The infrasound, a low noise level barely audible to human hearing, from wind turbines doesn’t appear to pose a risk to human, says an engineering expert testifying at environmental review tribunal hearing in Chatham.
“The infrasound from wind turbines is not markedly different from ambient infrasound from other sources,” said Brian Howe, an engineer from HGC engineering, called as an expert witness for the Ministry of the Environment.
Noting people are continually surrounded by infrasound from a variety of sources in daily life, Howe said, “it’s pretty clear there’s not wide spread health issues from ambient infrasound.”
He said concerns about infrasound didn’t arise until humans began travelling into space. However, concerns surrounding infrasound don’t arise until the levels reach an extremely high level,” he added.
However, Howe low frequency sound from mechanical tones can be detected inside a house, noting a window could amplify the sound at low frequency.
He said if complaints are made about sounds heard indoors, it should be taken seriously.
Howe is one of two engineers scheduled to testify at the hearing into a challenge by Katie Erickson and Chatham-Kent Wind Action Inc. to a renewable energy project approval given to Suncor Energy, the principal owner of the Kent Breeze Wind Farm, under construction near Thamesville.
The project is the first to be approved under the Ontario Green Energy Act.
The hearing is continuing today at in the council chambers in the Chatham-Kent Civic Centre.