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Vermont PSB proposes stricter sound standards

March 7, 2017

The new draft rule adopts a fairly precautionary approach, in line with some of the stricter rules that have been appearing elsewhere in places where turbine noise has triggered discontent.

Vermont PSB asking for input on turbine noise standards

February 4, 2014

The state Public Service Board has initiated a public process for re-examining the noise standards used at wind and natural gas energy facilities in Vermont.  Geoff Commons, the PSB’s public advocate, notes that neighbor complaints from wind projects operating in compliance with a 45dB standard are part of the driver for this review. “Even with […]

Brief turbine noise monitoring in Vermont fails to capture useful data

July 6, 2013

Noise complaints around the Sheffield Wind facility in Vermont began soon after the turbines began turning; combined with complaints from other wind farms, the Vermont Department of Public Service initiated investigations.  This week, a report was released summarizing the results from three days of noise monitoring outside the home of a family that has been […]

Vermont DPS investigating wind farm noise complaints

May 17, 2013

The three large wind farms currently operating in Vermont have spurred enough noise complaints to trigger an investigation by the state Department of Public Service.  DPS Commissioner Chris Recchia said “I want to get to the bottom of this….It’s not what was expected.”  Recchia suggested that he’s considering asking the Public Service Board to reconsider their […]

Vermont wind farm noise issues continue

December 23, 2012

The Burlington Free Press ran an article this week that is perhaps the most comprehensive look at the emerging noise issues around Vermont’s two largest wind farms, in Sheffield and Lowell/Albany.  The problems at the Sheffield Wind project, which began operations in October 2011, are interesting, in that some residents live within earshot of I-91, yet […]

Vermont wind farm challenged in court for intruding on nearby wilderness

May 8, 2012

Vermonters for a Clean Environment have filed a complaint in US District Court challenging the Forest Service’s planned permit for 15 new wind turbines in the Green Mountain National Forest.  The challenge includes several issues, but centers on the visual and sound impact of the new turbines on the nearby George D. Aiken Wilderness. Sound […]

Vermont listens to two approaches to wind farm noise

February 25, 2011

An article from Vermont offers an unusually detailed and complete report on a Public Service Board hearing about noise at a proposed wind farm in Lowell.  I highly recommend it. The article summarizes the testimony of two noise experts, each of whom was proposing what they felt was a proper conservative noise limit; the article […]

VT legislature accepts turbine noise limits, drops setback requirement

October 31, 2017

More restrictive noise limits on industrial wind turbines are one key step closer to implementation in Vermont. In May, the Public Service Board proposed that the current 45dB limit be reduced to 42dB during the day and 39dB at night, along with a setback requirement of 10x the turbine height (4000-5000ft for modern turbines). A legislative committee […]

VT PSB moderates stricter turbine noise limits

May 23, 2017

The Vermont Public Service Board has released its final proposed rule for wind turbine noise.  After taking comments on the draft released a couple of months ago, the PSB chose to increase the proposed night time limit from 35dBA to 39dBA; the daytime limit remains 42dBA, three decibels lower than the current limit. The rule […]

VT towns reject wind farm & town-wide personal payments

December 6, 2016

Two central Vermont towns have voted against plans to build a wind farm on the hills along their border, despite a late-in-the-game offer from wind developers to mitigate some of the downsides by making direct annual cash payments to residents. While landowners that host turbines always receive payments from wind developers, and some projects have included […]

VT study sheds light on how often wind farm noise reaches bothersome levels

November 6, 2015

A sneakily fascinating legal response was recently released, in which the State of Vermont Department of Public Service (DPS) responds to request by wind farm neighbor Paul Brouha for relief from noise coming from the Sheffield Wind Farm.  Most of the technical back-and-forth amounts to quibbling between sound experts about 1-3dB differences, caused by slightly different monitoring techniques.  This […]

MI turbine suit settled; another lesson in operating too close to already-generous noise limits

October 22, 2014

For the past couple of years the Lake Winds Energy Park in Mason County, Michigan has been embroiled in a contentious dispute about its noise levels (image to left is the “Park” under construction).  In April 2013, five months after the 56 turbines began operating, 17 neighbors filed suit, claiming that wind farm noise, vibrations and flickering lights […]

32 neighbors file noise complaint at new VT wind farm

November 6, 2012

The formal noise complaints have begun at Lowell Mountain, Vermont, even before the project is fully online.  Thirty-two neighbors filed a complaint with the state Public Service Department after two days of troublesome noise this week from ten of the eventual 21 turbines.  Low clouds may have contributed to the noise levels, which woke several people […]

Consensus-building on wind farm siting

August 29, 2011

This is somewhat old news, but I just heard about this workshop (thanks to Kathy Hemenway), and it’s full of useful insights: in March, the Consensus Building Institute brought together 100 wind farm developers, environmentalists, state regulators, and technical experts, including proponents and opponents of wind energy, to spend three days discussing what works – […]

Thomas Berry’s Expansive, Quiet Presence Moves On

June 12, 2009

On June 1, Thomas Berry died peacefully at his home in the Wellspring Community in Greensboro, NC.  While this may have no direct bearing on the issues covered by AEI, his writings and his inspiration have been central to my ever-developing sense of self and purpose on this planet in our time; this morning as […]