Wind Power Outfit Rails Against Wind Turbine Infrasound Rules

brat

Oi! You can stick your rules on infrasound
where the sun don’t shine, sunshine.

****

Suncor wants much of Plympton-Wyoming’s noise bylaw axed
The Independent
25 February 2015

A Suncor Energy representative calls Plympton-Wyoming’s noise bylaw “a novel approach” but wants much of the bylaw changed.

Suncor Energy is planning a 43-industrial turbine project around Camlachie. It’s the subject of an Environmental Review Tribunal Hearing. But the town has written and passed a noise bylaw to make sure residents aren’t bothered but low-level sound – called infrasound.

While the bylaw was passed, under the Municipal Act, people can ask for changes for up to a year.

Chris Scott was at Plympton-Wyoming Council recently to outline the company’s concerns with the bylaw which Suncor says “are concepts that are not well defined and not accepted by the general consensus of (acoustical) industry standards.”

While the noise bylaw wouldn’t stop Suncor from building the project, Scott says operating it would be another thing. The bylaw, he says, amounts to an “outright ban on infrasound” and “the testing methods are vague and inadequately defined.”

Scott says everything, including people, emit infrasound, making it impossible to turn on the turbines.

And he suggested it would be difficult to measure low-level noise. Scott says there are instruments to measure the lower limits of infrasound as Plympton-Wyoming’s bylaw suggests, but “they are not typically available … and should be struck from the bylaw.”

And he says provisions which would force companies to pay legal costs if there are infractions of the bylaw go too far. “It says all reasonable costs to get a conviction – there would be no ceiling of costs for that reason it should be struck.”

Mayor Lonny Napper says the list of Suncor’s concerns will be forwarded to the town’s legal team but he’s perplexed what the company wants the bylaw to look like.

“I don’t know what Suncor wants other than giving them a blank piece a paper and writing it themselves.”
The Independent

Let’s start with correcting a little sloppy reporting by The Independent, where it talks about “low-level sound – called infrasound”. Its reporter was probably new to the topic, and simply sucked up the wind power outfit’s press release.

What The Independent meant to say was that wind turbines generate “low-frequency” noise, part of which is called “infrasound”. Infrasound is defined in acoustics to be below the hearing threshold of most people (said to be 20 Hz). And, contrary, to the suggestion that this is “low-level sound”, the sound pressure levels generated by wind turbines at low frequencies can be very substantial, and result in a number of adverse health effects, including sleep deprivation (see our post here).

Trying to explain turbine generated infrasound (large changes in air pressure that, by definition, can’t be heard, but are sensed via the inner ear; or other parts of the nervous system) to those who have never experienced its effects is like trying to explain a migraine to someone who has never had a headache – there are a couple of videos in our post here that, for the uninitiated, are worth checking out.

From his groundbreaking study at Cape Bridgewater, Steven Cooper’s data demonstrates that wind turbine generated infrasound is capable of generating adverse sensations in response to turbine noise in frequency ranges below 20 Hz (ie “infrasound”), at sound pressure levels as low as 50 dB.

In that respect, Cooper’s work simply confirms a decade’s worth of research performed by NASA in the 1980s (see our posts here and  here), as does the work by:

  • Dr Paul Schomer, George Hessler, Rob Rand and Dr Bruce Walker at Shirley, Wisconsin in 2012 (available here); and
  • Professor Colin Hansen and his team from the Adelaide University at Waterloo in South Australia during 2014 (see our post here)

That work cuts across Suncor’s spinner, Chris Scott’s “concerns” about it being “difficult to measure” infrasound.

NASA was doing it over 30 years ago; and inside homes, and with the right kind of kit, it’s a piece of cake. And that, for the wind industry, is the real problem. Hence, Scott’s real “concern” that – if forced to comply with some meaningful rules on infrasound emissions – his outfit won’t be able to run its wind farm operation at all.

But, before leaving Scott’s skulduggery and subterfuge, we couldn’t help but notice his little ‘gem’ about “people, emit[ting] infrasound”.

snoring

True enough, snoring is an obstacle to domestic bliss, but STT suspects that he’ll be ‘leaving’ home, well before she does.

****

Now, true it may be, that wind weasels, of Scott’s lineage, emit a little more hot air (often at both ends) than the average hairless ape.

However, absent some kind of noisy domestic ‘conflict’ – throwing plates, say; a very hotly contested game of “Dutch ovens“, or very loud snoring – STT’s yet to hear of a case where noise generated by the human body has caused sleep deprivation; or forced people to abandon perfectly good homes.

This little case simply emphasises the manner in which the wind industry has used a cocktail of corruption, lies and deceit to implement its own set of “rules” – under which low-frequency noise and infrasound is never mentioned, let alone measured or controlled.

No wonder the wind industry is ruthless in its efforts to ensure its own “rules” NEVER get replaced by rules with even the slightest relevance to public health and well-being.

For a taste of how all of this wind industry malfeasance – and the institutional corruption that condones and supports it – came to pass see our post: Three Decades of Wind Industry Deception: A Chronology of a Global Conspiracy of Silence and Subterfuge.

dirtyrottenscoundrelsoriginal

Rules? Yes, sure, we’ll abide by them. But only if we get to write them.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Both the “current” SA EPA wind farm Noise guidelines 2009 and the 2003 version give the same guidance regarding infrasound from wind farms:

    “Infrasound was a characteristic of some wind turbine models that has been attributed to early designs in which turbine
    blades were downwind of the main tower. The effect was generated as the blades cut through the turbulence generated
    around the downwind side of the tower.
    Modern designs generally have the blades upwind of the tower. Wind conditions around the blades and improved blade
    design minimise the generation of the effect. The EPA has consulted the working group and completed an extensive
    literature search but is not aware of infrasound being present at any modern wind farm site.”

    A couple of points about this……………

    1. If the Suncor wind turbines are not producing infrasound (as per SA EPA’s “awareness”), they will not have to worry about breaching the Plympton- Wyoming by-law.

    2. When the SA EPA measured infrasound outside during “on-off” testing at the Waterloo “North Site” for Shutdown 5 on 12/6/2013 and Shutdown 6 on 14/6/2013, the infrasound levels dropped by around 11dB(G) when the turbines were turned off and then returned to pre-shutdown levels when generation resumed.

    3. Similarly for Shutdown 1 at the Township site 1/5/2013 – SA EPA measured infrasound levels dropped 15 dB(G) when the turbines were turned off and rose again to pre-shutdown levels when generation resumed.

    (see SA EPA website for original graphs)

    …….and the SA EPA still maintained in their November 2013 report and in late January 2015 ( on ABC 891 breakfast radio interview re Steven Cooper Cape Bridgewater Study)……..that their guidelines still stand and don’t need reviewing.

    So are they still ……..”not aware of infrasound being present at any modern wind farm site” ??

    Time for an updated “extensive literature search” and maybe even a closer look at their own report.

  2. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak and commented:
    Suncor wants much of Plympton-Wyoming’s noise bylaw axed
    The Independent
    25 February 2015

    A Suncor Energy representative calls Plympton-Wyoming’s noise bylaw “a novel approach” but wants much of the bylaw changed.

    Suncor Energy is planning a 43-industrial turbine project around Camlachie. It’s the subject of an Environmental Review Tribunal Hearing. But the town has written and passed a noise bylaw to make sure residents aren’t bothered but low-level sound – called infrasound.

  3. All you windweasel grubs with tears in your eyes, don’t worry, all the tears will be gone soon. And so you all will be gone too, as you all will fade away into nothing, and the tears will be all dried up too.

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