News Home

[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

News Watch Home

Revisit noise standards – academics  

Credit:  By PAUL GORMAN - The Press, www.stuff.co.nz 18 August 2010 ~~

Noise standards paving the way for billion-dollar wind-farm developments across the country are biased and should be ripped up, academics say.

Critics have panned the latest New Zealand standard on wind-farm noise as a “fait accompli”, written by a Standards New Zealand committee, dominated by industry members, that claimed to have reached consensus.

They say the code, partly funded by the New Zealand Wind Energy Association, fails to address claimed health effects from noise and vibration from wind turbines and does nothing to avert likely clashes between communities and the industry.

“The standard is industry-funded and I’m afraid it comes down to who pays the piper calls the tune,” one academic said.

However, committee chairman Stephen Chiles , a Meridian Energy consultant, said there was no evidence of a link between wind turbines and health, and the “emotional side” of the debate was “not particularly relevant to the committee”.

On Monday, the High Court gave Meridian hope that its planned Project Hayes wind farm in Central Otago, the largest in the southern hemisphere, may still go ahead by allowing its appeal against an Environment Court ruling throwing out its consents.

Massey University acoustics professor and committee member Philip Dickinson said the standard, and those elsewhere in the world, appeared to be based on “scientific nonsense”.

“One can only come to the conclusion that the concept is mainly a business promotion and public relations exercise which has been devised to appear to be taking into consideration the health and welfare of local residents but is designed to get the most out of the investment for the cheapest outlay, without causing the community to take serious legal action against the developer and territorial authority,” he said.

Dickinson voted against the new standard. In previously confidential voting papers released under the Official Information Act, he slammed it as “totally unacceptable” and said it contained “arrogant and misinformed” and “totally false” information.

“I believe the standard was a fait accompli. No attempt was made to obtain a compromise between the opposing views, as would be a prime consideration for any standards committee,” he said.

AUT University public health senior lecturer Daniel Shepherd wants Standards New Zealand to start again and develop two wind-farm noise codes – one for turbine noise and the other for the potential health effects from the noise.

Health expertise had clearly been under-represented on the committee in favour of acoustics and industry members and consultants, he said.

Chiles said the group had been concerned about health effects and included a Ministry of Health representative.

“It’s an evidence-based process, not a political process. The emotional side of it is not particularly relevant to the committee,” he said.

Source:  By PAUL GORMAN - The Press, www.stuff.co.nz 18 August 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.