FAIRHAVEN – Laurel Carlsen, who is doing the wind turbine sound study for the Department of Environmental Protection, said last week it is still ongoing and too early to draw conclusions.
“I have not provided any results to the town yet and have not yet concluded that there were no exceedences of the 10 dBA limit found in the sampling we did this fall,” Ms. Carslen said in an e-mail to The Advocate.
The 10-decibel threshold is based on state regulations limiting any increase in sound to no more than 10 decibels over what was there previously. The sound is measured when the turbines are off and compared with the noise level when they are on. The tests are done during varied wind conditions.
Tests have been ongoing for months in areas where complaints have been received about two industrial-sized wind turbines on town land off Arsene Street. Ms. Carlsen has said in the past that it is better to test in the winter; for one thing, because there are no leaves on trees blocking sound.
In her e-mail, Ms. Carlsen said she is in the “midst of trying to finish the data” and will write an “interim” report for the town “that will provide them final results for the work done to date.”
She said the final results won’t be complete “until I am able to sample one or two more specific weather conditions that we just haven’t had for months.”
She added, “It is premature to draw any conclusions about the sampling done to date and I had sent the town and e-mail to that effect earlier this month.”
Selectmen had a sentence in the town’s annual report saying the sound test results showed no violations of the 10 decibel limit but they voted to delete it at their Jan. 22 meeting after objections were raised by Selectman Robert Espindola. They kept a sentence saying there were no violations in testing as of early December.
Select Board Chairman Brian K. Bowcock said Ms. Carlsen had e-mailed town officials saying there were no violations in testing to date. He said the language in the annual report saying the turbines were in compliance with noise regulations was based on those e-mails.
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