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Proposal for evaluating the potential health effects of wind turbine noise for projects under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act  

Author:  | Canada, Health, Noise, Regulations

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) requires certain projects with federal government triggers to undergo an environmental assessment before receiving federal government approval. On request under CEAA, Health Canada provides advice on the health effects of noise to responsible authorities for wind turbine projects. The advice that Health Canada provides on the health effects of noise is generally based only on well-accepted scientific evidence for a link between noise exposure and health. For quiet rural areas, in which annoyance reactions towards intruding noise may be augmented, this paper proposes noise mitigation if predicted wind turbine noise levels exceed 45 dBA at noise sensitive receptors. In this proposal, a cautious approach is adopted by using predicted noise levels that are evaluated at the wind speed that produces the highest wind turbine noise, and background noise is evaluated in calm winds. This accounts for sheltering by obstructions. Wind speed gradient effects related to stable atmospheric conditions are also accounted for with this approach. The proposal is based on predicted project-noise related changes in long-term high annoyance, rattle and sleep disturbance. Noise mitigation for wind turbine construction noise is proposed based on potential for expectation of complaints.

Journal of Low Frequency Noise, Vibration and Active Control, Volume 27, Number 4, December 2008, pp. 253-265.

Download original document: “Proposal for evaluating the potential health effects of wind turbine noise for projects under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act

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