GODERICH – A committee that was exploring the issue of low frequency noise from wind turbines and other sources was disbanded by Huron County’s committee of the whole last week.
Huron County councillors decided the committee’s final task of reviewing a report by the Ministry of the Environment low frequency noise will be dealt with directly at the council table, rather than trying to replace its chair, Brian Barnim, and Bill Siemon, both of whom lost their seats at County Council as a result of a court decision earlier this year.
Coun. Deb Shewfelt, who is the mayor Goderich, said the committee should be disbanded and the report from the ministry brought directly to committee of the whole for review.
“What makes more low frequency noise than a combine,” he asked. “With all that’s happened in recent months, we’re going to have to rely on farming big-time,” he said.
A report from the ministry, released in December, concluded there is no direct health risk from wind turbine sound at Ontario’s regulated setback distance.
The report found that the province’s rules to control wind turbine sound are rigorous. Ontario has one of the strictest noise limits in North America, which includes a 550 metre minimum setback, based on a 40-decibel limit. The decibel limit aligns with recommendations from the World Health Organization, which suggests a maximum 40-decibels at night.
Among its recommendations, the report suggested development of a protocol to address complaints about indoor doors. It also recommended developing a way to measure noise at infrasonic frequencies.
The motion is expected to be confirmed by Huron County Council on April 4.
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