Here are six bullet points assembled that every citizen in Huron County should read and ponder as we decide the future of Huron County. We need to demand a full spectrum of wind turbine testing including low frequency noise.
The following applies:
1. It is widely recognized by acousticians that the sound that penetrates a building and causes sleep disturbance comprise primarily the low-frequency components from a noise source.
2. Although the higher frequency “dBA” components are the most audible outside, these are not the components that are the dominant disturbing components inside. So simply measuring dBA levels does not necessarily relate to sleep disturbance.
3. To avoid sleep disturbance, the World Health Organization at first sight recommends an internal sound pressure level of no more than 30dBA, which is considered to correspond to 45dBA outside. But they also qualify this by stating that where significant low-frequency noise is present, a lower limit is necessary.
4. In a peer-reviewed paper “Wind Turbines and Health; A Critical Review of the Scientific Literature” in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, published in November 2014, funded by Canadian Wind Energy Association and authored amongst others by K. Kaliski, it clearly states that wind turbines can cause sleep disturbance in the range 40-45dBA. This is entirely consistent with the World Health Organization’s caveat regarding sources with low-frequency noise components.
5. In their discussions of appropriate ordinance levels, the planning commission repeatedly emphasized their objective of avoiding health impacts for residents of Huron County. Yet none of the professional INCE acousticians advising Huron County, including K. Kaliski, warned that 45dBA was an inadequate standard, and that 40-45dBA can cause sleep disturbance.
6. So it is only to be expected that some residents of Huron County are experiencing problems. Competent INCE acousticians should have made this clear before endorsing 45dBA, since this leads to precisely the problems that some residents are encountering.
Robert W. Gaffke
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