Prof Colin Hansen hammers SA EPA’s Waterloo Noise-Wash

STT Champion – Mary Morris – on the warpath.


Long-suffering Waterloo residents waited years to get South Australia’s rotten little EPA to even consider taking seriously their complaints about incessant low-frequency noise and infra-sound generated by Truenergy’s (aka Energy Australia) fleet of 37 giant fans.

STT Champion, Mary Morris led the charge with a cracking letter pointing out the EPA’s legal responsibility to Energy Australia’s victims under the Environment Protection Act (see our post here).

In her letter, Mary went hard on the EPA’s Valeri Lenchine and rightly so.  Lenchine is a technical incompetent (see below) – all too quick to spring to the defence of his wind weasel mates and always ready to lambast and publicly ridicule wind turbine noise victims – his sneering attack on long-suffering fan victim, Mt Bryan farmer Andy Thomas at a public meeting in Pt Pirie back in September 2010 was a “stand-out” performance – in short, Lenchine’s links to the wind industry can be fairly described as “unhealthy”.

Eventually – kicking and screaming all the way – the EPA sent a bunch of incompetents to set up its ageing fleet of noise loggers at the homes of Waterloo’s unfortunates.

The EPA’s own guidelines make it pretty clear on how and where noise loggers are to be located: noise loggers should be located away from trees and “at least 5 metres from any reflecting surface (other than the ground)”.

But the dimwits from the EPA that call themselves acoustic “experts” said “to hell with that” and set them up like this:

EPA EAST 4     June 2013
They’re apparently not trees and that tank’s not a reflective surface.


And like this:

noise monitoring gear 042
Waterloo local, Tiddles hot on the scent of EPA incompetence.


And like this:

epa gear under tree at Quast place
EPA noise logger with a couple of little saplings.


And this:

Epa waterloo town
EPA noise logger croons “don’t fence me in”.


For more on the EPA’s Waterloo Noise-Wash see our posts here and here.

After the EPA published the results of its so-called “study” – wind weasels and their parasites jumped for joy – let off the hook by members of their team, yet again – but, with the influence they brought to bear on the gullible, if not pliant, EPA, they expected nothing less.

Well, their elation was – as usual – premature.

Fortunately, for Waterloo locals competent, independent acoustic engineers – like Steve Cooper and Emeritus Prof Colin Hansen – set up their own – state-of-the-art equipment side by side with the EPA’s gear – although, instead of sticking their kit under giant gum and pine trees or wedged between iron fences and sheds, these crack operators followed not only the EPA’s rules, but common sense.

CH waterloo
Prof Hansen’s kit – not a rustling tree or rattling shed in sight


Colin Hansen has taken an axe to the EPA study and has criticised it heavily on account of glaring omissions, errors, discrepancies, unsupported findings and conclusions, poor method and, well, just plain old sloppiness.

When it comes to the measurement and analysis of noise and vibration the Professor simply towers above the nincompoops that occupy the EPA.  We think that if the EPA had submitted its study to Prof Hansen as a piece of academic work he would have marked it “FAIL, resubmit”.

In his critique of the EPA’s turbine twaddle Prof Hansen wrote:

The EPA found “no evidence linking the noise from the wind farm to adverse impacts on residents” and there are several reasons why this conclusion may have been reached erroneously. These include certain limitations of the current guidelines as well as aspects of the study that could have been improved. In some cases, interpretation of the data has led to generalisations that are not well backed up by the supporting figures.

On the topic of measuring low-frequency noise indoors Prof Hansen noted:

[R]oom resonances and structural resonances occur at low frequencies, increasing the potential for annoyance. The EPA guidelines do not specify any limits for low frequency noise; therefore other standards were consulted (Danish EPA guidelines and Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) proposed criteria). The EPA acknowledges that for the Danish criteria “the limit should be met inside of the houses and calculated as an average of the microphone indications measured at three points.” Despite this, only one microphone was used in the recent EPA study.  Even though the EPA used only one microphone, there were still instances where the measured levels exceeded both the Danish guidelines and the DEFRA criteria.

Prof Hansen concludes:

I do not believe that the EPA study has shown that the noise impact on residents from the Waterloo wind farm is insignificant. More detailed analysis of the data and analysis of the appropriateness of the existing EPA guidelines would in my opinion indicate a significant impact of the wind farm noise on local residents.

For the full version of the Professor’s – all too fair – critique – click here.

STT hears that Prof Hansen is just about to release the results of his own extensive data collection effort at Waterloo which will, no doubt, get to the bottom of why so many hard-working rural families have been suffering for so long. STT can’t wait.

Prof Colin Hansen – one of the best.

10 thoughts on “Prof Colin Hansen hammers SA EPA’s Waterloo Noise-Wash

  1. The announcement of approval to the CERES project is the latest example of our dictatorial State Government, who believe they have the right to ignore and manipulate any report they are given.
    Weatherill, the current Premier, has a history of ignoring advice where IWT’s are concerned, while his side-kick Rau the Attorney General has a history of supporting whatever the current Premier wants – see his agreement to change Development Planning regulations to remove citizens’ Rights to Appeal IWT project decisions, while the companies keep the Right to Appeal under Rann’s Premiership.

    It’s no surprise to see he was willing to announce the approval of this project with a tainted misrepresentation of what the EPA had in their report – that it should not be used for other projects.

    Hopefully the current Federal Government will take the step to cancel the RET and call an immediate moratorium on the installation of any further installations until the called for research has been conducted and assessed.

    SA is heading for a State Election, however elections are not an indication of whether a country/state is Democratic. It’s what an elected government does with the power it’s given.

  2. As far as the E.P.A result, I went to the meeting in Clare, and If I remember correctly from the presentation or should I say scam, it was said that some of the people showed signs of being unwell even though the Turbines had been turned off. I didn’t know at the time that the Turbines had only been turned off for 50 minutes at the time, from my own experience and other people it take me up to three days before I get better. So what is 50 minutes when you have to put up with this 24/7? And what happened about the noticeable difference in the Infra-sound from 300 Hz down to the 0.25 Hz? That wasn’t in the report.

    if any one has a video or recording of the meeting in Clare, I would love to get a copy, as I believe there were other things said that also not in the report.

    1. The fact that some people were affected when the turbines were turned off is not surprising to us. Here at Lake Bonney 1, on still nights when the turbines are not turning, they still give off quite a “loud” pulsing, drumming sound which resonates inside our head. It is just as debilitating as the low frequency and infra sounds emanated during normal operation. Last night, the drumming sound woke me up at about 2 am and I did not get back to sleep at all. The night was calm and the drumming was strong. The degree of annoyance also seems to be affected by meteorological conditions.
      So…if we want peace, then the turbines have to be electrically isolated and not just shut off.

  3. CERESly flawed

    The guru has got his wish and the Weatherill government has given the Ceres project the tick of approval for Australia’s largest wind farm of some 200 turbines. However with South Australia nearing on being a basket case an approval from a desperate labour government that will cost them nothing was always on the cards.

    The issue has always been the trying to find investors to fund the $1.3 billion dollar project that even if the RET stayed in place, this project would still be last in line to be built. The local council voted against it unanimously as did the surrounding communities the product of a very divisive Ceres/Repower management.

    The guru may have his comrades on side but in the big pond Big Tony is on ours so enjoy your moment in the sun guru.

    P.S. Hey guru that radio announcer on ABC radio Hobart was a bit uncharitable to call you the CEO of a penny dreadful! For what its worth guru save a bit of cash and leave Tassie alone. Stick to the hot rocks, unfortunately you did upset the X-man last year didn’t you?

  4. Wind weasels are home invaders. They come uninvited into our lounge rooms and their incessant barking and grumbling makes it difficult to concentrate or even think.

    Then when we go to bed, they follow us into our bedrooms and whisper all night into our ears “wake up”. Do ear plugs work? Hell no! They have even worked out that low frequencies and infra sound will penetrate ear plugs and pillows. They want to make damn sure we don’t get sleep.

    I thought home invasion was a criminal offence. Perhaps we should take our complaints to the police? Why not! No one else seems to want to listen and take us seriously.

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