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Resource Documents: Impacts (125 items)

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Documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are provided to assist anyone wishing to research the issue of industrial wind power and the impacts of its development. The information should be evaluated by each reader to come to their own conclusions about the many areas of debate.


Date added:  November 6, 2018
India, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

Wind farms have cascading impacts on ecosystems across trophic levels

Author:  Thaker, Maria; Zambre, Amod; Bhosale, Harshal; et al.

[abstract] Wind farms are a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels for mitigating the effects of climate change, but they also have complex ecological consequences. In the biodiversity hotspot of the Western Ghats in India, we find that wind farms reduce the abundance and activity of predatory birds (for example, Buteo, Butastur and Elanus species), which consequently increases the density of lizards, Sarada superba. The cascading effects of wind turbines on lizards include changes in behaviour, physiology and morphology that reflect a combination of predator release and density-dependent competition. By adding an effective trophic level to the top of food webs, we find that wind farms have emerging impacts that are greatly underestimated. There is thus a strong need for an ecosystem-wide view when aligning green-energy goals with environment protection.

Numerical effect of wind turbines on predatory birds and lizard prey. a,b, Lateritic habitat on the Chalkewadi plateau (a) with (n = 3 sites) and (b) without wind turbines (n = 3 sites). c, The endemic superb fan-throated lizard S. superba, which lives on the Chalkewadi plateau. d–f, Areas with wind turbines (red box plots) had (d) a significantly lower abundance of predatory birds (birds per 3 h), (e) a significantly lower frequency of raptor attacks on ground-dwelling prey (attacks per 3 h) and (f) significantly higher densities of lizards (lizards per 100 m belt transect) compared with areas with no wind turbines (blue box plots). Box plots show the medians, quartiles, 5th and 95th percentiles, and outliers.

Maria Thaker, Amod Zambre, and Harshal Bhosale
Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru

Nature Ecology & Evolution. Published online November 5, 2018. doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0707-z

Download original document: “Wind farms have cascading impacts on ecosystems across trophic levels

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Date added:  November 6, 2018
Health, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

WHO Noise and Health Evidence Reviews

Author:  Various

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health:

Effects of noise on sleep. It is hypothesized that health consequences will develop if sleep is relevantly disturbed by noise over long time periods (dashed lines); figure reproduced from Basner et al.

Graphic outline of possible biological mechanism for birth effects.

WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review of Transport Noise Interventions and Their Impacts on Health.
Brown, A.; van Kamp, I.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(8), 873; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14080873.
http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/8/873
Supplementary material

WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Permanent Hearing Loss and Tinnitus.
Śliwińska-Kowalska, M.; Zaborowski, K.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101139.
http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/10/1139
Supplementary material

WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Adverse Birth Outcomes.
Nieuwenhuijsen, M.; Ristovska, G.; Dadvand, P.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1252; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101252.
http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/10/1252
Supplementary material

WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Annoyance.
Guski, R.; Schreckenberg, D.; Schuemer, R.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1539; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121539.
http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/12/1539
Supplementary material

WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Cognition.
Clark, C.; Paunovic, K.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020285.
http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/15/2/285
Supplementary material

WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Cardiovascular and Metabolic Effects: A Summary.
van Kempen, E.; Casas, M.; Pershagen, G.; Foraster, M.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020379.
http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/15/2/379

WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Effects on Sleep.
Basner, M.; McGuire, S.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030519.
http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/15/3/519
Supplementary material

Development of the WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: An Introduction.
Jarosińska, D.; Héroux, M.; Wilkhu, P.; Creswick, J.; Verbeek, J.; Wothge, J.; Paunović, E.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 813; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040813.
http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/15/4/813

WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Quality of Life, Wellbeing and Mental Health.
Clark, C.; Paunovic, K.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2400; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112400.
http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/15/11/2400
Supplementary material

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Date added:  November 5, 2018
Environment, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

Disturbance affects biotic community composition at desert wind farms

Author:  Keehn, Jade; and Feldman, Chris

Context: The global benefits of increased renewable energy production may come at a cost to local biotic communities and even regional ecosystems. Wind energy developments, in particular, are known to cause bird and bat mortalities, and to fragment habitat for terrestrial vertebrates within developed project areas. Effects on species sensitive to wind turbines (and increased prevalence of species tolerant to this disturbance) might alter community-level patterns of occurrence, with potentially detrimental changes to wildlife habitat and ecosystem health.

Aims: The present study assessed whether wind energy developments produced downstream ecological costs. Specifically, community composition and diversity were compared between wind farms and nearby areas without energy development.

Methods: Traditional diversity measures and non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) were used to map ecological dissimilarity across four wind farms and five reference (control) areas in Southern California, USA.

Key results: Wind farms had more noise and road disturbance than sites without turbine installations. Noise and disturbance were correlated with reduced plant richness, particularly for endemic plant species and, conversely, with increased non-native plant richness. Animal communities at wind farms were less diverse, with fewer species and lower evenness relative to reference areas with minor or no disturbances. Wind farms had fewer rare and unique species and, for some species of avian predators, encounter rates were lower at wind farms.

Conclusions: Renewable wind energy may indeed cause shifts in local communities. Although wind farms still supported many of the same species found in natural areas, suggesting that renewable wind energy facilities can provide useable habitat for some wildlife, these communities were also less rich and diverse.

Implications: Non-native species were more prevalent at wind farms, which may then facilitate further invasions into surrounding habitats. In addition, reduced overall plant and predator diversity at wind farms, and lower encounter rates for specific taxa (particular birds), may significantly affect community structure and function.

Jade E. Keehn and Chris R. Feldman
Department of Biology, University of Nevada, Reno

Wildlife Research 2018 45(5) 383-396. doi:10.1071/WR17059

Disturbance affects biotic community composition at desert wind farms

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Date added:  November 5, 2018
Massachusetts, Noise, SitingPrint storyE-mail story

Re: Falmouth Wind II Turbine Relocation Study

Author:  Rand, Robert

This letter (PDF attached) is respectfully submitted to the Town of Falmouth to provide a qualified professional opinion about the proposed relocation of Wind II. This is submitted independently as a courtesy to the Town free of compensation from any party.

The original permittings for Wind I and Wind II (and NOTUS) resulted in neighbor complaints soon after start-up and were confirmed to exceed Falmouth’s 40-dBA noise limit (turbines sited too close). Weston & Sampson’s relocation recommendation for Wind II appears to be inconsistent with the Town 40 dBA noise limit and the 2017 Barnstable Superior Court Decision.

1. The distance to meet 40 dBA for Wind II, a Vestas V82 with sound power level of 110 dBA, is approximately 891 meters or 2923 feet. This is greater than the setback distances provided by the proposed new location. The proposed new location is still too close.

2. At 2147 and 2244 feet listed in the subject report, the expected sound level is 43 dBA.

3. Use of the proposed new location appears certain to result in the relocated wind turbine’s maximum noise levels exceeding the Falmouth noise limit of 40 dBA.

4. Use of the proposed new location appears certain to result in the relocated wind turbine’s maximum noise levels exceeding established background sound levels of 27-28 dBA by over 10 dB, breaching State 10-dB noise limits.

Supporting detail is provided in the attached PDF. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Respectfully Submitted,
Robert W. Rand, ASA, INCE

October 26, 2018


Robert W. Rand, Member ASA, INCE
Rand Acoustics
Tel: 207-632-1215
Fax: 206-339-3441
Web: http://randacoustics.com

TO:
Mr. Julian M. Suso, Town Manager
Mr. Rod Palmer, Building Commissioner
Town of Falmouth
59 Town Hall Square
Falmouth, MA 02540

Re: Wind Turbine Relocation Study, Weston & Sampson Report, October 12, 2018

Download original document: “Re: Wind Turbine Relocation Study

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