Resource Documents: New Zealand (19 items)
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Author: Shepherd, Daniel
I have been invited by Glenmark Community Against Wind Turbines, Inc to provide an evaluation of the impact of turbine noise on health and well-being. …
Relatively, wind turbines are a new source of community noise, and as such their effects on public health are only beginning to emerge in the literature. The recognition of a new disease, disorder, or threat to health usually follows a set pathway. First, doctors and practitioners attempt to fit symptoms into pre-defined diagnostic categories or to classify the complaints as psychosomatic. Second, as evidence accumulates, case studies begin to appear in the literature, and exploratory research is undertaken to obtain better descriptions of the symptoms/complaints. Third, intensive research is undertaken examining the distribution and prevalence of those reporting symptoms, the factors correlating with the distribution and prevalence of those symptoms, and ultimately to cause-and-effect explanations of why those reporting symptoms may be doing so.
In my reading of the literature the health effects of wind turbines are only beginning to be elucidated, and [are] caught somewhere between the first and second stages described above (Paragraph 1.8). The important point to note is that case studies (e.g., Harry, 2007; Pierpont, 2009) and correlational studies (e.g., Pedersen et al., 2007; van den berg, 2008; Shepherd et al., 2011) have already emerged in relation to the health effects of wind turbine noise, and so the possibility of detrimental health effects due to wind turbine noise must be taken with utmost seriousness.
Noise is a recognised environmental pollutant that degrades sleep, quality of life and general function (WHO, 1999, 2009; 2011). On the basis of data currently available in peer-reviewed scientific publications, it can only be concluded that industrial-scale wind energy generation, involving the saturation of an optimum number of wind turbines in a fixed area, is not without health impact for those residing in its proximity. Based on my experience of wind turbine noise, and my reading of the data available in the scientific literature, I recommend that all turbines displaced at least two kilometres (or more) from any dwelling be consented. …
30 April 2012
Download original document: “Statement of Evidence in Chief of Daniel Shepherd on behalf of Glenmark Community Against Wind Turbines”
Author: McBride, David; Shepherd, Daniel; Welch, David; and Dirks, Kim
Background. Wind turbine noise is known to cause annoyance and sleep disturbance, which are primary health effects. An additional risk factor is the trait of noise sensitivity, which describes individuals who are more likely to pay attention to sound, evaluate sound negatively and have stronger emotional reactions to noise. The result is chronic stress, the effects of which could be monitored through detecting stress related outcomes such as hypertension in exposed individuals. An alternative approach is to monitor health related quality of life (HRQOL). This study examines whether there is a change in this metric over time in a turbine exposed community.
Methods. This is a 2 year follow up of a base-line survey carried out on individuals living within two kilometres of industrial wind turbines compared with a matched control group [“Evaluating the impact of wind turbine noise on health-related quality of life”]. We have repeated the self administered questionnaire survey in which self-reported HRQOL was measured using the abbreviated version of the WHOQOL-BREF.
Results. The base-line survey found that residents living within 2 km of a turbine installation experienced significantly lower overall quality of life, physical quality of life, and environmental quality of life than a control group. The turbine group showed no change in WHOQOL or amenity scores with time, however compared to the 2012 control group, the turbine group had lower physical domain scores, and rated their overall health as being poorer. The results do not therefore support any improvement in this global health metric with time.
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Department of Psychology, School of Public Health, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
Kim N. Dirks
School of Population Health, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Presented at Internoise 2013, Innsbruck, Austria, 15-18 September 2013
Download original document: “A longitudinal study of the impact of wind turbine proximity on health related quality of life”
Author: Meridian Energy
[This appears to be for the “West Wind” project, commissioned in 2009. Excerpts:]
Encumbrancee [Meridian Energy] intends to undertake the Development on the Development Land.
The Encumbrancer [New Zealand Forestry Group] has agreed to the covenant set out in the Third Schedule to this Encumbrance (Covenant) requiring the Encumbrancer to support any resource consent or other applications made by Encumbrancee relevant to the Development, and not to object to, prevent, prohibit, in any way interfere with or restrain the Development, or oppose any application for resource consent or other authority or consent required by Encumbrancee in respect of the Development.
The obligations and rights set out in this Encumbrance must be complied with and may be exercised for the period of 999 years commencing on the date of execution of this Encumbrance.
The Encumbrancer will not:
- complain about, raise any objection, lodge any submission in opposition, lodge any appeal or legal proceedings or take any other action relating to the Encumbrancee’s use (including future use) in respect of the Development and in particular any effects relating to the Encumbrancee’s use (including future use) of the Development, including:
- noise levels, odour, glare or vibration;
- electromagnetic frequency or other emissions;
- health effects;
- electrical interference;
- use of vehicles;
- site coverage and layout;
- shadowing or blockage of sunlight; and
- use, erection, alteration, extension, removal, reconstruction, or demolition of buildings, structures or equipment.
- oppose or lodge any submission in opposition to any application by the Encumbrancee for any resource consent relating to the Encumbrancee’s use (including future use) of the Development; and
- incite, participate in or support any objection, submission in opposition, appeal or legal proceeding or other action which may have the effect of preventing, prohibiting, restricting, restraining or interfering with the Encumbrancee’s use (including future use) of the Development.
3 June 2008
Download original document: “Memorandum of Encumbrance Meridian Energy between New Zealand Forestry Group and Meridian Energy”
Author: Dickinson, Philip
New Zealand Standard 6808:2010 Acoustics – Wind farm noise is unique in that it acknowledges, up front under committee representation, that a representative of a university involved in its development does not support the Standard. Since that time a number of papers and presentations have decried this opposition to the Standard without giving the committee member the privilege of comment or reply. This paper is to put the record straight and explain why the Standard is not supported. Wind farms may well be a viable alternative energy source, but the effects of noise immissions on the health of people living within several kilometres of the wind farms is becoming a concern. The noise level from a wind farm may be quite low, but its characteristics compared to that of the normal background sound make it stand out as something quite different. Often the sound is heard more clearly indoors than outside due to its ability to excite room resonances, making it an irritant causing severe loss of sleep and extreme annoyance. New Zealand Standard 6808:2010 closely follows that used in Britain and parts of Europe, even though there are clear indications that the criteria to be met do not fully conform with World Health Organization recommendations, and the method used is likely mathematically, scientifically and ethically wrong. This Standard and similar standards across the world are clearly biased towards cost effective wind farm development, and it appears public health concerns are not being given enough attention.
Philip J Dickinson
College of Sciences, Massey University Wellington, New Zealand
Updated from paper presented at Acoustics 2009, 23-25 November 2009, Adelaide, Australia