Letter: Need realistic wind turbine sound standards

Posted
Wind energy is a critical and integral part of Vermont's sustainable energy future. We must have it to achieve our state goal of 90 percent sustainable energy by 2050.



The recent Public Service Board ruling on sound levels for wind turbines is so unrealistically low (35 dB(A)) that it poses a severe threat to the future use of wind power in the state, making it functionally impossible to build new wind projects or for the 90 percent by 2050 goal to be met. While a standard for wind turbine sound levels might be needed, surely it should not come at the expense of the whole purpose of wind energy use.



Many states have not seen a need to develop wind turbine-specific noise regulations, rather placing turbines under general sound standards. States which do have a turbine noise standard have used 50 dB(A) or above. Maine, for example, uses a standard of 55 dB(A) during the day and 42 dB(A) at night. Vermont's temporary wind sound standards set the noise level at 45 dB(A) outdoors at a residence and 30 dB(A) indoors. The currently proposed 35 dB(A) is less than that of a bird's song. If other sound sources were held to this same standard, we'd be banning birds along with roads, dogs, and farms!



By setting sound levels for wind turbines more realistically above 40 dB(A), Vermont can continue to make a winning investment in our sustainable, local energy future and support our resolution of 90% renewable energy by 2050.



Anne Jameson

Marshfield

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