Mass to review noise of wind generation before approving permits

The state of Massachusetts has said it will now consider noise issues associated with wind generation facilities prior to approving construction permits.

People living in areas adjacent to wind generation developments are lodging a growing number of complaints with local and state regulators about the noise pollution and health impacts associated with wind generation. As a result, state and local governments have vowed to take noise pollution into account when considering renewables developments.

Days after state environmental officials found unacceptable noise levels from wind turbines in Falmouth, they are considering new regulations that would require the state to review potential noise issues before wind turbines are built in Massachusetts.

The state might also conduct sound studies in other communities, such as Fairhaven and Kingston, where residents, as in Falmouth, have complained about newly installed turbines, officials said.

A panel of independent scientists and doctors, convened by the state to look at the effects of wind turbines on the health of nearby residents, urged the state several months ago to require future wind projects to be reviewed for noise levels before they are built and to develop a program to monitor the sound after they begin operating.

… (S)uch modeling is “standard practice’’ for other types of large noise generators, such as power plants that use fossil fuels.

18. December 2012 by Jason Hayes
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