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Wind farm’s 40-decibel noise limit debated  

Credit:  By Sharon Hill, The Windsor Star, www.windsorstar.com 25 March 2011 ~~

Suncor Energy’s Kent Breeze Wind Farm must meet a noise limit of 40 decibels -about the same level as that of normal conversation -at homes near its proposed wind turbines, Ministry of the Environment engineer John Kowalewski told a hearing this week in Chatham.

But the question in the muchwatched case is whether the decibel calculations are correct and how much noise is needed to cause health problems for residents living near turbines, said lawyer Eric Gillespie, who represents the residents fighting approval of the wind farm.

“A mosquito flying around in your tent when you’re camping is lower than 40 decibels, but very annoying to many people,” Gillespie said Wednesday. “It is the nature of the wind turbine sound like the mosquito or the dripping faucet or the backup beeper that causes many experts to believe wind turbines’ noise should be treated differently.”

The hearing before Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal is the first challenge of a wind farm approved under the Green Energy Act.

Gillespie said the tribunal has already heard excessive noise has been linked to health issues, including sleep disturbance, headaches and nausea.

After three days of the hearing in Chatham next week, closing arguments are expected to be heard April 6 and 7 in Toronto.

Source:  By Sharon Hill, The Windsor Star, www.windsorstar.com 25 March 2011

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.

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