LOWELL – Vermont utility regulators are giving Green Mountain Power the rest of the year to determine if continuous noise monitoring of the 21 turbines of the Lowell Mountain wind project is financially and physically feasible.
The Caledonian Record reported that the Public Service Department wants the utility to pay a penalty for several noise violations last winter that came from selected monitoring of four areas around the turbines. The department wants the Public Service Board to enforce a $56,000 penalty against GMP. The money would be used to do continuous monitoring.
The utility wanted to do more research. Spokeswoman Dorothy Schnure said GMP now has more time to do a comprehensive look at monitoring options.
The board also said that complaints by project neighbor Shirley Nelson about the health impacts of noise from the turbines near her home cannot be considered as part of a discussion over penalties for noise violations because Nelson’s private monitoring results don’t meet board standards.
“We are also aware of the fact that Mrs. Nelson has obtained and been using a sound meter to take decibel readings of turbine sound levels on a regular basis, and that those readings indicate sound levels at times in excess of the applicable noise standard, including times when GMP is not conducting sound monitoring,” the board said.