Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More wind turbine woes in rural places

Read a New York Times story here, dateline Vinalhaven, Maine, population 1,235. This is just the latest among a great deal of news coverage in the last year or two about wind turbines as noise nuisances. Related posts are here and here.

Excerpts from Tom Zeller, Jr's story in today's NYT follow:

The wind industry has long been dogged by a vocal minority bearing all manner of complaints about turbines, from routine claims that they ruin the look of pastoral landscapes to more elaborate allegations that they have direct physiological impacts like rapid heart beat, nausea and blurred vision caused by the ultra-low-frequency sound and vibrations from the machines.

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Numerous studies also suggest that not everyone will be bothered by turbine noise, and that much depends on the context into which the noise is introduced. A previously quiet setting like Vinalhaven is more likely to produce irritated neighbors than, say, a mixed-use suburban setting where ambient noise is already the norm.

Of the 250 new wind farms that have come online in the United States over the last two years, about dozen or so have generated significant noise complaints, according to Jim Cummings, the founder of the Acoustic Ecology Institute, an online clearinghouse for information on sound-related environmental issues.

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