A formal decision has been made that the mechanical hum produced by the motors of wind turbines and a ‘whooshing’ sound produced by the blades moving through the air should be regarded as noise, and accordingly, compensation should be given to individuals residing near these turbines who suffer from such noise.
The Central Environmental Dispute Mediation Commission said Monday that in response to a case in which 163 residents of two villages in Yeonggwang County in South Jeolla Province requested compensation from the operator of wind power generators claiming that they suffered mental damages due to the low-frequency noise generated by the neighboring wind turbines, it recognized the damage the residents suffered and decided that they should receive 138 million won (US$109,820) in compensation.
The commission stressed that it was the first compensation decision for damages caused by the low-frequency noise of wind power generators. Low-frequency noise refers to noise below 100 hertz.
A total of 35 wind turbines were installed and launched commercial operations in the neighborhood of the villages in 2017, giving rise to many complaints from the residents.
The commission’s actual measurements showed that the noise with frequencies from 12.5-80 hertz exceeded the bearable pain level in both of the villages.
In particular, the noise with a frequency of 80 hertz was as loud as 87 decibel, far exceeding the bearable pain level of 45 decibel.
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