February 29, 2008
Letters, New York

Clayton law relies on a faulty noise measure

Quoting from the PPM statement in our flawed Clayton Local Law: “Frequency-weighting of the sound pressure level is obtained with the standardized dynamic characteristic ‘fast’ or ‘slow’ and weighting A, B, or C; unless indicated otherwise, the A-weighting is understood to be applicable.”

It is true that there are several standardized methods of measuring noise. That is the (half) truth PPM Atlantic Renewable has written for our Clayton officials. PPM, however, withheld one simple and overriding fact: dbA-weighting excludes the measurement of infrasound plus low-frequency noise (ILFN).

The whole truth is that the ILFN range on the noise spectrum causes Vibroacoustic Disease and VAD is not even referenced in our present local law. It is a dreadful, fully documented disease thoroughly researched since before 1928 (D.A. Laird, “Experiments on the Physiological Cost of Noise.”) That predates the national influx of wind turbines.

PPM simply chose the worst method.

Thus, PPM reasonably can be accused of withholding vital information from the town of Clayton. As all town supervisors in New York State hold the ultimate responsibility to “protect the public health, safety and welfare,” it ill-behooves those supervisors who discover and then ignore the fact that dbA-weighting cannot and does not include the ILFN range of the sound system, which is the very range that adversely affects human life.

It must not be excluded (as it is now) from an amended Clayton local law. When whole truths are taken into consideration, this choice of dbA-weighting would affect the most important measurement of all – the site placements of wind turbines. Proper methods (which include and measure IFLN) are available such as combining the dbA with the dbC methodologies that do include and measure ILFN. Proper sound-measuring methods demand much greater distances between the center of the turbine tower (at ground level) and the property lines of residents. That translates into fewer turbines.

I will not speculate on PPM’s agenda. That is their business. My concern is how all town supervisors will react, now that they can see the possibility that they may have been misled.

Cindy Grant


Watertown Daily Times

28 February 2008

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2008/02/29/clayton-law-relies-on-a-faulty-noise-measure/