FAIRHAVEN – A turbine opponent who lives within 2,000 feet of Fairhaven’s turbines measured turbine noise at his home in an effort to attract the attention of Fairhaven’s Board of Health and encourage the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to conduct its own noise testing.
The DEP has maintained it will not test the Fairhaven turbines unless explicitly asked to do so by the Board of Health, so John Methia of Shawmut Street conducted a test of his own.
Methia measured the turbines’ noise to be between 43 and 68 decibels Tuesday night, when the turbines were louder than usual. When he measured again Wednesday night, the turbines were not spinning and the noise level was less than 40 decibels.
Methia recorded a video of the tests, which he posted to YouTube and sent to the Board of Health and DEP.
In Massachusetts, a turbine is considered to be in violation of state law if it is 10 decibels louder than the area’s ambient sound.
“Obviously, the true measurement would be if we did it from the same spot with the turbines on and off the same day with the same wind,” Methia said. “But we don’t have control over the turbines.”
Peter DeTerra, the health board’s chairman, when contacted Thursday afternoon said he had not yet seen the videos and would not comment as to whether they would encourage the board to seek help from the DEP. DeTerra said the board would discuss the videos at its meeting Monday.
DEP spokesman Edmund Coletta would not comment on Methia’s test. He said the DEP’s testing in Falmouth, which resulted in the shutdown of one turbine, was conducted using high-grade decibel measuring equipment and involved “taking multiple samples the same night, when the wind is the exact same, with the turbines on and off.”
Sumul Shah, the turbines’ developer, said the video did not depict “in any way an accurate measurement.”
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