Resource Documents: Noise (659 items)
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Author: Monitor Township, Bay County, Mich.
Section 3.48 [excerpts]
This Ordinance is intended to protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Township and to encourage the safe, effective, efficient and orderly development and operation of wind energy resources in the Township while preserving and protecting the character and the stability of residential, agricultural, recreational, commercial, industrial and other areas within the Township.
Adverse Sound Character: Sound that causes building rattle, is impulsive, tonal, or has low-frequency bass rumble.
Ambient is defined as the sound pressure level exceeded 90% of the time over a 96-hour measurement period with daytime/nighttime division.
Lmax (LAmax or LCmax): The maximum dB(A) or dB(C) sound level measured using the “fast response” setting of the sound meter (equivalent to 0.125 second exponential averaging time).
L10 is the noise level exceeded for 10% of the time of the measurement duration. This is often used to give an indication of the upper limit of fluctuating noise, such as that from road traffic.
L90 is the noise level exceeded for 90% of the time of the measurement duration and is commonly used to determine ambient or background noise level.
Utility-Scale (also known as Commercial and Large-Scale) Wind Energy Conversion System: A wind energy conversion system greater than sixty (60) feet in total height (tip height) intended to generate power from wind primarily to supplement the greater electric utility grid. Utility-Scale WECS includes accessory uses such as, but not limited to, SCADA towers, anemometers, or electric substations.
Review Standards for Commercial Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS).
Height and Scenic Vista. The maximum height of any Utility-Scale WECS is 500 feet. The height of a WECS is measured from the lowest natural grade at the base of the pole to the highest point of the WECS when a blade is in its vertical orientation.
Abandonment. Any WECS that is not used to produce energy for a period of six (6) successive months or longer shall be deemed to be abandoned and shall be promptly dismantled and removed from the property in accordance with the decommissioning regulations of this ordinance, unless the applicant receives a written extension of that period from the Township Board in a case involving an extended repair schedule for good cause.
Vibrations. Wind turbines shall not create vibrations that are detectable by humans on non-participating properties.
Safety Manual. The Applicant must provide an unredacted copy of the manufacturer’s safety manual for each model of turbine without distribution restraints to be kept at the Township Hall and other locations deemed necessary by Planning Commission or local first responders. The Manual should include standard details for an industrial site such as materials, chemicals, fire, access, safe distances during WECS failure, processes in emergencies, etc.
Noise. Applicant shall provide an initial sound modeling report and, within six (6) months of commencing operation of the WECS, a postconstruction report for the project with a schedule and documentation …
Setback. The minimum setback from any property line of a Non- Participating Landowner or any road right-of-way shall be no less than 2000 feet. The minimum setback from any property line of a Participating Landowner shall be no less than 1640 feet.
Communication Interference. Each WECS and Testing Facilities shall be designed, constructed and operated so as not to cause radio and television or other communication interference. In the event that verified interference is experienced and confirmed by a licensed engineer, the Applicant must produce confirmation that said interference had been resolved to residents! satisfaction within ninety (90) days of receipt of the complaint. Any such complaints shall follow the process stated in Complaint Resolution sections.
Infrastructure Wiring. All electrical connection systems and lines from the WECS to the electrical grid connection shall be located and maintained underground. …
Road Damage. The Contractor shall inform the Bay County Road Commission (BCRC) of all the roads they propose to use as haul routes to each construction site. This shall be done prior to beginning any construction at any site. The identified haul routes shall be videotaped by either the BCRC or Contractor prior to the beginning of construction and after construction has been completed. Upon review of the before and after videos and physical review of each roadway, the BCRC shall determine what damage, if any, was caused by the Contractor! s vehicles. If it is determined damage to the road was caused by the Contractor! s vehicles or activities, the Contractor shall work with the BCRC to determine the extent of the roadway repair needed. This may include, but is not limited to, crush and shaping the roadway, placing additional aggregate, placing a new chip seal surface (two courses minimum), placing a new asphalt surface or a combination thereof. In all cases, the roadway shall be constructed in accordance with the BCRC! s current specifications and requirements associated with the type of roadway to be installed. All costs for said work shall be the responsibility of the Contractor.
Shadow Flicker. No amount of Shadow Flicker may fall on or in a Non-Participating Parcel. … Participant parcels shall not exceed 30 hours of shadow flicker per
Strobe Effect. No amount of Strobe Effect may fall on or in any parcel. Under no circumstances, shall a WECS or Testing Facility produce strobe effect on properties.
Voltage. The Applicant shall be responsible for compensation to residents for property, including livestock, health or other damage by stray voltage caused by a WECS. The Applicant shall demonstrate WECS prohibits stray voltage, surge voltage, and power from entering ground.
Regulation of WECS Commercial and Industrial Noise. To preserve quality of life, peace, and tranquility, and protect the natural quiet of the environment. This ordinance establishes the acoustic baseline, background sound levels for project design purposes, and limits the maximum noise level emissions for commercial and industrial developments. Residents shall be protected from exposure to noise emitted from commercial and industrial development by regulating said noise.
Non-Compliance with Standards. The Township Board reserves the right to require WECS Applicant to shut down any WECS unit that does not meet ordinance requirements until such WECS unit meets ordinance requirements or is removed.
a) No WECS shall generate or permit to be generated audible noise from commercial or industrial permitted facilities that exceeds 45 dBA (Lmax) or 55 dBC (Lmax) (dBC-to-dBA ratio of 10 dB per ANSI standard S12.9 Part 4 Annex D) for any duration, at a property line or any point within any property.
b) No WECS shall generate or permit to be generated from commercial or industrial permitted facilities any acoustic, vibratory, or barometric oscillations in the frequency range of 0.1 to 1 Hz that is detectable at any time and for any duration by confirmed human sensation or exceeds a sound pressure level from 0.1 to 20 Hz of 50 dB(unweighted) re 20 µPA or exceeds an RMS acceleration level of 50 dB(unweighted) re 1 micro-g by instrumentation at a landowner’s property line or at any point within a landowner’s property.
c) No WECS shall generate or permit to be generated from commercial or industrial permitted facilities any vibration in the low-frequency range of 0.1 to 20 Hz, including the 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 Hertz octave bands that is perceivable by human sensation or exceeds an rms acceleration level of 50 dB(unweighted) re 1 micro-g at any time and for any duration either due to impulsive or periodic excitation of structure or any other mechanism at a landowner’s property line or at any point within landowner’s property.
d) A noise level measurement made in accordance with methods in section “Noise Measurement and Compliance” that is higher than 45 dBA (Lmax) or 55 dBC (Lmax), adjusted for the penalty assessed for a tonal noise condition, shall constitute prima facie evidence of a nuisance.
e) An acoustic, vibratory or barometric measurement documenting oscillations associated to commercial or industrial permitted facilities with levels exceeding the noise limits shall constitute prima facie evidence of a nuisance.
f) All commercial and industrial activity shall comply with limits and restrictions anywhere at any time on another property.
g) Leq 1-sec shall be used for all measurements and modeling.
Noise Measurement and Compliance. …
Wind Energy Conversion System (WECS) Site Plan Review Procedure. …
Economic Impact. …
—Adopted March 25, 2019
Author: Acker, WilliamAcker, William
- Cape Bridgewater Study in Australia
- Falmouth, Massachusetts
- The sound from a wind turbine can make other objects vibrate (such as the body) if the sound frequency matches a resonant frequency of an object
- Affidavits submitted by Brown County residents in Shirley Wind indicating that the wind turbines have adversely affected their health
- Wind turbines continue to get larger and larger (in both size and MW output), the noise is dropping in frequency, and the content of low frequency and infrasonic noise is increasing.
- “Adverse Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbines: A Preliminary Report,” prepared for the International Commission on Biological Effects on Noise (ICBEN), July 24-28, 2011, by Michael Nissenbaum, MD, Jeff Aramini, PhD, and Chris Hanning, MD
- Closure of mink farm located in vildbjerg denmark due to problems from a wind farm
- Professor Alec Salt, Washington University Medical School Department of Otolaryngology, study using guinea pigs: “Large Endolymphatic Potentials From Low_frequency and Infrasonic Tones in the Guinea Pig, published in the Journal of the Acoustic Society of America in March 2013.
- Amplitude modulation of infrasound & low frequency noise
- Epidemiologic evidence (9 case-crossover examples, 3 revealed preference cases)
- Wind farm developers that settled with injured residents
- European countries have written noise codes to protect residents from
- problems from industrial wind turbines and other devices
- Sick building syndrome – per acoustical engineer Richard James
- Since 1973 The United States Government has sponsored a research & development
- program in wind energy in order to make wind turbines a viable technology
- British Medical Journal acknowledges health impacts of wind farms: “Wind Turbine Noise Seems to Affect Health Adversely and an Independent Review of Evidence is Needed,” March 2012, Dr. Christopher D. Hanning and Professor Alun Evans.
- People who have gone through considerable medical analysis to understand their health problems, which started when the wind turbines started up: health studies of their symptoms did not find any explanation to the symptoms other than the pressure pulsations from the turbines; in some of cases the doctors did believe that the problem was the wind turbines and in other cases the doctors could not explain the cause of the symptoms based on their tests conducted in their offices away from the wind turbines.
- People who have hosted wind turbine installations on their land have become sick from the wind turbines
- List of symptoms, from the Waubra Foundation
- Can expectations produce symptoms from low frequency noise & infrasound associated with wind turbines?
- Epidemiological study of health effects of persons living within 1100 meters of the Mars Hill wind turbine project, 28 wind turbines 1.5 MW in size, study by Dr. Michael M. Nissenbaum.
- Falmouth Massachusetts study: “Wind Turbine Acoustic Investigation: Infrasound and Low-Frequency Noise – A Case Study,” Stephen E. Ambrose, Robert W. Rand, and Carmen M.E. Krogh, September 11, 2012.
- Self-reporting surveys to residents living in the Waterloo Wind Farm in South Australia, 37 Vestas V90 industrial wind turbines 3.0 MW in size, started up in 2011: upon start-up there were many negative sleep loss and health impact complaints from the residents and effects on livestock (most notably poultry)
- Mrs. Anne Schafer has compiled this preliminary survey report from data collected from an anonymous survey of residents living within 10 km (6.2 miles) of the AGL Macarthur Wind Development in southwest Victoria, Australia. The first Vestas V112 3 MW industrial wind turbines started operation in October 2012, a total of 130 wind turbines installed
- Statement made by epidemiologist Carl V. Phillips, PhD, in “Properly Interpreting the Epidemiologic Evidence About the Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbines on Nearby Residents,“ August 2011.
- Carl V. Phillips testimony, June 30, 2010, Madison, to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.
- The World Health Organization in their 1999 Guidelines for Community Noise made the following comment: “It should be noted that a large proportion of low-frequency component in a noise may increase considerably the adverse effects on health.”
- The Royal Society is an independent Scientific academy of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, dedicated to promoting excellence in science. The is a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal published by the Royal Society which covers all scientific fields. In 4 the journal published a study called “Low-Frequency Sound Affects Active Micromechanics In the Human Ear,” Royal Society Open Science, August 2014, by Dr. Markus Drexl et al., University of Munich; Dr. Drexl is with the German Center for Vertigo and Balance Disorders and the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery.
- Fibrosis, thickening, and scarring of connective tissue as a result of injury from exposure to low-frequency noise and infrasound: including damage to lung tissue, heart tissue, blood vessel walls, cardiac valves, and pericardium sac; exposure results in abnormal growth of collagen in blood vessel walls, tracheal wall, pleural sac, stomach wall, and kidney glomeruli; also, the cilia that line the respiratory tract are severely damaged: “Vibroacoustic Disease—The Response of Biological Tissue to Low-Frequency Noise,” presented at the 11th International Meeting on Low-Frequency Noise and Vibration and Its Control.
- Sensitization of people exposed to industrial wind turbine noise
- Analysis of aerodynamic sound noise generated by a large-scaled wind turbine and its physiologic evaluation
- Question from Richard James to Professor Alec Salt: “Does infrasound from wind
- turbines affect the inner ear?”
- Additional information from Professor Alec Salt
- Health problems at the Lammefjordens Stauder Nursery in Gislinge, Denmark
- Effects wind turbines have on domestic animals, farms, & wildlife
- Poland National Institute of Public Health & Polish Senate
- Towns that have voted against wind farms
- Unusual bleeding and problems with menstrual cycles
- Developmental tissue damage causing flexural deformities in the front limbs of foals at the Lusitano Stud Farm in Portugal
- Acoustical engineer Steven Cooper of Australlia proves that wind turbine sensitized people can sense the inaudible infrasound noise from wind turbines
- Fight-or-flight response
William G. Acker
Acker & Associates
Prepared: December 27, 2015 through Feb. 18, 2019
Download original document: “Some of the case studies that have convinced me that industrial wind turbines make people sick, which supports my belief that we can prove in a court of law that these wind turbines are causing annoyance and illnesses”
Author: Cooper, Steven
The issue of an updated noise guideline for wind farms in South Australia represents the third (public) attempt at the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to address wind turbine noise and unfortunately still contains significant errors and omissions as to to fundamental requirements with respect to the protection of the amenity of residents in proximity to wind farms.
Despite complaints from residents and documentation in relation to such complaints, the EPA have not established appropriate criteria to protect the acoustic amenity of residents. …
The guidelines do not identify what level of noise, or what noise characteristics, will result in sleep disturbance. Assuming that most people will sleep indoors, then Section 2.3 identifies that sleep disturbance is likely to be considered inside as an unreasonable interference that in turn could create an adverse health impact. Section 2.3 is silent on what is a sufficient outdoor amenity to not create an adverse health impact. … There is no information to identify what wind turbine noise levels and characteristics create and adverse impact for hosts or non-hosts. … Without this material provided in the noise guidelines then there is absolutely no way that any environmental assessment can be undertaken for a wind farm and identify that there will be no adverse noise impact. … There is no material to support the limits specified in the guidelines, and in light of no dose-response data for wind turbines, the matter of not identifying the precautionary principal in creating a noise guideline in relation to wind turbines is not acceptable.
In relation to fulfilling the ethical and moral obligations of acousticians to rural communities in proximity to wind farms, research has been conducted by multiple researchers including Professor Colin Hansen, Associate Professor Con Doolan, & Dr Kristy Hansen at Adelaide University & Flinders University, Dr B Thorne, Mr L Huson and the author into what constitutes the acoustic signature of wind turbines and how it is impacting upon people. The Adelaide University researchers conducted almost all of their research at Waterloo Wind Farm in South Australia, and have published a text book as well as multiple peer reviewed published papers. There is no reference to any of that material in the bibliography to the draft guidelines … In addition to the failure of the SA EPA to establish the acoustical basis of the core objectives and how the nominated levels will protect the community for adverse noise or health impacts there a technical issues in the guidelines that question the technical capability of the SA EPA to fulfil their obligations to protect the rural community from adverse noise impacts from wind turbine installations.
There is general agreement in acoustic Standards that there is a distinct different degree of sensitivity to noise by residential receivers during the night to that in the day. There are many Acoustic Standards throughout the world in relation to industrial noise and transportation noise where there is a different weighting (for different acoustic descriptors) applied to noise events that occur in the night-time period when compared to the daytime period. …
The concept for wind turbines of using a generic criteria based upon 24-hour measurements would appear to be inconsistent with general environmental assessments, in that there is an expectation of lower background levels and therefore lower criteria for the night time periods. Background levels at night are typically lower than in the day. Yet the draft guideline does not acknowledge this fact by providing different criteria.
Generally for a wind farm application, with respect to wind data monitoring of the wind for a proposed wind farm is undertaken over a number of years. Therefore, the concept of utilising two weeks of noise data for establishing criteria for a wind farm would appear to be inadequate and not appropriately considered by the EPA.
The difference in prevailing wind for a site or receiver location for the different seasons of the year may be significant in terms of both the assessment of the background level and the predicted noise levels. Such differences are not appropriately reflected in a regression averaging technique based upon hub height wind speeds without any identification of wind direction or seasons.
In the determination of noise criteria for other noise sources such as industry for transportation, the use of dose response curves determines criteria based around 10% of the population seriously or highly affected.
One concept presented in New South Wales by the EPA and Department of Planning is to establish criteria to protect 90% of the population 90% of the time and in that regard ambient background level is expressed in terms of the lowest 10 percentile of the background levels.
It is upon that lowest 10 percentile background level upon which in NSW the background +5 dB(A) limit as a general criterion is based. …
Section 4.7 (Annoying characteristics) repeats the previous errors (in the current and original version of the guideline) in relation to infrasound and clearly an inadequate literature research that indicates that is not a problem.
The suggestion in Section 4.7 that amplitude modulation or low frequency noise is not expected to impact upon receivers during a substantial fraction of the year is incorrect. …
Amplitude modulation by definition is the variation in the level of a carrier frequency where the variation in the level of that carrier frequency (described as modulation) occurs due to a much lower frequency. …
For a wind turbine when one is utilising the correct terminology, amplitude modulation can be related to the output shaft speed of the gearbox (where that tone is the carrier, as a clear and distinct tone) that is modulated at the rate of the blade pass frequency. Depending upon the turbine model the carrier frequency may be at for example, 25.5 Hz, 26 Hz or 31.5 Hz. A narrowband frequency analysis of the signature reveals side bands (to the gearbox output shaft frequency) that clearly satisfy the definition of amplitude modulation [link].
However, the audible noise associated with the “swish” or “thumping” noise is not amplitude modulation (by definition) but is a “modulation of the sound” as identified in the New Zealand Standard as a special audible characteristic. One would have expected the SA EPA to have understood the difference between amplitude modulation and modulation of the sound.
The use of the dB(A) level cannot, by definition be considered as a single frequency because it is a result of multiple frequencies. The dB(A) level can be seen to be modulated at the rate of the blade pass frequency. Therefore, the modulation (variation) of the dB(A) level cannot be called amplitude modulation. The periodic variation on the amplitude of the dB(A) is a modulation of the dB(A) level, where the modulation occurs at an infrasound rate. …
Additionally, it must be noted that determining “compliance” by use of a L90 average level would not account for the modulation of the acoustic signal. The time signature of a wind turbine identifies a series of pulses which occur at the blade pass frequency. The blade pass frequency is in the order of 0.86 Hz for a three bladed turbine operating at 17 rpm.
Therefore, there are questions as to whether infrasound as a concept of sound itself is generated by wind turbines [link1; link2]. As such the concept of audibility or effects from infrasound as suggested in the guideline may not be appropriate. The threshold of audibility for a tone is different to that of a pulse, especially in the infrasound region [link]. Research work and investigations undertaken by the author (by testing conducted in a chamber that could produce infrasound pure tones down to 1 Hz) identified that there is a difference in terms of the perception of infrasound for pure infrasound tones on a constant basis versus pulsations. There is also a hysteresis effect in the thresholds (for both sensitivity and hearing) when increasing the level of infrasound versus decreasing the level [link]. Additional work undertaken by the author has identified the provision of signals recorded in houses in proximity to wind farms and specifically using filters to prohibit any sound below 40 Hz into the speakers, to find that digital frequency analysis of the signal will show the presence of a signature in the infrasound region by way of the incorrect analysis of the pulsations, when in fact there is no infrasound present [link]. …
The suggestion in Section 4.7 of the draft guideline that annoying characteristics are not fundamental to a typical well-maintained wind farm is incorrect. In the UK there have been efforts to define “excessive amplitude modulation” in light of the increase in annoyance that identifies the above SA EPA claim of annoying characteristics is incorrect. Often residents complain that they hear (generally inside the dwelling but also external to the dwelling) on a continuous basis a low frequency noise when the turbines are operating, with the description typically expressed as a plane that never lands.
The development of wind farms in South Australia has resulted in the creation of a new industrial noise source that gives rise to disturbance to rural residents.
With the benefit of hindsight, it is apparent that the guidelines introduced by the South Australian EPA were not based upon actual wind turbine noise but on criteria for other noise sources without identifying the differences between those established noise source sources and wind turbine noise. Over the ensuring period the size of wind turbines has increased and so has the impact. Therefore one questions the relevance of original work on wind turbine noise carried out in Europe on turbines with significantly lower capacity.
From the outset, the South Australian wind farm guidelines had failed to provide material that identifies how the objectives of the guidelines are satisfied, by not identifying what acoustic impacts occur or adverse health impacts that occur as a result of the operation of wind turbines.
On a statistical basis, the number of complaints from communities in proximity to wind turbines is well above the norm and as such cannot be ignored by any regulatory authority if acting to protect the amenity of residents.
The principal issue that the author has experienced in attending residential properties with respect to wind farms is that residents report sleep disturbance. There appears to be a deterioration over time for some people that are impacted. It is noted that not all people are impacted by wind turbines which is compatible with an analogy for seasickness. …
There is often an excuse provided that there are no studies to show that wind farms create health impacts, which can also be said in the reverse case that there are no studies to show there are no health impacts. Because there is a lack of studies.
Work undertaken by the author has identified that in a laboratory situation persons who have become sensitised to wind turbines can detect the presence of a wind turbine signal even though it is inaudible [link]. I am advised by persons who have been adversely affected by wind turbines to the point of having to relocate from their properties (permanently or regularly) and who have recently participated in testing undertaken by Flinders University that in terms of the sleep study they have experienced disturbed sleep.
Further work by the author in relation to the investigation of fluctuations (that is not just restricted to wind turbine noise) reveals that the presence of excessive modulation, which occurs on a regular basis from wind turbines, gives rise to a greater level of annoyance which should be added to the A-weighted levels with respect to wind turbine noise [link].
Download original document: “South Australia Wind Farm Guidelines Consultation”
Investigation of the unpleasantness of infrasound combined with audio sound using psychoacoustic scaling methods
Author: Burke, Elisa; et al.
At many immission sites, human exposure to infrasound (f < 20 Hz) is usually accompanied by sound in the audio-frequency range (audio sound, 20 Hz ≤ f < 20 kHz). This gives rise to the question of whether the interaction between infrasound and audio sound affects the quality of auditory perception. Psychoacoustic experiments were performed within the framework of the EARS 2 project of the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR). Recent results in this project had already shown that detection thresholds for infrasound were increased when simultaneous audio sound is present. The current study deals with the hypothesis that the unpleasantness related to infrasound is changed when infrasound is presented along with audio sound. A rating task on a numerical scale and a pairwise comparison task were conducted to quantify and to compare the unpleasantness of (1) isolated infrasound (sinusoid), (2) isolated audio sound (sinusoid and broadband), and (3) the combination of both, at different sound pressure levels. Normal hearing listeners aged from 18 to 30 years participated in the hearing tests. The results should be of use to improve the understanding of the impact of combined noise on humans and their well-being in the vicinity of potential noise sources.
Elisa Burke, Euginia Putri Stederi, Stefan Uppenkamp, Christian Koch
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt; Medizinische Physik, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany
Proceedings of the 23rd International Congress on Acoustics, 9–13 September 2019, Aachen, Germany: pages 3000–3006
Download original document: “Investigation of the unpleasantness of infrasound combined with audio sound using psychoacoustic scaling methods”