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Resource Documents: Law (50 items)

RSSLaw

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:  March 15, 2017
Noise, Regulations, VermontPrint storyE-mail story

Proposal and comments for implementing a rule regarding sound from wind generation projects

Author:  Ambrose, Stephen

There is an unsaid purpose and intent for this request [from the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB)]. Might it be an acknowledgement that “Vermont’s wind turbine noise rule does not protect neighbors from excessive noise and adverse health impacts”? This is obviously due to persistent complaints, and at least one home abandonment. This solicitation for public comments should not be used to divert-delay-deny public attention. Wind turbine neighbors want the PSB to correct the current flawed regulations based on accepting for regulatory rules those the wind industry recommends. If the PSB sought advice from truly independent sources they would have learned that 45 dBA is only applicable for urban-residential areas and even for those communities is not sufficient to protect people. Ontario, and other Canadian provinces have regulations setting 40 dBA as the not-to-exceed threshold. Yet, recent studies have shown strong evidence that 40 dBA is not preventing adverse health impacts. Even 40 dBA is too loud. Somehow the cautionary warnings of the 1970s about 35 dBA for quiet rural-residential environments have been ignored. Standards such as ISO 1996 and ANSI’s S12.9 still support 35 dBA for nighttime noise in quiet rural regions.

The noise rule needs a large scale reduction in its permitted noise limits to protect and minimize noise complaints. Anything less will only continue the endless discussions for equivocating with fudging, quibbling, and evading the need to lower to 35 dBA. Adding superfluous and complicated measurements, procedures or protocols around the 45 dBA will only continue to result in failure. The PSB should understand this after receiving reams of unfathomable data from acousticians closely aligned with developers that has no connection to a human response.

The PSB should seek assistance from independent experts to establish a noise rule that minimizes adverse human responses. This noise limit must be easy to understand and enforce. The PSB should not have to deal with the intricacies of acoustic science, noise sources, propagation, and weather. These are the concerns for the noise consultants who are responsible to their wind developer clients, who need to advise their clients on how not to harm the public. The PSB should focus on public health and enforcing compliance; and not be negotiating mitigating options with developers, operators, or consultants.

The current wind turbine sound rule should be abandoned and replaced with the previous noise limits. The Environmental Board used Lmax for its regulations and that has been upheld by the Vermont Supreme Court (see page 11). The Lmax refers to the instantaneous maximum level (LAmax) relative to the background (LA90). People hear the instantaneous variations above the background and respond accordingly, which cannot be substituted with a time-weighted average. Adverse public reactions are shown to occur when the Lmax exceeds the background L90 by 10 dB.

Answers for most of the questions start on the next page …

Download original document: “Proposal and comments for implementing a rule regarding sound from wind generation projects”

See also:  Vermont Public Service Board Sound Rule Workshop

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Date added:  March 15, 2017
Noise, Regulations, VermontPrint storyE-mail story

Vermont Public Service Board Sound Rule Workshop

Author:  Ambrose, Stephen

[ Download presentation PDF. ]

See also:  Proposal and comments for implementing a rule regarding sound from wind generation projects

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Date added:  March 7, 2017
Contracts, IowaPrint storyE-mail story

Wind farm neighbor easement agreement

Author:  MidAmerican Energy

Highland Wind Energy, O’Brien County, Iowa

Excerpts:
Although Developer is taking commercially reasonable measures to minimize the side-effects of the operation and construction of the Wind Farm’s Generating Units and other related facilities on property near or adjacent to the Wind Farm … and Developer does not expect these side effects to exceed any industry standards regarding sound, shadow flicker, or television interference, Owner understands and acepts that operation of Generating Units may have some impacts on the Wind Farm’s neighbors, including the Owner’s Property. …

Agreement

1. Grant of Effects, Sound and Shadow Easements. Owner hereby grants and conveys to Developer and exclusive easement on, over, under and across all of the Owner’s Property to permit Generating Units or other wind energy conversion systems on adjacent property or elsewhere to cast shadows or flicker onto the Owner’s Property; impact view or visual effects from the Owner’s Property; and cause or emit noise, vibration, air turbulence, wake, and electromagnetic and frequency interference.

2. Construction Impact. Developer recognizes that Owner due to its location next to construction areas may be inconvenienced by construction noise and activities. Owner acknowledges Developer has informed Owner of the potential impacts of construction and agrees the compensation provided in this Agreement is adequate for the impacts described. …

20. Confidentiality. Owner shall not disclose to others (except Owner’s family, legal counsel, prospective Lenders and Assignees, and financial advisors who recognize and agree to preserve and maintain the confidentiality of such information) the terms of this Agreement. …

Payment schedule

A one-time payment of One Thousand dollars ($1,000) upon signing this Agreement; and

If a Generating Unit is installed within one-half mile of a residence existing on the Owner’s Property as of the date of this Agreement, then Owner shall be paid either (initial one of the following options):

______ OPTION 1:

An annual payment of Five Hundred dollars ($500) … Such annual payment shall be adjusted upwards by the greater of two percent (2%) per year on a compunded basis or by the percentage change, if any, in the GDPIPD [gross domestic product implicit price deflator] for the the preceding available four quarters.. …

______ OPTION 2:

A single one-time payment of Nine Thousand dollars ($9,000). …

Download original document: “Highland wind farm neighbor easement agreement”

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Date added:  February 14, 2017
Health, Law, Noise, Property valuesPrint storyE-mail story

Flat Rock Wind v. Rush County Area Board of Zoning Appeals

Author:  Court of Appeals of Indiana

‘Over the course of two hearings, the BZA had the opportunity to carefully consider the statutory setback requirement of Section 6.4 and its implications on the life, health, and safety of the surrounding landowners. It received evidence in favor of the project and in opposition of constructing the windfarm. Ultimately, and based on the evidence presented at the hearings, the BZA, in its approved Findings of Fact, explicitly found that “an additional setback is necessary to protect health and safety on non-participating properties and owners, and imposes as a condition on the grant of the special exception a minimum setback of 2,300 feet, to be measured from the center of the WECS turbine to the non-participating property line.”’

Download original document: “Flat Rock Wind v. Rush County Area Board of Zoning Appeals”

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