How the Wind Industry Rigged Noise Rules to Get Away with Murder

In the war against the greatest economic and environmental fraud of all time, few individuals come close to South Australia’s Mary Morris.

Mary’s knowledge of acoustics and understanding of how the wind industry rigged the so-called noise ‘guidelines’ in its favour with the aid of its pet acoustic consultants, is second to none. Here’s Mary being interviewed on ABC radio (bear in mind that Australia’s public broadcaster is wind cult central and its members would rather wash their mouths out with soap, than ever utter a harsh word about their beloveds). The podcast is here, with transcript below:

 

Transcript:

David Bevan (ABC announcer): Now, in a moment, we are going to talk to a lady, Mary Morris, and she lives at Eudunda. She sent us some emails a while back, concerned about another batch of wind farms north of Adelaide. This if from the Barossa area up through to the Murraylands. We’re gonna talk to Mary. Some research has been done by an academic at Flinders University regarding sound, and the imposition on local people there. It was done for a law firm, we’ll explore that over the next few days as well, but we’ll talk to Mary Morris in a moment about her angst over the wind farms. Mary Morris is a farmer at Eudunda, and she joins us now. Good morning Mary.

Mary Morris: Good morning David.

David Bevan: Mary, you contacted us because you’re pretty cranky about another wind farm going up in your area. Can you explain what’s the situation out near Eudunda?

Mary Morris: Okay. Well, I guess you could say that I rang in the other day because you were talking about Category Two notification, and people not being notified of the developments that are gonna happen near them, and having no say.

David Bevan: That’s right, we were talking about that with Sir John Rau, the planning Minister.

Mary Morris: Yes, that’s right. Well, this wind farm, that’s exactly the situation. The company has strategically laid out the wind farm so that no turbines will be within two kilometres of a person not involved in the wind farm, which puts it into Category Two, which means it doesn’t get the normal scrutiny it would get from a community if it was going out under Category Three, and there was public notification. In addition to that, they’ve also made sure that the neighbours aren’t actually the neighbours of the wind farm. So, normally if you’re next to a Category Two development, and you’re abutting it, you would get the opportunity to make representation on that development application. In this case, the neighbours aren’t actually the neighbours. The host wind farm land owner has got land titles between the turbines and the other neighbours, so they’re actually the neighbour. So we think that it’s very likely that no real neighbours will actually get to make representation, and see all the documents, and scrutinise the project, which certainly doesn’t give rise to orderly, sustainable development in our opinion.

David Bevan: Okay. Well, how close will you be to a wind turbine?

Mary Morris: My farm is ten k’s from the closest one.

David Bevan: Well that’s a long way. 10 k.

Mary Morris: Yes, it is a long way, but I’m part of the residents group, the Hansborough and Districts residents group, and our members are, they are right on the two k limit, which puts them outside the ability to object to it, and there’s about 50 houses within five kilometres. We know from Waterloo that the effect is quite adverse on the neighbours out to five kilometres, and that there’s research been done by Flinders Uni that they’ve got houses at Waterloo which are non-compliant at three and a half kilometres from that wind farm. These ones for the Twin Creek wind farm will be much bigger turbines, too.

David Bevan: Why don’t you want the wind farms there?

Mary Morris: The main two reasons are the noise, the low frequency noise effects on the people that live near it, because we’ve got lots of people to the north of me, at the Waterloo wind farm, who have left their houses. A lot of people just can’t stand living with that low frequency noise.

David Bevan: How close are they?

Mary Morris: Between 1.3 kilometres, and 8.7 kilometres.

David Bevan: Oh.

Mary Morris: But the thing about-

David Bevan: So you reckon that these things can affect you even eight kilometres away?

Mary Morris: Yes, and I’ll tell you why David. It’s because the bigger the turbines, the slower they turn, and the more low frequency noise they emit. Now, low frequency noise is what you hear when a car goes past, and you get all that doof, doof. You can’t hear the rest of the noise, but you can hear the low frequency noise. Low frequency noise doesn’t attenuate through the atmosphere very much, so if this wind farm, which is gonna be putting out 110 decibels of low frequency noise at the source, the attenuation rate of that through the atmosphere is 0.12 decibels per kilometre, so by the time you get 10 kilometres away, that 110 decibels of low frequency noise is only reduced by one decibel.

So, you’re copping a lot of low frequency noise at a long distance. The reason why the company’s can get away with that is because our EPA guidelines don’t take into account low frequency noise. We don’t have a guideline that controls how much low frequency noise you can have at your residence. It’s only the audible noise, and we’ve been asking for the South Australian guidelines to be reviewed since 2012, and they’ve resisted right up until about 18 months ago, or a bit longer, when I got an email from Minister Hunter, and Tony Circelli, Chief Executive of the EPA, who said in December 2015 that they would review the guidelines starting in July 2016. Well, we’ve virtually heard nothing since.

David Bevan: Okay. So, we’re talking to Mary Morris, she’s a farmer at Eudunda, and we’ve had a number of calls and emails from people with concerns about wind farms. There are three in particular that seem to be causing concerns. There’s two at Hallett, Willogoleche wind farm, and that’s run by Engie, and Bluff wind farm, which is run by AGL, and then there’s one at Eudunda, the Twin Creek wind farm, which is proposed, not yet approved, by Renewable Energy Systems. Somebody whose electorate takes in much of this area is Dan van Holst Pellekaan. He’s the Liberal spokesman on energy. Good morning, Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

Dan van Holst Pellekaan: Good morning David.

David Bevan: Now, are you aware of Mary’s concerns about this proposed, but not yet approved, wind farm at Twin Creek?

Dan van Holst Pellekaan: Yes, I certainly am aware of her concerns, and not only hers. This is a very sensitive issue. Most people are not affected by the noise and health impacts of wind farms, but I have to say the people who are affected, I don’t doubt their genuine concerns on this issue whatsoever.

David Bevan: So, what should be done?

Dan van Holst Pellekaan: Well, in fact, the Liberal opposition has made many very positive suggestions in this area over time. One is that there should be some generally peer reviewed work done within South Australia to look at these health issues, because the reality is that there is no study that’s been done that the South Australian EPA has accepted that says that there are any health impacts, so that makes it a very difficult issue for people who don’t actually suffer from it. So, we think that should happen.

We also think that there should be nationally agreed guidelines. Right now, the guidelines in South Australia are a lot softer than in the rest of the nation with regard to where wind farms can be built, and so that means that we get more of them than other places, whereas if the guidelines were the same across all states, then it would purely be the wind resource, and the access to the transmission lines and things like that, that would make them happen.

I also believe very strongly that there should be opportunities for people who would be affected by the associated infrastructure, like transmission lines and sub stations, to have a say, and I certainly think that the government, which in many cases sets the guideline at one kilometre, needs to review that. That is much too close, to say that if somebody lives 1.1 kilometres away from a proposed wind farm, they would have absolutely no right to object or contribute an opinion towards the development process.

David Bevan: Felicity’s called from Hallett. Hello Felicity.

Felicity: Oh, hi. Thanks very much for having me on. I was going to corroborate what Mary, the concerns Mary had. I’ve recently finished a study which is hopefully going to be published, which I did for my Honours in Psychology, and when people say that people aren’t affected by noise, it’s actually those that can hear noise … of people living within five kilometres, 68% can hear the noise. For people within four kilometres, the number of people moderately and severely affected increases. My area of interest is depression and suicide, and I originally became interested in this as my Honours thesis looking at stress and suicide spikes in Council’s that had recently commissioned wind farms.

David Bevan: Okay. Now, I’m told that the ABC did a fact check on this issue in 2016, and asked the question, does infrasound from wind farms make people sick, and the verdict was there’s no scientific evidence for this claim. What do you say to that?

Felicity: I would actually say that might be based on studies that have been done some time ago, ’cause there’s actually a mounting degree of evidence. It’s a very complicated area, because it’s involving neuronal structures in the brain, so there’s several areas that can now be considered to be of concern. One of the ones I’m quite interested in is the impact of infrasound on cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which, through a pathway, which I won’t go into, can lead to cell deaths in the hippocampus, which is associated with mood and memory. A lot of people have had … in my study, I had basically a randomised study covering Hornsdale, which is another area which is raising concerns, that’s that one at Jamestown, wind farms in my area around Hallett, and Waterloo, and I was-

David Bevan: We’re gonna have to move on, because there’s lots of people that want to talk about this, so I think what we’re gonna have to do is revisit this issue next week, so thank you for your time Felicity, and thank you also to Mary Morris, she raised this issue with us, and she’s also sent us some links to work that’s been done at Flinders University. We will explore that again next week. And Dan van Holst Pellekaan, Liberal’s energy spokesman, we appreciate his time as well.
ABC Radio

Confronted with a few inconvenient facts, David Bevan was obviously very keen to move on.

What Felicity Martin was pointing out runs contrary to the narrative cooked up by a former tobacco advertising guru, that wind turbine health effects, including noise induced sleep deprivation, are all the product of febrile imaginations.

Had David Bevan done his homework, he would have happened upon the research from the Max Planck Institute which categorically proves a neuro-physiological response to exposure to infra-sound. Those responses are objective and evident from actual scientific work, not based on wind industry backed propaganda.

For those interested in scientific facts rather than polished PR, here are our posts detailing that work:

Wind Farm Victim’s Smoking Gun: German Research Reveals Infrasound Exposure Causes Stress, Sleep Disruption & More

Swedish Study Proves Pulsing Low-Frequency Wind Turbine Noise Causes Sleep Deprivation

Wake in Fright: Wind Turbine Infrasound Causes Panic, Fear & Nightmares

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Ontario, Canada sets a great example of systemic failure. A land of abundance, for generations community-minded, taxpaying citizens have invested in civil structures intended to secure a prosperous future. These are being systematically destroyed by lunatic, international racketeers c/w idiotic industrial wind energy projects.

    Professional Engineers of Ontario is the licensing authority for professional engineers in the province. Engineers proudly sign their names affixing “P.Eng.” after a comma; they wear rings on their pinky fingers meant to symbolize engineering failures of the past and remind them of how important they are for society; pranking undergraduates scribble “ERTW” like dogs marking their territory: “Engineers Rule The World” they proclaim, and they believe it.

    And now they stand-by idly watching con artists permit reckless industrial wind energy engineering that harms people including children and burdens us with incalculable future losses.

    Shame on them.

  2. Ever heard the distant rumble of bass sounds from a distant outdoor rock concert? In the right (wrong?) weather conditions the bass sounds can sometimes be heard for up to 20 km. This bass sound is in the low frequency range, down to 20Hz, and carries much further than does the higher frequency sound components of the music because of its lower attenuation with distance.
    Lower frequencies, below 20 Hz, are classified as infrasound and such sound/noise attenuates even less with distance than does the bass sound referred to above. Wind turbines emit copious quantities of infrasound as a result of blade passing (the passage of each of the three blades past the tower). In large modern wind turbines the fundamental blade pass frequency is typically less than 1 Hz. So it’s hardly a surprise that people sensitive to infrasound report being able to hear/sense, without visual cues, when wind turbines are operating out to distances way beyond 10 km.

  3. Noel Dean says:

    The physics of sound is the compression of air at different frequencies as identified using hertz, when you get air pressure changes when the turbine blade passes the tower or when constructive interference occurs. This sound pressure wave carries with it the vibration and resultant sound coming from the blades. This is identified as tonality in the wind test result reports when testing is being done to IEC 61400 standard this is the one that MDA uses in their post construction report. The problem is that the test results are being withheld in Victoria from planning hearings. The reason for this is that:

    1/ the manufacturers are requesting a deviation from the standard so the pulsing of the sound below windspeed of 6mts a second and above 11 mts a second are not considered. This range is basically the sweet spot of turbine operation. The major problem occurs below the wind speed of 6mts a second and above 11 mts a second. The reason that it is claimed that the sound does not create sound issues is because the sound power is being used for prediction. Developers claim that sound power from the turbine operation does not increase above the 11 mt/per sec wind speed. Because the sound power does not increase above maximum speed as sound power is related to the production of generated power. The problem with this is sound pressure which is measured LAeq, dBA pascal pressure, and whereas sound power LWA which is dB watts as in watts of power (light bulb watts),they are different. At Waubra the turbines have 2 speeds the speed changes around 15 mt/sec wind speed therefore the gear change and the rumble thump of turbines operating too close to each other in high wind speeds are not considered. As well as when the extra startup sounds below the 6mt/sec wind speed.

    2/ The difference between the sound power LWA and LAeq are demonstrated in wind test results. Sound power attenuates a lot faster at distance than sound pressure. The testing I have done is that sound pressure actually increases as the distance increases from about 500mts to 1 km by a large amount because it takes distance away from the turbines for the sound to come down to ground level and this depends on height of turbines and weather conditions.

    3 / The IEC 61400 test results also indicate that the likes of MDA refer to IEC 61400 standard but does not use the required method identified to measure the sound in this method. Also what is happening is that background has been assessed using L90 instead of ambient background which requires the use of LAeq where the symbol Ln is for background and Ls+n is the combined background and wind turbines. Therefore it is easy to determine sound attributed to the turbines when having access to the relate to Windtest result reports.

    So in fact, if people have taken their life, or suffered a delayed death from being affected by operational wind turbines over long periods making them feel sick and miserable, it may be classed as aggravated cruelty and murder, as there has been intention to falsify the test results and also intention to withhold information from the public. This has ramifications for the legal system because the legal team for many Victorian Windfarms were made aware of this on 11/11/2016, and still were content to not supply this information to the hearing at LAL LAL. The hearing panel report was content that this information was not required, even though I informed the hearing panel that without the Windtest results the noise/sound emissions was not reliable. This is extremely important because wind farms have been approved with larger/longer blades, without consideration for the extra sound emission expected. This information was provided in the Dean Report of July 2010, and without consideration for the increase in blade size and associated sound that is emitted.

    One must surely consider the intent of the wind industry, for what other reason does the wind industry withhold this evidence. I guess it is the same reason they do not measure the sound, or if they do they do, they do not use the correct method? It must be appreciated that SACs, when measured as required, also considers low frequency sound and with the penalty of 5 dB – a penalty of which requires the removal of up to two thirds of the turbines or double the setback distance (Sonus). Given that the sound emmissions are underestimated at wind farms because predictions do not consider the full degree of pulsing/noise in most cases is 5dB and more when measured correctly. This would then require another removal of two thirds of the remaining third of turbines, or the doubling of the increased set back distance – which makes a 2 km set back 8km. Which I believe would be the minimum for those who have not become sensitive to the sound. But in saying this of course the impact of the huge increase of blade size the set back distance may need to be a lot more.

    Noel Dean

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