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Scituate: Steering committee moves forward with a wind turbine study that’ll focus on noise

A Scituate steering committee has decided to move forward with a wind turbine study that will focus on noise created by the turbine. However, members of the committee continue to disagree about the parameters of the study.

Scituate Wind is a private company that owns the 400-foot structure and Gordon Dean, who manages Scituate Wind, believes the study should only consider regulations set by the Mass Department of Environmental Protection, or MassDEP, “Basically the guidelines we’ve received from MassDEP is to go out and sample at various locations at different wind speeds and you sample both the background level and you sample the noise that you get when the turbine’s on.”

But a Scituate community group believes MassDEP regulations are flawed. Tom Thompson is a member of the steering committee and lives near the turbine which is located off the Scituate Driftway. He says the regulations were developed before industrial size wind turbines were installed in Massachusetts.

“By wanting to average out what the emanation from an acoustical perspective from the wind turbine, it doesn’t accurately reflect the true performance because it ignores the significant spikes that is fairly consistent and those are the ones, the aerodynamic amplitude modulation, that’s the component that really has the impact to the residents in terms of sleep,” explains Thompson

The Scituate committee plans to define the parameters of the noise study in the coming weeks. They will be meeting with the Scituate Board of Health Monday night to update the board about the progress they’ve made so far.