Expert speaks on wind turbine noise in Sumner

SUMNER — The Wind Power Committee held an emergency meeting on short notice Sunday to take advantage of an audio expert who testified Thursday in Augusta before the state committee considering stronger noise regulations on industrial wind power for the Department of Environmental Protection.

Richard James, a mechanical engineer who focuses on environmental engineering, has been working with sound for 42 years. He worked with General Motors for several years and has been to Asia and Europe as a consultant on wind turbine sound.

“I’m not anti-wind if it is done right," James said. "I am anti-peers,” he said, adding that his peers in the business need to be more honest with people about turbine wind noise.

James said many times when people are worried about sound from new factories, airports or highways, they eventually come to realize that sound was not going to be a problem.

“Not so with wind turbines,” he said. “That’s when you have a problem with noise.”

James said the mistake many people make when they go to visit wind turbines is they go during the day. “The normal noises of daytime activities help to cover the turbine sound. People should go for a visit in the middle of the night,” he said. “That’s when people have trouble.”

Steve Perry, one of the 14 committee members present, asked what made the sound different from other sounds such as sawmills, as people is Maine were used to such noises. James replied that it was the low-frequency sounds that were different and annoyed people in their sleep more.

Selectman Maryann Haxton asked how the sound problem could be corrected. James replied that guidelines of 35 decibels should be set for turbines and to require them to be located a mile and a half away from homes.

Someone asked how much the sound would be affected with the proposed turbines on Mount Tom because they were just above Pleasant Pond. James replied that they would be three decibels higher because sound travels more easily across water.

Someone asked about home appraisals and James said real estate agents were no longer appraising any homes near windmills.

Art Lindgren, a former resident of Vinalhaven, spoke to the group about his problems. They were unable to stay in their home after the turbines were up and running. He said they believed what they were told about sound before the turbines were installed.

James told of a mother from Freedom who had testified on Thursday that before her children went to bed she asked not only if they had brushed their teeth, but if they had taken their sleeping pill as well.

Jeff Pfeifer, who chaired the meeting, asked what recommendations James would have for the committee in writing up their ordinance.

“Number one, you should write the ordinance in such a way as to protect the health of nearby residents," James said. "Next you should make the company involved commit to promises they make and set 35 decibels as a maximum at night. Have the setbacks one and a half miles from any residents if the turbines are on hard ridges. One and a quarter miles, otherwise.”

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Comments

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art lingstrum

heart attacks are legitimate health problems.

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Richard James and BEP

your search is of a report published in late 2009.
Try a "Ricahrd James" searh on wind-watch.org, many updates.

BEP has a public hearing on wind turbine noise until July 18 2011.
Many many noise facts are being presented in these testimonies, but, alas the transcripts will not be ready for months.
I believe Frienda of Maine's Mountains has some testimonies on their site.

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developer of "Maine" land

If a devloper is developing in "Maine" it is because it is "Maine"; NO turbines breaking up the horizon lines and interfering with "views". we sell "views" as realestate and tax buyers more because of the rarity of it.

Most big loggers look at their land in 10-20 year cutting plans (given state mandate..NO CLEAR CUTTING).
So, cut the shit out of your land (overcut a trans line or two) and then lease to a Wind LLC. You get the land back (minus blasted water tables so no trees grow back)and give to your grand children to live, develop, sell; time will tell.

A skiing group? Sunday River per say? Newry has no planned Wind Projects. Sunday River creates too many jobs. I am sure Sugar loaf is gettiing some comments on seeing Kibby Mtn, especially at night, with red flashing lights instead of stars and stars. Ski areas bank on snow and views. remote??? i do not know.

So we have noise...turbines are too close to private and public property. 2000 feet is not far enough away..
1 mile from turbines opens up a longer list of impacted property owners. noise....on some days appears closer than it appears.

thank you

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cut up the land

loggers have been cutting up the land for years.
State mandated No clear cuts, but , I see it! They pay the fine.
Soo trees grow back..but if the clear cut drills 40 feet and then blasts... you alter water tables.
Breaking a water table is irreversible. No water....No life....
Big difference between WIND and logging.
WIND is not sustainable...logging can be.
WIND destroys... logging clips.

Wait til you hear about the noise problem across lakes.

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79 current victims in Maine

testimony to BEP quoted 79 victims in Maine....thay are under oath

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The truth staring you right

The truth staring you right in the face. The noise from wind mills are overwhelming and there's no way to muffle them. Property along hillsides going to wasteland because of wind mills at the top of the land. Please note to home development taking place in Bethel and soon to come to surrounding towns. Land with views of the mountains are fetching a good dollar. Don't destory it with wind mills over 400 feet tall and a noise menace.

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night time noise

35 decibels at night will kill most of the Wind projects in Maine.
Rick James noted that Saddleback Wind did not use the +3 decibels in their sound models, but DEP and Patriot Renewables march right along in the permitting process.
PR states they will turn down turbines at night if, after a year, residents are having noise issues.
Okay, so you have 75% wind does not blow, 5% "parasitic" draw from grid and 10-30% loss in transmission. Now turn off these machines at night what do you have?
Wind is a scam and I wish the Governor would ask for a state wide moratorium rather than have people sell out because they have no recourse.
Please someone, help us. Thank You Friends of Maine's Mountains for hiring these experts.
Steven King, please give FMM a grant.

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