SCITUATE – Passage of a bylaw that sets limits for wind-turbine noise could be another step toward town use of wind power.
The planning board’s bylaw proposal calls for using noise standards that were adopted by the state Department of Environmental Protection.
The bylaw, which will be voted on at town meeting, would require that any application for permission to install a turbine include information about the current noise level and how much noise the turbine would produce. It also would limit the noise increase.
The measuring of noise would be done at the base of the turbine and the property line.
A feasibility study completed last year showed that wind energy could power the town’s wastewater treatment plan, but no official plans have been proposed.
‘‘This doesn’t say, ‘Yes, we’re going to put in a turbine,’’’ planning board member William Limbacher said, ‘‘but it lets us identify a set of standards to measure the noise that could be created by a turbine.’’
The board of health would be responsible for enforcing the noise limits and seeing that the application requirements were met, Limbacher said.
Several years ago, the town adopted a bylaw to limit wind-turbine noise, but improvements in turbine technology have made those limits outdated, Limbacher said.
‘‘There is a tremendous opportunity for wind turbines, but there are a lot of questions that need to be answered, but we can eliminate any undue expectations about (turbines ) being too noisy,’’ he said.
The bylaw will go before the town’s advisory board and board of selectmen before being voted on at the annual town meeting, which is scheduled for March 29.
By Kaitlin Keane
31 January 2008
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