Michigan Public Service Commission’s report “Readying Michigan to Make Good Energy Decisions” (11/4/2013), positively quoted the “Noise and Health Report” of the Inter-disciplinary International Journal: “Our results suggest that utility-scale wind energy generation is not without adverse health impacts on nearby residents” and recommends that “on the basis of our data, suggest that setback distances need to be greater than 2 km in hilly terrain.”
“Noise and Health Report” notes that residents living within 2 km (1.24 miles) of a turbine report lower overall quality of life … Those exposed to turbine noise reported significantly lower sleep quality, and rated their environment as less restful.
The MPSC also quoted from a report by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners: “The noise produced by wind turbines differs fundamentally from the noise emitted by other power generation facilities in terms of how it is created, how it propagates, how it is perceived by neighbors and how it needs to be measured … [W]ind turbine noise has a distinctive, identifiable character to it that makes it more readily perceptible than other industrial sources of comparable magnitude … These uneven and unstable airflow conditions generally cause more noise to be generated … Such unstable conditions can lead to sound levels that change very noticeably in the short-term not only in general volume but also in character … It would be easy to avoid any negative impact by simply limiting the sound level from a proposed wind project to 35 dBA at all residences …” Rural background noise is usually 30 dBA.
The Osceola Planning Commission passed a one-year moratorium on wind development. The county commissioners have not acted on it.
Victoria L. Brehm
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