

Many worry about the impact these turbines will have on their homes – some families interviewed have moved out of their houses after wind farms started operating; others have stayed but suffer from shadow flicker, noises and vibrations.

Elected officials tasked with voting on these developments have, in many cases, signed their own contracts with the wind companies, raising concerns about conflicts of interest.

Cary and Karen Shineldecker in their Mason County, Michigan, home. | Lucille Sherman | GateHouse Media

Among the investigation’s findings:

• Despite a growing chorus of complaints, the wind industry has expanded largely unopposed. Ten years ago, less than 300 industrial wind farms dotted the U.S. landscape. Today, more than 1,000 exist. Much of the growth has been funded by American taxpayers. Billions of dollars in state and federal incentives have made wind farms so profitable that companies are racing to develop them before the handouts disappear.

• Industrial wind turbines generate countless complaints nationwide about sleep disturbances, migraines, nausea, ear pressure, blurred vision, tinnitus and heart palpitations. Rampant reports about such effects from the Shirley Wind Farm in Brown County, Wisconsin, prompted the local Board of Health to declare the turbines a human health hazard.

• Wind industry officials have denounced people who complain about these symptoms, calling them misinformed or “anti-wind.” Some wind companies offer money or other concessions to frequent complainers, often in exchange for silence and a waiver for turbine-related claims. “I call it a shut-up clause,” said Jim Miller of South Dakota, who refused to sign such an agreement with Florida-based NextEra.

• Wind developers have used what some landowners describe as misleading tactics to get their contracts signed. Attorneys asked to review several such contracts called them one-sided, giving wind companies sweeping control over people’s property with few rights for the landowner.

• Wind farms have divided communities across America. Contracted landowners eyeing profits spar with neighbors opposing turbines near their backyards. Lifelong friendships can end. Families sometimes fray. Hopkinton, New York, resident Janice Pease said she stopped talking to relatives who support a proposed wind farm in their town. Pease adamantly opposes it.

Turbines from the Glacier Hills Wind Park in Columbia County, Wisconsin, churn in the late afternoon sun. | Arturo Fernandez | GateHouse Media

WIND INDUSTRY DENIES CLAIMS

GateHouse Media reached out to seven wind energy companies, including some of the nation’s largest, and two nonprofit groups that support the wind industry. Those representatives denied almost all of the investigation’s findings.

Every wind industry official interviewed said that relatively few people complain about wind turbines compared to the thousands of Americans living peacefully among the structures.

“We have 1,300 turbines in operation across the United States,” said Duke Energy spokeswoman Tammie McGee. Except for one wind farm in Wisconsin, “we don’t see these types of complaints at our other turbines.”

Many of the people who do complain, several representatives said, are well-known among industry insiders and comprise a small but vocal group of anti-wind activists…

When asked about the studies that do establish a link, those same wind officials disputed the validity of those papers and the credentials of the researchers…

People might be annoyed by wind turbines, several wind representatives said. But they’re not getting sick from them…

Rather than divide communities, they said their projects improve the lives of all residents. Some towns hold festivals commemorating their wind farms. Enyo Renewable Energy Principal Christine Mikell mentioned the Wind Fest in Spanish Fork, Utah, which hosts a nine-turbine wind farm.

“We have hundreds of landowners who are pleased to have us come to their communities,” said Bryan Garner of Florida-based NextEnergy Resources, the biggest wind energy producer in America with more than 100 wind farms…

 

Communities can also benefit financially from wind farms. The construction of these multi-million-dollar projects employs hundreds of temporary workers and adds new, taxable revenue to local and state coffers…

FORCED TO MOVE

As the wind industry continues to expand, so do its critics.

Hundreds of residents nationwide have claimed industrial wind turbines make them sick. Several families say the structures have forced them from their homes…

“People don’t give up their homes for no reason,” Ed Hobart said, responding to claims the symptoms were all in his head. “It had financial and emotional and health impacts on me and my wife that we will never be fully recovered from.”…

When the sun passes behind those blades, it creates a strobe-like phenomenon called shadow flicker that can disorient and nauseate those forced to live with it….

But even as complaints mount across the nation, the wind industry steadfastly denies turbines impact human health.

“We are aware of some of the cases where individuals come to believe that wind turbines are the cause of their health concerns, and we feel great sympathy for anyone who is suffering from illness of any kind,” said Dahvi Wilson of Apex Clean Energy, which owns several wind farms nationwide.

But, Wilson said, science doesn’t support their claims. And until it does, the company will continue to build wind farms based on current best practices.

The wind industry frequently cites a 2014 Health Canada study that found no direct association between health problems and wind turbines. The study involved more than 1,200 residents in 18 wind farms.

But the same study also found wind turbines “highly annoy” about one in 10 people, especially those living closest to the structures and those exposed to turbine noises exceeding 35 decibels.

That annoyance is “statistically related” to reports of migraines, tinnitus, dizziness and high blood pressure….

Researchers using low-frequency meters have found a link between wind turbines and “sensations of uneasiness and personal disturbance,” as well as “extreme pressure” and “headache or nausea or dizziness.”

One of the first to do this was Neil Kelley, a now-retired scientist from the National Wind Technology Center in Denver. The U.S. Department of Energy and NASA hired Kelley three decades ago to investigatecomplaints about their wind turbine near Boone, North Carolina.

Kelley and his colleagues determined after extensive testing that “the annoyance was real and not imagined,” the result of acoustic impulses.

Kelley did not return calls for comment.

LIKE MOTION SICKNESS

These acoustic impulses – or low-frequency sound waves – stimulate parts of the inner ear responsible for balance, motion and spatial orientation and that they provoke symptoms similar to motion sickness, some researchers say.

“If you’re sitting still and something is causing the same fluids to move, your brain doesn’t know that it’s a false signal,” said Rick James, an acoustical engineer who has written papers on the subject. “But you open your eyes and say, ‘I’m sitting still, but I feel like I’m moving.’”

The Minnesota Department of Health noted the phenomenon in 2009 paper. It found low-frequency waves cause more problems inside a house than outside because, rather than block the pulsations, the walls amplify them.

Darlene Mueller wept as she described how turbines in the Blue Sky Green Field Wind Energy Center in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, sickened her inside her home…

 

DRAGGED THROUGH THE MUD

But some wind farm residents who spoke out about their problems said the industry belittles them. It dismisses their complaints as unfounded or labels them troublemakers, multiple people said.

It has silenced many of their neighbors whom they said suffer the same symptoms but fear the consequences of speaking out…

After Cary Shineldecker went public about his experience in Michigan’s Lake Winds Energy Park, an energy company executive singled him out at a meeting several states away.

Mike Blazer of Chicago-based Invenergy claimed to know Shineldecker’s medical history. He told a crowd in Clear Lake, South Dakota, that Shineldecker’s health woes stemmed from alcohol use, obstructive sleep apnea and an irregular heartbeat – not wind turbines…

Shineldecker said he was stunned to learn about the incident from an attorney who attended the meeting. He said he has neither sleep apnea nor alcohol problems and never received a diagnosis for those problems.

“All I ever had to go on was my integrity and honesty and work ethic,” Shineldecker said, “and then to be belittled and treated like some whack-job psycho liar is kind of unbelievable.”

Iowa wind farm resident Terry McGovern said he faced disparagement by Apex Clean Energy.

The Virginia-based company accused McGovern of holding “a personal anti-wind agenda” and claimed he would spread misinformation and generate unfounded fear of wind energy ahead of a public presentation he gave.

Apex made the claims in a July 2017 letter it sent to landowners discouraging them from attending the presentation, held near the site of its proposed Upland Prairie Wind farm in northwest Iowa.

McGovern denies holding an anti-wind agenda but is publicly critical of the industry and its business practices. His Iowa Wind Action Group calls for greater setbacks for industrial turbines to protect human health.

“Instead of focusing on the issues, they try to discredit the person,” McGovern said. “That way, they can avoid talking about the facts.”..

 

 

via In the Shadow of Wind Farms

Ohio Power Siting Board says YES to BigWind’s ‘Top Secret’ information (again)

The Ohio Power Siting Board approved a request in the Buckeye Wind case from turbine maker Gamesa to extend the protective order which keeps noise and safety information secret.  In 2013 Gamesa was granted a protective order for 18 months,  On June 1, 2015, the OPSB granted an additional 24months of secrecy until June 1, 2017.    But on May 30thGamesa filed for yet another 24 months of protection from public view.  This request was  granted with the OPSB Order stating:

 

{¶ 12} Ohio Adm.Code 4906-7-07(H)(6) requires a party wishing to extend a protective order beyond 24 months to file an appropriate motion in advance of the expiration date, including a detailed discussion of the need for continued protection from disclosure. If Gamesa wishes to extend this confidential treatment, it should file an appropriate motion at least 45 days in advance of the expiration date. If no such motion to extend confidential treatment is filed, the Board may release this information without prior notice to Gamesa.

 

So mark your calendar for June 2019 to see if the Gamesa noise information is made public.  But in the meantime, Google Gamesa and noise complaints.  Maybe there is a reason they do not want us to see their manual….

New wind farms with a capacity of 5 or more megawatts must obtain a siting certificate through the Ohio Power Siting Board. This unique siting process is made possible in Ohio because all seven entities involved with approving the siting application are seated at the same table: the chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, the directors of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio Development Services Agency, the Ohio Departments of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources, and a public member….

 

Source: Wind and other Renewable Energy – OPSB

http://www.anthonycreditexpert.com

Ohio BigWind News and cries to allow them closer to our homes

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Oh my, where to start? Comments on the Ohio Power Siting Board’s proposed rules have been submitted and are posted on the OPSB website at http://dis.puc.state.oh.us/CaseRecord.aspx?CaseNo=16-1109.

Terrence O’Donnell, son of Ohio Supreme Court Justice Terrence O’Donnell, filed two comment letters. One is filed as counsel for the LeedCo Icebreaker project in Lake Erie and the other is on behalf of MAREC (Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition). Not surprisingly the comments are full of threats that the proposed rules are so restrictive as to prohibit the development of wind in Ohio. Repeatedly, this cry rises no matter whether the topic is ice throw, shadow flicker, noise, decommissioning, whatever. At one low point, MAREC insists that the word “noise” be eliminated due to its negative connotations and replaced by a more neutral term like…”sound”. Gee, we wonder what the folks at INCE (Institute for NOISE Control Engineering) , the professional association for “noise” would think of that? Sort of like calling 600’ foot tall wind power plant arrays “farms”.

Consider: MAREC requests that throughout the rules the term “noise” be eliminated and replaced with the term “sound.” “Noise” has a negative connotation that indicates loud, harsh, or disturbing sound. It would be more appropriate to use a descriptive term that is not pejorative. The term “sound” more correctly denotes what is being measured in accordance with the wind farm requirements in new Rule 09. As explained in greater detail below, it is crucial for the wind industry in Ohio that the sound level be measured at an appropriate and reasonable location. MAREC’s concern is that, if the sound level is measured at the property lines (as proposed throughout the rules) wind project development in Ohio will be devastated. Therefore, sound measurements should focus on the applicable residences that could potentially be affected by the sound level, i.e., structures that are inhabited.

It may interest readers to know that noise regulation was originally the province of the US EPA which carried out investigations and studies on noise and its effect on the public health and welfare through the

Office of Noise Abatement and Control (ONAC). In 1981 the federal government decided that noise issues were best handled at the State and local level. As a result, ONAC was closed and primary responsibility of addressing noise issues was transferred to State and local governments. However, EPA retains authority to investigate and study noise and its effect, disseminate information to the public regarding noise pollution and its adverse health effects, respond to inquiries on matters related to noise, and evaluate the effectiveness of existing regulations for protecting the public health and welfare, pursuant to the Noise Control Act of 1972 and the Quiet Communities Act of 1978. (Source US EPA). Given that the EPA turned over noise regulation but local zoning authority for industrial wind was pre-empted by the State of Ohio, it is especially important that the OPSB adopt rules protective of the health and welfare of the community. And calling it noise is an accurate, descriptive term.

THE WORST comment is the letter from the Ohio Environmental Council. Consider: When the statute was passed, there was no public discussion and no analysis on whether or not the increased setback distance was necessary, as it was enacted hastily in Ohio House Bill 483 (Amstutz – 130th GA). As a result, the revised setback has effectively zoned new wind projects out of the state, decimating the prospect of new wind projects, and injuring clean energy progress. Until 2014, Ohio was attracting millions of dollars in investment in new wind energy projects. As a result, Ohio’s air quality improved, new jobs were created, and local governments began seeing new revenue coming in to support their operations. Sadly, this progress was all but halted by the abrupt enactment of these overly burdensome wind turbine regulations that created unnecessary red tape for investors and project developers, specifically the implementation of the unnecessary and overly burdensome setback requirements promulgated by this proposed rule. It has effectively placed a moratorium on new wind development, and there has been no new wind applications approved since the new setback requirements were enacted.

We don’t believe the OEC claims that industrial wind has already “improved Ohio’s air quality”. A recent study by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity estimates the federal Clean Power Plan will have a small effect on temperature and is the equivalent of reducing rising sea levels by “the thickness of one to two human hairs.” If that is the assessment for the entire impact of the CPP, a couple of wind factories in Ohio could not possibly have had a detectable impact on air quality.

The industry comments on the OPSB rules are an all-out assault on property rights of rural landowners. In the face of all of this, we were very happy to read Senate President Keith Faber’s sentiments in the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “Faber expressed no sympathy for wind developers who claim legislation he supported has made it impossible to develop future wind-farm sites. He said his concern is for the property rights of neighboring landowners who are not being compensated for the impact of the turbines on their land. He said he has had discussions on the issue in his office and in the Indian Lake area of Ohio. Indian Lake is in Logan County, northwest of Columbus. “

While the rule-making process is underway, the Icebreaker project proposed for Lake Erie is in the pre-application stage at the OPSB. Reports are coming in of criticism from organizations representing the Great Lakes in the US and Canada. Our friends at NAPAW have renamed it “Wing Breaker”! The wildlife compliance comments from the wind industry indicate that bird and bat issues may be more of a problem for them than we knew. They appear to want to water them down and remove references to federal programs designed to protect avian species. This comes at a time when researchers are documenting that “there is evidence that wind facilities may be having continental-scale impacts on some bird populations.”

While they did not choose to file comments on the OPSB Rules, The Nature Conservancy and the Environmental Defense Fund released a study this week intended to provide the Governor with justification for reinstating the renewable mandates. And for good measure, they threw in a plea for rollback of property line setbacks. Elsewhere, a study from the Independent Institute was interesting in that they assert the exaggerated claims of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan as an “historic and important step” that “takes real action on climate change” and is “fair” and “flexible” is an attempt to distract people from asking questions like, “Who will pay for this?” and “By how much will the CPP reduce climate change?” Maybe the screams and yells about property-line versus residence setbacks is an attempt to distract people from those same substantive questions.

OPSB issues draft BigWind siting rules- the joke is on us

This past week the Ohio Power Siting Board released its industrial wind facility “Draft Rules” for comment. The OPSB release states:

The public is invited to submit comments on these rules. In an entry dated September 22, 2016, the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) issued proposed rules applicable to wind‑powered electric generation facilities in amended Ohio Administrative Code 4906‑4‑08 and newly proposed 4906‑4‑09. The OPSB requests that interested persons submit formal written comments on the proposed rules by October 24, 2016 and reply comments by November 8, 2016. The entry and proposed rules are available in the online record for case number 16-1109-GE-BRO. (We have also attached the proposed rules below.)

Stakeholders may submit comments in case number 16-1109-GE-BRO via electronic filing or in hard copy to: PUCO Docketing Division, 11th Floor, 180 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215. Following the conclusion of the comment and reply comment period, the OPSB will later issue final rules to be reviewed by the Ohio Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review before taking effect.

Questions regarding the rulemaking may be directed to contactopsb@puco.ohio.gov.

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Having only given the draft rules a cursory look, we cannot provide you with our detailed assessment at this time BUT we can say they appear to be a complete farce and that they fail to provide any real enforceable protection for residents and property owners. For instance, the draft rule at page 28 addresses noise at adjacent non-participating property. Everyone knows that sound from wind turbines can propagate across miles and varies depending on topography. This alone is an indicator that the rules are designed to facilitate the construction of industrial wind and nothing else. In order to make the industrial power plants seem benign, the rule actually changes the word wind “facility” to wind “farm”. Gee – will fracking sites become oil and gas farms? Anyone up for a nuclear farm?

We all remember the blade failure in Paulding County which occurred as a result of human error when an employee in some remote control center restarted a turbine that had been automatically shut down. Not to worry going forward! The new rules outlaw human error! “Bypass or override of wind turbine safety features or equipment is prohibited.” Feel better now? Not only that, the rules now require the developer to give their best guess on “probabilities” of bad things happening. If the developer doesn’t think that there is a real good chance that high winds could be dangerous, or ice throws could smash through your car window while you are driving down a road, or hit your children while playing in their yards, then Hakuna Matata! No worries!

The rules include the following provisions:

(6) High winds. The applicant shall provide an analysis of the prospects of high winds for the area, including the probability of occurrences and likely consequences of various wind velocities, and describe plans to mitigate any likely adverse consequences.

(1) The ice throw analysis shall, at a minimum, include the probability of ice throw impacts at the nearest property boundary and public road.

(3) In addition to the use of the safety measures enumerated in paragraph (E)(2) of this rule, the potential impact from ice throw shall be presumptively deemed to satisfy safety considerations if the probability of one kilogram of ice landing beyond the statutory property line setback for each turbine location is less than one per cent per year.

We invite you to consider the proposed rule on Noise below which is followed by Union Neighbors United’s January 18th noise comments filed with the OPSB. UNU’s comments were more fully described by its expert noise advisor again on June 9, 2016. Those written comments are attached. The only thing one can say about these “rules” is that once again the OPSB is attempting to provide wind developers with an “unregulated” environment under the guise of “regulation.” Regulation that protects no one is hardly regulation.

OPSB Draft Noise Rule

(2) The facility shall be operated so that the facility noise contribution does not result in noise levels at the adjacent non-participating property that exceed the project area ambient nighttime average sound level (Leq) by five A-weighted decibels (dBA). Non-participating property, for the purpose of this rule, refers to properties not under lease or agreement with the applicant regarding any components of the facility or project. During daytime operation only {seven a.m. to ten p.m.), the facility may operate at the greater of: the project area ambient nighttime Leq plus five dBA; or the validly measured ambient Leq plus five dBA at the location of the adjacent non-participating property. After commencement of commercial operation, the applicant shall conduct further review of the impact and possible mitigation of all project-related noise complaints through its complaint resolution process.

UNU Comment January 18, 2016

(a) Noise:

(i) To prevent annoyance and sleep deprivation from inherently intrusive wind turbine noise, operational noise levels of wind energy facilities should not exceed five dBA above the background sound level at nonparticipating properties. UNU Brief at 22-25. Since this proposed standard applies to nonparticipating properties, the rule should require all background noise measurements to be taken on location at nonparticipating properties wherever possible.2 For purposes of determining compliance with this standard, background noise assessments must be based on the L90 statistical standard, as universally acknowledged in the acoustical engineering profession. Id. at 30. The L90, known as the residual sound level, is the sound level exceeded during 90% of the measurement period. The L90 measures the quietest 10% of a time interval in order to identify the amount of background sound that is normally available to mask turbine noise that otherwise would awaken a person. By measuring the quietest 10% interval, the L90 statistic filters out the sporadic noise from noise events of short duration, such as passing cars.

By removing brief noise spikes, the L90 metric eliminates short-term noise spikes that serve no purpose for masking the sound of a new noise source. Id. (ii) No nonparticipating resident or landowner should be exposed to noise levels greater than 35 dBA and 50 dBC at any time. UNU Brief at 35-40, 44. (iii) The above standards should apply at the property lines of nonparticipating properties, not merely at neighboring residences. Id. at 44-45. (iv) Proposed subsection 4906-4-08(C)(3)(B) requires that the application address “cumulative operational noise levels at the property boundary for each non-participating property adjacent to or within the project area, under both day and nighttime conditions.” As the Board is well aware, wind energy developers often plan their facilities in phases, while in other cases, one developer’s facility is proposed in or near the location of another developer’s facility. In order to assess the cumulative impact of multiple facilities, it is critical that such assessment take into account impacts from other existing, proposed, or planned wind power facilities in addition to impacts from the facility that is the subject of the application. This comment applies not only to assessment of cumulative noise impacts, but also to visual impacts, shadow flicker, and othercumulative facility impacts.

Last June when the OPSB presented an earlier draft of wind rules, UNU asserted the proposed rules conflicted with the intent of legislation to protect the public and that they lacked enforceable standards. We have reprinted a portion of the news report from the Hannah Statehouse News Service from last June wherein” JCARR Chairman Sen. Joe Uecker (R-Loveland) said the General Assembly only required OPSB write “reasonable regulations,” and did not include the phrase “for the protection of the public.” Notwithstanding we recall that Senator Troy Balderson pointed out to the OPSB’s Legal Director, Angela Hawkins, that there were, in fact, deficiencies in the rules and he expects those deficiencies to be fixed in the upcoming new rulemaking process.

We will report further on these draft rules after we study them a bit more. In the meantime, be thinking about having your local elected officials join you in commenting on the rules when they are due one month from today on October 24th. For now, we think anyone who signs a wind lease, a “good neighbor agreement,” or a waiver should question whether their family, neighbors or community will ever truly be protected by OPSB rules….

The Hannah Statehouse News Service Reported the hearing as follows (emphasis added by Wind News):

Wind Farm Certification Rules Clear JCARR despite Opposition

A new rule revising the content and substance of certificate applications for electric generation facilities, including wind farms, cleared the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) on Monday.

The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) rule addresses new wind turbine setback requirements set in 130-HB483…

Lawyer Christopher Walker, representing Union Neighbors United (UNU), testified in opposition to the rule saying it violates the third JCARR prong — conflicting with legislative intent.

“Today’s rule purports to contain the board’s regulations governing health and safety, land use, and ecological impacts of wind energy projects. However, this rule lacks the standards explicitly required by the General Assembly to protect the public health and public interest from the impacts of wind farm operations,” Walker said.

“Neither Rule 4906-4-08 nor the remainder of the board’s rules establish any requirements governing the reconstruction or enlargement of wind turbines, protection of recreational lands or wildlife,” Walker continued. “Furthermore, the rules contain no enforceable standards for wind facility decommissioning or for protection of the public from ice throw, wind turbine noise, blade shear, or shadow flicker. Instead, this rule, which purports to address health and safety impacts of wind energy facilities, is merely a laundry list of various information that a wind energy facility developer must submit to the board and its staff in its application.”

Walker said he was particularly concerned that the rule does not set specific standards for blade and ice throw, noting turbines can fling fragments 1,640 feet. He said the rule is “silent” on this issue.

Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) pointed out the rule requires applicants to evaluate and describe the potential impact from blade shear and ice throw at the nearest property boundary and public road and include plans to mitigate the potential effects and instruct workers of potential hazards. Walker responded by saying he meant the rule does not include enforceable standards on these issues.

Walker said several times that HB562 required “reasonable regulations” “for the protection of the public.” JCARR Chairman Sen. Joe Uecker (R-Loveland) said the General Assembly only required OPSB write “reasonable regulations,” and did not include the phrase “for the protection of the public.” Walker acknowledged the latter phrase was not included in the law….

 

Country of Poland proves that Ohio’s wind turbines setbacks are weak

 

The BigWind companies in Ohio are, chronically and constantly, arguing that our setbacks from property lines are entirely too restrictive. So restrictive, in fact, that it hampers THEIR success in our state. But, what about OUR residents?  We recently blogged about an individual in Van Wert county who has struggled (and still is) with excessive NOISE from a nearby turbine. Noise that interferes with normal life at home…and she is not alone, there are more. Who will protect our citizens against these industrial giants? Particularly, as they age, maintenance/noise/problems can plague them. BigWind IS lobbying, HARD, to convince our legislators to REDUCE the distance from turbines to our property lines. Below, is the NIH from the country of Poland, who believes that BigWind setbacks should be much GREATER than they are at this time. Ohio has been fortunate, so far, that BigWind has predominantly ‘planted’ itself in very sparsley occupied areas. If this changes, more people WILL have problems….

The National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene is of the opinion that wind farms situated too close to buildings intended for permanent human occupation may have a negative impact on the well-being and health of the people living in their proximity.

The human health risk factors that the Institute has taken into consideration in its position are as follows:

the emitted noise level and its dependence on the technical specifications of turbines, wind speed as well as the topography and land use around the wind farm,
aerodynamic noise level including infrasound emissions and low-frequency noise components,
the nature of the noise emitted, taking into account its modulation/impulsive/tonal characteristics and the possibility of interference of waves emitted from multiple turbines,
the risk of ice being flung from rotors,
the risk of turbine failure with a rotor blade or its part falling,
the shadow flicker effect…

the probability of sleep disruptions and noise propagation at night,
the level of nuisance and probability of stress and depression symptoms occurring (in consequence of long exposure), related both to noise emissions and to non-acceptance of the noise source.
In the Institute’s opinion, the laws and regulations currently in force in Poland (regarding risk factors which, in practice, include only the noise level) are not only inadequate to facilities such noise source as wind turbines, but they also fail to guarantee a sufficient degree of public health protection. The methodology currently used for environmental impact assessment of wind farms (including human health) is not applicable to wind speeds exceeding 5 m/s. In addition, it does not take into account the full frequency range (in particular, low frequency) and the nuisance level….

Having regard to the above, until a comprehensive methodology is developed for the assessment of the impact of industrial wind farms on human health, the Institute recommends 2 km as the minimum distance of wind farms from buildings. The recommended value results from a critical assessment of research results published in reviewed scientific periodicals with regard to all potential risk factors for average distance usually specified within the following limits:

0.5-0.7 km, often obtained as a result of calculations, where the noise level (dBA) meets the currently acceptable values (without taking into account adjustments for the impulse/tonal/modulation features of the nose emitted),
1.5-3.0 km, resulting from the noise level, taking into account modulation, low frequencies and infrasound levels,
0.5-1.4 km, related to the risk of turbine failure with a broken rotor blade or its part falling (depending on the size of the piece and its flight profile, rotor speed and turbine type),
0.5-0.8 km, where there is a risk of ice being flung from rotors (depending on the shape and mass of ice, rotor speed and turbine type),
1.0-1.6 km, taking into account the noise nuisance level (between 4% and 35% of the population at 30-45 dBA) for people living in the vicinity of wind farms,
the distance of 1.4-2.5 km, related to the probability of sleep disruptions (on average, between 4% and 5% of the population at 30-45 dBA),
2,0 km, related to the occurrence of potential psychological effects resulting from substantial landscape changes (based on the case where the wind turbine is a dominant landscape feature and the rotor movement is clearly visible and noticeable to people from any location),
1.2-2.1 km, for the shadow flicker effect (for the average wind turbine height in Poland, including the rotor from 120 to 210 m).
In its opinions. the Institute has also considered the recommended distances of wind farms from buildings, as specified by experts, scientists, as well as central and local government bodies around the world (in most cases recommended from 1.0 to 5.0 km)….

The ‘rest of the story’ about Van Wert, Ohio turbines

How often does BigWind create a positive atmosphere in the community? How often does it bring unity? How often do Facts relay the Truth? rarely…..

To the editor,

Citizens for Clear Skies is a group formed to bring the truth to the community on the dynamics of wind energy. We are accused of only being negative from the opposition group. This is our collaborative response to their last letter:

We see significant reductions in this technology globally due to governments becoming more educated in time over the detrimental impact to consumer power bills.

We see an intermittent “resource”, one that is rarely present when consumers need it most….

We see structures that bring an “urban” feel to the country by dominating the skies, not the peace and quiet we feel we deserve by choosing to live rurally.

We see greed at the expense of your neighbors in their property value depreciation.

We see companies that use schools as their primary pawns, then paint those opposed as anti-school and anti-community.

We see taxpayer backed technologies that put hundred of millions into the pockets of company investors, while providing a fraction of that profit to a community affected….

We see farmers that have a choice whether to prevent urban sprawl or choose to sell their land.

We see a community where farmers by far have the most capital and land, as compared to other residents.

We see and hear countless stories of shadow flicker, sound and vibrational disturbances that cause serious negative health impacts on many, not non-intrusive objects to farm around.

We see trespass zoning and zoning laws that protect all citizens, not someone’s right to circumvent laws that have existed much longer than this technology.

We see small town residents buying into the massive expansion of government instead of maintaining the small government principles that make our country work better.

We see energy that is inherently more expensive and less reliable when we need it most, one that does little or nothing to reduce CO2 emissions.

We see an issue in climate change, one where relevant studies and data from opposition is completely suppressed by a willing media to promote their leftist agenda, rather than allow public debate.

We see a negative contribution to a country already 20 trillion dollars in debt, a debt that our children will have to repay at some point, the kind of big government that would make Eastern European countries proud (while they are ironically reducing this technology significantly)….

We see community and family division, not a positive attitude, solely created by this intrusion.

Hopefully Van Wert really digs into this issue and realizes what is happening globally with this technology. Recently one wind developer claimed that Ohio was not a solid wind energy resource. Wind energy is being fought and failing in many places in the country, not just Van Wert. People in the Blue Creek foot print are suffering. There are ample testimonials of families and their dealings with wind energy. It is claimed that wind energy will attract people to live here, but we find that to be dishonest. Ask someone considering relocation to Van Wert if they would buy a rural property under monstrous wind turbines, or would choose to live in the city or elsewhere? We think that answer is pretty obvious.

Citizens for Clear Skies