July 17, 2018

Expert refutes wind testimony

By Judy Dolgos-Kramer | Times News | July 17, 2018 | www.tnonline.com

A noise expert testified Monday during the hearing for the second application for commercial wind turbines in Penn Forest Township.

Robert W. Rand was called by the opposition to the project to testify about wind turbine noise.

He concluded that the noise expert for Atlantic Wind, Mark Bastasch, had improperly interpreted the ordinance and that the project would not comply with the noise restrictions set by the township ordinance.

Rand is the president at Rand Acoustics LLC, a consultant for “noise, community reaction and soundscapes.”

Rand testified he is not an engineer and that his expertise lies in all areas of commercial noise generation, not just wind turbines. After direct and cross-examination on his credentials he was accepted by the hearing board as an expert in “the field of acoustics and noise.”

The bulk of Rand’s testimony was to discredit Atlantic Wind’s noise expert’s report. In his testimony and report, Bastasch used an LEQ measurement for sound/noise, saying the noise level would meet the ordinance requirement of 45 dba at all residences.

Rand refuted this by claiming that in order to meet the standard set out in the ordinance, an L max measurement would need to be made. By applying a mathematical standard to Bastasch’s numbers, Rand concluded that the sound level would exceed the maximum allowed noise levels at every residence listed in the original report.

“It is not weighted or an averaged sound level,” Rand said. “Turbines are not a steady sound. The sound goes up and down and must be measured as a maximum to meet the ordinance.”

Rand also stated that Bastasch’s report was neither “credible nor reasonable” and that the report stated that the noise level would never be higher than the average, which “by definition some noise levels must be higher.”

When asked if he was biased against wind technology, Rand read from a prepared statement which was attached to his report.

“If someone who doesn’t know me and what I do levels the charge ‘anti-wind’ at me, they also don’t know that by the same empty logic they’d have to label me ‘anti-coal,’ ‘anti-oil,’ ‘anti-nuclear,’ ‘anti-transformer,’ ‘anti-backup-generator,’ ” Rand said.

“In my firm’s independent professional capacity, there is no particular ‘bias’ or interest in the brand of power generation being investigated or designed. My firm’s professional work, what utility and community clients have contracted for, is consultation for the best possible facility design ensuring that regulations are met, public safety, health and welfare is protected and complaints are prevented. These are professional ethics.”

The meeting on Monday night had to be moved to the township building because of renovations being made to the firehouse.

The next hearing will be held at 6 p.m. July 23 at the Penn Forest Fire Company No. 1.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2018/07/17/expert-refutes-wind-testimony/