On request of interested parties in Riga Township, I am writing to provide important information about siting wind turbines to protect public health with an adequate margin of safety. I am a Member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering with over thirty years of experience in acoustics including many years working in industrial power generation noise control. I have conducted independent studies of wind turbine noise including actual field measurements of operating wind turbines in the State of Maine over the last year, where significant community reaction has occurred near wind turbine facilities equipped with smaller wind turbines than proposed for the Riga Township.
I understand that there have been suggestions of using a wind turbine noise limit of 45 dBA at a distance of 1300 feet or so in Riga Township. Experience in New England has proven that these noise levels at these distances for wind turbines sited in rural areas are associated with significant adverse community reactions, widespread complaints, appeals to stop the noise, and legal action. When siting large industrial wind turbines in quiet rural areas, lower maximum noise levels and farther distances are recommended to prevent adverse community reaction and protect public health and welfare with an adequate margin of safety.
This letter presents a discussion of community reactions to noise, guidelines for appropriate maximum permissible noise limits in rural areas, measured noise levels versus distance and observed community responses. I appreciate your consideration of this letter and believe you will find this information useful in your determinations of how to protect the health and welfare of Riga Township.
Download original document: “Letter to Riga Township Planning Commission”
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