Insurance Company Balks at Claims for Damages Due to Wind Turbine Noise…

Wind Energy Insurance Claims Massachusetts Devastating

The Town of Falmouth has made the decision to call its insurance company, Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association, to make a claim.


Wind Energy Insurance Claims Massachusetts Devastating

The Massachusetts municipal insurance sector has grown more comfortable with wind turbines as it has developed but has ignored claims by thousands of residents across Massachusetts who describe the noise from the turbines as torture from lack of sleep.

The number of underwriters providing coverage has gone from one or two firms to well over a dozen

Fact :

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative today the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, MassCEC has funded the majority of the deeply flawed wind turbine pre-construction studies used by developers to gain permit approval for commercial megawatt wind turbines. Almost all of the projects post construction have seriously understated the audible noise emissions and have completely ignored evaluating the low frequency and infra sound emissions.

Who:

The managers and engineers at the state agency have always been aware of the 1987 study done by the NASA investigation by Dr. Neil Kelley and his colleagues. The MassCEC also in 2005 warned of two distinct types of noise ,regulatory and human annoyance, but later dropped the warnings for the Falmouth installations in 2010. The agency today ignores what it called human annoyance in 2005

The MassCEC state agency produced studies around 2008 and forward full of omissions and lacked noise warnings.The agency painted a rosy picture. Today as many as twenty one communities were pushed down this same rosy path, again fully sponsored and funded by the Mass CEC. Most residents fell for it hook, line and sinker and many today still believe the snake oil they drank will work.

When:

In the spring of 2010, Falmouth’s first of two 1.65 MW wind turbines became operational. The adverse effects were immediate.The Consensus Building Institute, Falmouth Wind Turbine Option Analysis Process (WTOP) in 2012 described a toxic real estate zone of 200 residential homes around the turbines.

Today Six years later:

Up to 65 individual residents out of 45 households (including children) have stated that their health and well-being have been negatively affected by the operation of the turbines. (Sleep disturbance, headaches, increase in blood pressure, shortness of breath, tinnitus, vertigo, to mention some symptoms).

Two separate Zoning Board decisions declared that the turbines are a nuisance, ordering the owner of the turbines (Town of Falmouth) to “eliminate the nuisance”.

What:

The Town, as a result, has sued its own Zoning Board (twice);

A Barnstable Superior Court Judge has stated that there is “credible evidence of irreparable harm” and has ordered the turbines to cease operation during the night time 12 hours and not at all on Sunday

Massachusetts DEP noise violations have been recorded during night time testing (limited testing)

As a result of all of the turbine litigation, the Town of Falmouth has retained the services of multiple (Boston based) attorneys, to help Falmouth’s Town Counsel. (paid for by the MassCEC)

The litigation fees are near $300,000.00 every six months

Falmouth is ground zero for poorly placed wind turbines in the United States.

After a two year wind turbine moratorium, the Falmouth Planning Board wrote new turbine bylaws that restrict further turbines in town. These restrictive bylaws were adapted unanimously at Town Meeting.

Recent real estate values have identified a “stagnant market” in the proximity of the turbines, with several appraisals reflecting a 20% decrease in value due to the presence of the turbines.

A privately funded sound study was recently performed near a home which identified a low frequency, high amplitude modulated sound signature that was 100% attributable to the wind turbines.

“Acoustical trespass” is the term used for this in the acoustics field.

During a mediation hearing for a Federal Court case regarding nuisance, an initial offer of $5,000 each was withdrawn by insurance company attorneys who cited “there are too many municipalities in the Commonwealth with wind turbine problems, and we cannot establish precedent with any amount of payout”.

MassCEC has funded a consensus process that attempted to resolve the turbine situation in Falmouth. After several months and many hours of volunteer work by residents, and close to $139,000.00 of rate payers money paid to The Consensus Building Institute, it was determined that the low frequency noise cannot be mitigated by insulation or special windows or planting trees, that the only mitigation for those adversely affected by the turbines that will work is either separation from the turbines or total curtailment of the turbines.

Responsibility :

Two weeks ago , Board of Selectmen Chairman Doug Jones announced the Select Board had voted in executive session to authorize the town’s insurer, Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association ,to start mediation with all the parties in as many as eleven pending litigations to resolve outstanding legal actions.

The claims include zoning violations, emotional distress, nuisance and property devaluation.

There is more than enough evidence to show the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center followed a commercial wind turbine renewable energy agenda and ignored the health and safety of the general public affecting thousands of Massachusetts residents. As a matter of fact the Town of Falmouth and everyone including the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center was a aware of the hidden August 2010 Vestas wind turbine noise warning and kept the letter secret for 5 years.

The Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association will be tasked with resolving years of mitigation and eleven lawsuits in Falmouth.

The Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association (MIIA) was incorporated by the Massachusetts Municipal Association in 1982 as a nonprofit organization to provide insurance services to the cities, towns.

The Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association functions as the administrator for the MIIA Property and Casualty Group Inc.

The MIIA Property and Casualty Group Inc., formed in 1987, provides property and casualty coverage for cities, towns

The Town of Falmouth has made the decision to call its insurance company to make a claim.

Massachusetts has at least twenty one other communities with poorly placed wind turbines.

The insurance carrier will certainly pay all the claims but be assured all the cities and towns in Massachusetts will be assessed major premium increases as the claims roll in.

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Wind Pushers Struggle to Avoid Accountability….

Falmouth Wind Turbine Trial Doctors Expert Testimony May Be Tossed

Falmouth residents of the multiple lawsuits are seeking protection from adverse health effects, and loss of use and value of their property


Falmouth Wind Turbine Trial Doctors Expert Testimony May Be Tossed

In Falmouth residents of the multiple lawsuits are seeking protection from adverse health effects, and loss of use and value of their property, by requiring illegally permitted wind turbines be placed away from their properties.

The Massachusetts court system recently this week showed one of multiple lawsuits filed over the wind turbines was scheduled to be heard from September 12 to September 16. The trial has been postponed again and the only thing on the court website is: ” On 09/12/2016 Opposition to to Motion in Limine to Exclude the Expert Testimony of Dr. Robert McCunney filed by Town of Falmouth”

A motion in limine is a motion filed by a party to a lawsuit which asks the court for an order or ruling limiting or preventing certain evidence from being presented by the other side at the trial of the case.

The town is asking to exclude expert testimony of Dr. Robert McCunney ? Isn’t Dr. Robert McCunney the expert witness for the Town of Falmouth wind turbine number one ?

The original court file date is June 5, 2013. The case number is 1372CV00281 Town of Falmouth vs. Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals et al.

I am no legal scholar but it appears from the posting on the court docket the Town of Falmouth is asking the courts to throw out testimony from their own wind turbine expert a doctor ?

Over time as the Falmouth wind turbine lawsuits have dragged through the court system for six years worldwide the setbacks are increasing and even doctors have changed their views on setbacks because of human annoyance or today what is called infra sound or low frequency noise.

Nils Bolgen the wind turbine director at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center uses 2000 feet as the standard setbacks today.

Falmouth taxpayers are paying up to $300,000.00 every six months for wind turbine litigation and this is the strategy ?

It appears today that the safe setbacks to commercial megawatt wind turbines is five times the height of the turbines or in the case of one wind turbine such as Falmouth it would be 3000 feet. The Town of Falmouth has two wind turbines. Dr. Robert J. McCunney, a medical doctor and a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology an expert witness for the Town of Falmouth Wind turbine number 1 permit . Wind turbines should be five ( 5 ) times the height of the turbines

Quote : “He said any measurable health effects, referred to in some circles as “wind turbine syndrome,” are in fact the result of stress reactions to a sound an individual finds objectionable or annoying. For that reason, he noted, some communities in the US observe a noise mitigation setback standard of five times the height of the turbine – more than three times the distance recommended by the CCC.”

Above quote from Enterprise Published: 01/28/11http://archive.capenews.net/communities/region/news/827

The Cape Cod Commissions wind turbine rules today are nearly identical to expert testimony which is hard evidence to overcome.Dr. Robert McCunney (expert witness for the Town Of Falmouth) graphical presented to the board why nearly 3000’ was necessary between industrial wind turbines and residents.

As a paid consultant by the Town of Falmouth , Dr. McCunney’s recently updated power point presentation appeared in conflict with his personal sentiments offered to the board. Contradictions and compromises to previously held positions by the good doctor are notable.As matter of note regarding Dr. McCunney’s power power presentation almost 200 residential homes are within 3000’ of Wind 1 and Wind 2

——————————————————————————————————

Falmouth, Massachusetts 2010

Article :

The next time McCunney appeared on my radar was his July 15, 2010 appearance in Falmouth .

It was a meeting before a number of people, some of whom had experienced first-hand the effects of living close to (in this case, just one!) a wind turbine. They were curious if their symptoms – all of which should be familiar to us by now – were due to the noise or were “in their heads”.

His explanation indicated their symptoms were due to annoyance, which in turn was due to their dislike of turbines. He had no explanation why presumably disinterested kids as well as people on record as supporting turbines were also having problems. He also ignores the possibility that maybe the annoyance leads to the dislike instead of the wind industry’s preferred other way around.I thought his statements were disingenuous enough that I started a posting on his activities.

File under annoyance. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center is aware of two distinct types of noise from wind turbines. First regulatory noise measured in decibels and second human annoyance or today what is called infra sound or low frequency noise

http://windfarmrealities.org/?p=548

Note # Town Meeting Member Dave Moriarty interviews

Letter to WHO, from a Victim of Wind Turbines…

“Vibrations of my house, and of the whole valley”

“The walls of my house vibrate as if a compressor would be against the walls. So there is a continuous buzz… ”

Compresseur

On July 22, 2016, Blandine Vue from France wrote to Marie-Eve Héroux, member of the panel developing the WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region:

Dear Madam,

I live in Poiseul, France, 11 km eastern from the “Haut de Conge” wind farm, Dampierre, that is located 2 plateaux higher than my village. It was built in 2010. As soon as we leave the cirque valley, we can see the wind turbines. They are 14, 145 metres high, 2 MW turbines. 11 km northern, you can find 6 other turbines, 125 metres, 2 MW, built 3 years sooner than Dampierre. The main problems appeared after the construction of Dampierre wind farm.

What I feel:
Vibrations of my house, and of the whole valley, they are probably bound to infrasound. When the wind comes from west, there is furthermore an aerial noise. The walls of my house vibrate as if a compressor would be against the walls. So there is a continuous buzz that generates tiredness, impossibility to get concentrated on an intellectual work, sleep difficulties, nights waking, nightmares, thorax oppression, nausea, upper limb and head jumps, as if I had to protect myself from an aggression, headache, eyes tiredness, nervous erosion, I don’t look well, dizzy spell, need to flee far away, sometimes, the noise is so loud that it wakes me. Some days, I can do nothing.

As my sons, both students, are at home, they also fall sick and don’t have a good sleep any more. One of them says, there is now a strange acoustical atmosphere (he is a musician). They don’t hear the vibrations, but they feel them in another way. We can feel it in the whole house; a room, under the roof, is so hit that I can’t stay in it any more. When the house vibrates too much, my dog doesn’t want to stay inside. It goes out in the middle of the night or wants to stay outside when I go. Even when it’s raining!

Recently a friend visited me 2 hours, in the 2nd hour she said me her head started spinning, I looked after the weather forecast, there was no wind in the first hour, the western wind started blowing in the second. Another friend clearly heard the noise.

The vibrations are here since several years, I estimate about 6, thanks to my familial marks. I only recently understood they came from the wind farm, by reading articles about wind turbine infrasound. I live in a quiet calm village of 70 inhabitants, I had, fruitless searched for the noise source in my street, thinking of a heat pump, because of the typical blade noise. Then in the whole village, in the farms, I had shut my electricity meter off, there is no bordering house. The noise is everywhere, even in the valley that is like a resonance chamber, but it seems to come from nowhere.

Since then, I have made observations, thanks to them, I could notice that the vibrations are bound to the wind direction and force. I went to a road directly under the wind farm and could exactly recognise the vibration. I also could hear it with the same signature by two friends living 7 km from the turbines, and seeing them from their homes, one northern, the other one western. The second one suffers of nausea and sleep troubles since some years, she didn’t know what it came from, she is almost never more at her home. I can also hear it in all the valleys of my region. When I go to other places, I don’t hear it anymore and sleep very well.

By eastern wind, the problems are relieved, there is a ground buzz, but no nausea, no jumps, less concentration problems, no visual problems more (I can usually read without glasses). When the lull lasts several days, I come alive again. During long periods without wind, I can read 40 pages of a hard philosophy book at a go, when the wind approaches to the west, I can’t even read 2 pages. Only the long periods without wind bring real calm, because the vibrations are continuing. The ground vibrations are present wherever the wind comes from, they arrive one day after the wind starts and go away one day after it finishes blowing. What means they are almost always present, excepted during long periods without wind.

The western wind adds to it an aerial noisy sound, it’s the worse for the health. Nausea, jumps, eyes problems, main concentration problems… are directly bound to it. By particularly strong western wind, it’s as if a helicopter would approach but never arrive. Even during hurricanes, while turbines are certainly stopped: 42 blades whistle even when they don’t move.

It’s a real trouble for my everyday life (I just can do nothing and want to flee away), for my professional life, I am a researcher and author and mostly have to work at home, and also for my health. I, for example, was unable to translate those pages in the last days, because of the wind.

I also have heard about strong health problem next to all the wind farms of my area, 66 wind turbines can be seen from the plateau above the village, more than 150 are in project within 10 km of my home! 19 direct of them above our roofs! All the winds would be poisoned!

Yours sincerely,

Blandine Vue

Wind Turbine Torture… How long can the WHO ignore the facts?

“There is no escaping the torture from infrasound emissions from industrial wind turbines.”

“I would like to ask one question of the WHO: Under what circumstances would the WHO condone torture?”

Wind turbine torture
Wind turbine torture

On July 21, 2016, Emyr Griffiths from Wales wrote to the members of the panel developing the WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region:

Dear Mrs Héroux,

My name is Emyr Griffiths, and I live in Carmarthenshire, Wales, UK. I and my wife live off-grid in very rural hilly terrain. Please accept this email plus attachments as my submission to the WHO review of the environmental noise pollution guidelines for Europe.

Wind farms that we know that can be heard:

Wind farm Name No. of turbines Owner Height Gen Capacity Year
Ffynnon Oer 16 RWE-npower 92 m 2 MW 2006
Alltwalis 10 Statkraft 110.5 m 2.3 MW 2009
Mynydd y Betws 15 ECO2 90 m 2.3 MW 2013
Salem Turbine 1 Carmarthenshire Energy 74 m 500 kW 2016

If you happen to be sensitive to infrasound and low frequency noise, through no fault of your own, there is no escaping the torture from infrasound emissions from industrial wind turbines.

My wife has been plagued by unexplained infrasound since 2006 – after Ffynnon Oer wind farm was commissioned. Our observations and research over this time have convinced us that the unexplained infrasound noise pollution is most probably emitted by surrounding wind farms as far as 40 km (25 miles) away from our home.

When my wife started hearing unexplained low frequency noise (LFN) in our home intermittently through the winter of 2006/07, she thought the noise was coming from airplanes since we live under a busy transatlantic flight path. Apart from the planes (which fly over regularly, but not constantly), the occasional distant tractor or other large agricultural machine, there are no known sources of LFN anywhere near our home which could explain the LFN my wife can hear.

My wife also hears LFN over an extensive area around our home while driving around the area. She can’t hear the LFN while driving – only when the engine is turned off. Prior to the winter of 2006 she never heard any unexplained LFN. Several months after she first heard the LFN we discovered other people could also hearing unexplained LFN. One of the LFN hearers used to drive around at all hours of the night “looking for the bugger operating the big machine”.

We live about 200 m above sea level in a very rural location at the end of a long track (0.9 miles) and have no grid electricity. There any no pylons nearby which could produce electrical noise pollution. The nearest main road is about 6 miles away and the nearest town is about 8 miles away, and there is no heavy industry which could produce the LFN my wife can hear.

In late May 2013 my wife became ill for the first time with symptoms identical to those identified as “wind turbine syndrome” – her world was spinning all the time and her balance was very unsteady. Onset of the illness started a few days after commencement of a period of constant loud LFN (not the loudest she’s heard LFN though) during a long period of a stable high pressure weather system. After the weather broke in late June the symptoms of her illness gradually diminished and eventually disappeared over a period of about 10-14 days.

3 years later, a new 74 m 500 kW wind turbine was commissioned 3 km (1.95 miles) from our home near the end of May 2016.

Soon after the turbine became operational, she started hearing metronomic pulses within the infrasound/ low frequency spectrum too – she thinks those were the thumps caused by the blades passing the tower, but since we can’t see the wretched turbine from our home we could not verify that observation.

Within 2.5 weeks of the turbine becoming operational, my wife left home at very short notice due to the speed and severity of the deterioration in her health. Within a few days of the turbine becoming operational, she has been feeling constantly ill – and was getting worse – with constant headaches, nausea, vertigo symptoms and now sharp chest pains.

The chest pains got her so worried, she left home at very short notice like a terrified animal. She has now become a wind turbine refugee 😦

She couldn’t take the chronic torture any more, so she left home. She couldn’t even wait to make a doctor’s appointment to report her health problems because her health had deteriorated so alarmingly quickly.

It may not be a fast death, but it’s a death by a thousand cuts. The chronic torture has taken my wife from me piece by piece over the last 9-10 years, more so since a wind farm was commissioned 8.5 miles (13km) from our home in Sept 2009.

It has been heartbreaking to observe the effects of the torture on my wife – even though the damage is invisible. It has taken her departure to make me realise that my long held suspicions that the chronic effect of torture on her health were correct.

She couldn’t bear to tell me how bad she was getting or that she was planning to leave home. I knew she was deteriorating since the turbine became operational, but I had no idea she’d be driven out of her home so soon after the wretched turbine started turning.

This day has been a long time coming, yet it’s still a shock when the day arrived.

My fight goes on with even more determination than ever before. Many politicians continue to refuse to acknowledge the hard evidence of health damage to human beings and other life forms. They are all in a state of denial… they are complicit in inflicting torture on law abiding citizens living peacefully in their own homes. SHAME on them and any pretence they have for being caring and compassion people. Ignorance is NO excuse in the eyes of the law. In their case it is WILLFUL ignorance.

Within a few days of leaving home and moving to a wind turbine-free area, all my wife’s symptoms have disappeared and her energy has returned – she felt like a new person. She was only home for 1 week before she had to leave again for health reasons.

These observation adds weight to my account above that the infrasonic noise pollution emitted by the newly erected turbine was probably responsible for her severe symptoms and hasty departure. When we discussed these repeatable observations with her doctor on her return, he said there had to be an environmental reason for my wife’s health problems.

Many people like my wife have to endure state sanctioned torture inflicted by infrasound noise pollution emissions by industrial wind turbines (IWTs) because the wind industry has buried NASA’s research for a good 30 years. The industry continually dismisses this body of detailed research because they claim that wind turbine designs have changed.

A Brief history of the start of the “modern” wind industry:

The first reported complaints about wind turbine noise pollution arose in 1979, shortly after a single large wind turbine was erected in N Carolina, USA. This led to 9 years of thorough research and field studies headed by NASA and several other institutions to investigate the source of those complaints. The head researcher was physicist Dr Neil Kelley.

The NASA led research proved a number of points:

  1. LFN and ILFN noise pollution emissions from wind turbine was the source of the complaints reported by people.
  2. Certain frequencies were responsible for health problems reported by people.
  3. Cumulative exposure to LFN/ILFN resulted in increased sensitivity and progressively worsening health problems.
  4. Buildings amplify noise indoors at their resonant frequencies, exacerbating problems of wind turbine noise pollution emissions.

Dr Kelly presented a paper to the wind industry at a conference in San Francisco in Oct 1987, advising the industry how to minimise exposure of wind farm neighbours to LFN/ILFN emissions. The wind industry and buried this information for over 25 years before it was unearthed by some Australian researchers a couple of years ago.

Dr Neil Kelly also informed the wind industry, in 1987, that the use of A-weighted readings would be the worst standards to use to afford reasonable protection to people’s health and use of their amenities.

Yet, 9 years later in the UK in 1996, ETSU-R-97 adopted standards that ignored all the above research. Based on this evidence, the wind industry has clearly demonstrated that it is reprehensible and morally bankrupt – a colossal fraud. With all the research conducted by NASA, it is no wonder that the wind industry continues to fight tooth and nail to avoid having to measure noise emissions in the LFN/ILFN spectrum, and also doing their utmost to discredit the 9 years of thorough research headed by NASA and Dr Kelley.

If you want to get a bit more general background, the following post will give you a very clear and succinct historical picture of the development of the wind industry.
stopthesethings.com/2015/02/22/three-decades-of-wind-industry-deception-a-chronology-of-a-global-conspiracy-of-silence-and-subterfuge
Also read the timeline embedded in the above blog:
cdn.knightlab.com/libs/timeline/latest/embed/index.html?source=0Ak2bgr7C0nhPdGR3S1lEekU3T3p
4ZDhUNDdRV2Y2ZkE&font=Bevan-PotanoSans&maptype=toner&lang=en&height=650

– it contains a very succinct summary of who knew what and when in relation to the development of the wind industry – it is eye opening if you don’t already know the full facts. What I outlined above is demonstrated in the timeline, which contains links to supporting documentary evidence.

The burden to the British National Health Service caused by health problems related to chronic exposure to LFN/ILFN emissions will grow significantly over the next 10-20 years. Read about this 1 case in Portugal (2 Euronoise documents attached.) and see the list of symptoms that will develop over time in response to chronic exposure to LFN/ILFN. These clinical symptoms of VAD (Vibroacoustic Disease) were derived from 30 years of research By Dr Alves-Pereira et al on the health of aircraft engineers. They have found the same symptoms developing in some wind farm neighbours (see the 2 Euronoise documents).

Alves-Pereira VAD clinical symptoms

The wind industry has steadfastly declined to conduct any research to prove that their machines are safe – they know what the results would be. Kelley et al have done the requisite research very thoroughly, and more recent work at the Shirley wind farm in Wisconsin (report attached) and Steven Cooper in Australia have verified some of Kelley’s research.
stopthesethings.com/2015/02/24/pacific-hydros-cape-bridgewater-wind-farm-public-relations-disaster-video-of-a-corporate-calamity-unfolding

Some Australian farmers lambing near industrial wind turbines have reported lambing rates as low as 5-7% (down from an average of 85%). And have observed foetal defects for the first time in their long farming lives.
(See: stopthesethings.com/2015/04/15/senate-inquiry-hamish-cumming-ors-tip-a-bucket-on-the-great-wind-power-fraud for several witness accounts from the 2015 senate inquiry in Australia)

If you need further evidence that LFN/ILFN noise pollution emissions from industrial wind power are dangerous, I am more than happy to supply more documents to you.

I would like to ask 1 question of the WHO:

  1. Under what circumstances would the WHO condone torture?

If, after all the evidence I have presented, the WHO do not reform their European noise guidelines, the WHO would be complicit in condoning state sponsored torture by refusing to afford adequate protection to law abiding citizens living in their own homes. Convicted and suspected terrorists already have more human rights than law abiding people living in their own homes.

Concerning noise standards in the UK – ETSU-R-97:

Based on my research, I would state that ETSU-R-97 guidelines never WERE fit for purpose. The opening statement in the introduction states:

“This document describes a framework for the measurement of wind farm noise and gives indicative noise levels thought to offer a reasonable degree of protection to wind farm neighbours, without placing unreasonable restrictions on wind farm development or adding unduly to the costs and administrative burdens on wind farm developers or local authorities.”

To the latter part of the aim, the ETSU regulations have been very successful.

However, ETSU standards and protocols do not afford adequate protection to people’s health and use of amenities because they were designed to NOT to measure the bulk of the noise pollution emitted by industrial wind turbines – i.e. Low Frequency (LFN) and Infrasound (ILFN). This was achieved primarily as follows:

  1. Adopting A-weighted measurements – A-weighted noise readings employ a filter which attempts to approximate the noise that hear by the “average” human ear”. It does this by filtering out a large percentage of the LFN spectrum (20-200 Hz), and an even larger percentage of the ILFN spectrum (<20 Hz). The bulk of the noise emitted by an industrial wind turbine is in the LFN and ILFN frequency spectrum. See attached diagram which illustrates the effect of employing A-weighted readings.
    Noise filters effects
  2. Only predicting noise levels outdoors, AND assuming a 15 dB reduction in noise levels indoors due to attenuation (reduction in volume) by walls and windows. The standards disregard the well known experiments that proved the problem of building resonance. Every building has a resonant frequency spectrum – in the ILFN/LFN spectrum. If you have ever listened to a vibrating tuning fork – you have to have it close to your ear. However, if you place the vibrating tuning fork on a piano or box, the noise is amplified considerably, and is audible from a much further distance… this is the demonstrable effect of resonance. The use of A-weighted readings, combined with the assumed reduction in volume indoors by 10-15 dB totally disguise the known LFN/ILFN noise problems associated with building resonance. See attached graph from Shirley wind farm studies in 2013.
    Shirley wind farm LFN resonance
  3. Using time average readings – use of time averaged readings masks the amplitude modulation (pulsating changes in the noise volume). Annoyance and health problems arise, not so much from steady noise levels, but from the pulsating noise levels. The spinning blades create enormous pressure pulses, particularly when the blades pass the tower.

Further notes on ETSU-R-97:

  1. ETSU disclaimer at the front of the document:

    “This report was drawn up under the direction of the Noise Working Group. While the information contained in this report is given in good faith, it is issued strictly on the basis that any person or entity relying on it does so entirely at their own risk, and without the benefit of any warranty or commitment whatsoever on the part of the individuals or organisations involved in the report as to the veracity or accuracy of any facts or statements contained in this report. The views and judgements expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of ETSU, the Department of Trade and Industry or any of the other participating organisations.”

  2. ETSU recommendation to review the guidelines in 2 years time (ie. 1998)

    “The report was drafted in the light of the best information available at the time. However it is acknowledged that as more experience and information become available and as circumstances develop it may become necessary to revise and improve the contents of this report. The Noise Working Group therefore suggests this report and its recommendations are reviewed in two years time. To this end, any comments on the usefulness of the report would be most welcome, including any suggestions for improvement with any supporting evidence where possible.”

    (ETSU-R-97 has never been reviewed or updated and therefore should be declared invalid or obsolete.)

  3. Since the ETSU guidelines were established in 1996, industrial wind turbines have grown significantly in size. They never WERE fit for the purpose of affording adequate protection to people’s health and enjoyment of their amenities. This means that even more of their noise emissions are in the low frequency and infrasound spectrum … most of the noises in this spectrum are DISCARDED and/or ignored by the use of ETSU-R-97 protocols and procedures. Yet successive British governments have refused to update ETSU guidelines. Those governments are therefore complicit in condoning state sanctioned torture. (In the UN definition of torture, noise is considered an instrument of torture.)

I trust you will consider all my evidence and observations in developing better noise guidelines for protecting people’s health from infrasonic noise pollution emissions from industrial wind turbines and other sources.

Please also refer to attached documents for further details.

Sincerely,
Emyr Griffiths

Leena from Finland Writes to W.H.O. to ask for Help!

“I live about 10 kilometres from the windmills. I thought I would be safe. I was wrong.”

“Please take the infrasound fact seriously when reviewing the Environmental Noise Pollution Guidelines for Europe.”

Wooden house in Finland
Wooden house in Finland

On July 18, 2016, Leena from Finland wrote to the members of the panel developing the WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region:

Dear Mrs Héroux and whom else this may concern,

Here in Western Finland already couple hundred people has moved from their homes because of the infrasound caused by windmills. They have gotten sick because of the infrasound.
I thought I would be safe. I live about 10 kilometres from the Santavuori windmills situated in Ilmajoki.
I was wrong.

Soon after the 17 3.5 MW windmills started this spring my life has changed. I cannot sleep at home at my rural horse ranch, I have constant headache, I feel pressure changes in my ears, my heart beats in odd rhythm and my blood pressure is high when the windmills are working. If they are stopped or I drive about 20-30 kilometres from them, I feel fine.
I could not imagine the effects of the wind power plants would come this far!
Please take the infrasound fact seriously when reviewing the Environmental Noise Pollution Guidelines for Europe.

I am making a research about how the infrasounds effects on animals here in Finland.
I have gotten calls from farmers and it seems that the windmills cause a lot of miscarrying and abortions in cows and minks. There are increased number of sudden deaths in pigs. Foals that born have malformations. Cows, dogs and minks don’t get in heat anymore, they lack the interest for sexual behaving which means that there are less animals born at farms in the near future.

If there is anything you can do to end or minimize this madness, please do so. I don’t want to move from my home. And where could I go with 10 horses?

Sincerely

Leena
Finland

Litigation is the Only Language WindPushers Understand!

Wind Farm Noise Victims Sue Developer & Noise Consultant for $Millions

Jury-being-sworn-in-006

Litigation is where the rubber hits the road: myths get replaced with facts; evidence overtakes spin and propaganda. Court rooms (and where they determine the facts, juries) strike fear into the (ordinarily icy) hearts of those that stand behind or run with wind power outfits.

Wherever in the world civil actions have been pursued in nuisance and negligence, wind power outfits have bent over backwards to settle out of court.

Sure, wind power operators have deep pockets (obscenely stuffed with the massive subsidies drawn from their victims, among others). But they have never won a common-law case demonstrating that wind farms do not cause noise nuisance.

And the reason they have never won such a common-law case, is that every one that has ever been pursued by wind farm neighbours (and, in Texas, 23 contracted turbine hosts – see our post here), has been settled, very quietly, out of court.

True it is that wind farm developers routinely ‘win’ rubber-stamp planning approvals, when they’re out to spear these things into the hearts of rural communities, despite furious objection from the vast majority within those communities.

However, the common law right to live in one’s own home free from unreasonable interference from noise has nothing to do with noise ‘standards’ (written by the wind industry), planning terms or the views of bent quasi-government authorities, like Australia’s NHMRC.

The Waubra wind farm – which is run by Spanish outfit, Acciona – has drawn something like 1,400 noise complaints and has driven 11 farming families from homes that neighbour its operation, since it started operating over 6 years ago in July 2009 (see our post here).

The owners of those homes had been complaining bitterly about low-frequency noise and infrasound from the moment the turbines commenced operation.

Terrified of litigation, Acciona’s lawyers quietly went to each of the families complaining; purchased their properties and stitched them up with bullet-proof gag clauses – that prevent them from ever talking about the “sale” (see our post here).

So terrified were they that word of Acciona’s out of court settlements would get out, they even pursued one of the victims, Trish Godfrey all the way to Adelaide in South Australia in an effort to prevent her from giving evidence in a wind farm planning case about her acoustic torment – (seethis article and our posts here and here).

Other common law nuisance cases where the developers have paid out substantial compensation to plaintiffs neighbouring wind farms, include English couple, Julian and Jane Davis who won a £2 million out of court settlement from a wind farm operator (detailed here).

Another involved the claim filed in April 2013, by a group of 17 residents living next to the Lake Winds wind farm (others joined the group later) against Consumers Energy in Mason County Circuit Court, Michigan. One of the successful plaintiffs, Cary Shineldecker summed up the result of their lawsuit, which was resolved during the late summer and autumn of 2014:

“It was just about to go to trial; in fact I was in court waiting to be the first to testify, when we were told a settlement had been reached,” Shineldecker said. “It took about two months to work out the wording; then ours was actually finalized the week of Dec. 17.

“To me, we were helping others by being willing to take a stand,” Shineldecker added. “One of these days the facts are going to come out. Twenty years from now the health impacts of living with these industrial wind turbines will be common knowledge. It will be like the way it happened with cigarettes. But right now those who know the truth are a minority.”

The full story is covered here: US Wind Farm Operator Settles to Shut Down Neighbours’ Dynamite Damages Case

Cary Shineldecker hits the nail on the head when he says that “One of these days the facts are going to come out”. And that’s precisely the reason that the wind power outfit being sued settled with him and all of the other plaintiffs in that case. And, for the same reason, why Acciona bought out and gagged 11 families at Waubra in Victoria. And, again, why Julian and Davis were offered £2 million on the steps of the Court before the trial began.

In the US, another case has been bubbling along: here’s an update on its progress.

Homeowner: “I will have to move due to the constant noise and flicker shadow that comes into my home”
Jefferson’s Leaning Left
Richard Wiley Sr. 16 June 2016

Iberdrola and the same sound engineer who did the work on the original Clayton-Thousand Island Horse Creek industrial wind turbine sacrifice zone is still involved in a lawsuit with Herkimer County homeowners.

Fairfield homeowner, “I will have to move due to the constant noise and flicker shadow that comes into my home.”

In 2012 more than 60 residents of Herkimer County sued the developer and their sound engineer claiming that the 37 turbines they built are bigger and noisier than they were told during the planning stage. They claim the turbines are causing health problems and depressing their property values. Plaintiffs have said they will have to move from their homes.

The plaintiffs are represented by, Melody D. Scalfone (www.scalfonelaw.com) and Jeff DeFrancisco (jeff@defranciscolaw.com).

The lawsuit has been in local, state and national news. Attorney Scalene has traveled with one of the plaintiffs to other states to give testimony concerning living under industrial turbines.

From a source, JLL has learned that the lawsuit that you can read at this link is progressing.

Some of the claims against Iberdrola and their sound engineer:

94. The Defendants represented to the Town of Fairfield and residents in the areas where the turbines were placed that the subject wind turbines would not be noisy, would not adversely impact neighboring houses, and there would not be any potential health risks.

95. Defendant Atlantic Renewables LLC released “projected” noise levels that showed that the wind turbines would not go over 50 dB.

96. The aforementioned 2006 noise level study by Defendant Atlantic Renewables LLC was based on projections for General Electric 1.5LSE, 389-foot tall turbines, and not the Gamesa G90, 476-foot turbines, that Defendants collectively placed in the Hardscrabble project.

98. The Defendants failed to adequately assess the effect that the wind turbines would have on neighboring properties including, but not limited to, noise creation, significant loss of use and enjoyment of property, interference with electrical functioning of homes such as satellites, television, internet and telephone services, diminished property values, destruction of scenic countryside, various forms of trespass and nuisance to neighboring properties, and health concerns; among other effects.

99. Despite the foregoing, and in opposition to many residents who own property in close proximity to the wind turbines, in 2010 the Defendants erected 37 Gamesa G90 wind-turbines that stand 476 feet tall in and around the Towns of Fairfield, Middleville, and Norway, New York.

102. In 2011, the Defendants conducted a noise study that showed noise levels as high as 72 dB.

103. As a result of the aforementioned 2011 study, the Defendants thereafter faulted their own study and conducted two additional noise studies to demonstrate compliance with the Town of Fairfield’s Local Ordinance 1 of 2006, which sets the maximum noise level at 50 dB.

104. These new studies conducted by the Defendants show the average wind speeds, direction and expected percentage of operation.

105. The Defendants’ new studies did not measure the maximum wind speeds and do not measure the noise levels in the winter months, when the noise levels are higher.

106. The Defendants’ new studies fail to acknowledge and assess the extent of the problems, including the full log of Plaintiffs’ complaints that are in the thousands.

108. Since the huge wind turbines in this project produce very little electricity, when the government subsidies expire, the people in the Hardscrabble area will be confronted with a poorly maintained and deteriorating wind energy facility that may one day become derelict.

114. The Defendants’ noise studies also fail to address the aforesaid levels of infra and low frequency sounds by only focusing on audibility, and not on other sensations such as vestibular and other symptoms that fit with the Wind-Turbine Syndrome profile or other health concerns.

115. The wind turbines are causing such significant problems and/or injuries that residents, including the Plaintiffs, are continuing to have many difficulties on their properties, house values have been significantly compromised, and some residents were even forced to abandon their homes; among other damages as set forth in this complaint.

121. The aforesaid Defendants carelessly and negligently created and/or assisted in the creation of the massive wind-turbine structures that have caused and continue to cause significant harm to residents in the area of the turbines.

122. The aforesaid Defendants carelessly and negligently failed to adequately disclose the true nature and effects that the wind turbines would have on the community, including the Plaintiffs’ homes.

125. The amount of the damages sustained herein by Plaintiffs exceed the jurisdictional limits of all lower courts.

128. The studies performed by CH2M Hill, Inc. and Mark Bastasch, P.E., INCE lacked a total and real assessment as it related to the potential harm.

129. It is a requirement of acoustic engineers, pursuant to the International Conference on Electrical and Electronics Engineering and civil engineers (as per New York State licensure) to protect public safety, health, and welfare.

130. Defendants knew or should have known that the wind turbines erected produce acoustic pressure pulsations that affect peoples’ health.

131. It was the responsibility of CH2M Hill, Inc. and Mark Bastasch, P.E., INCE to advise their clients and the public, including Plaintiffs, of the potential for adverse health risks and other impacts to property in the Hardscrabble project area.

133. As a result of the aforesaid, the Plaintiffs have suffered significant and permanent injuries as more fully set forth herein.
Jefferson’s Leaning Left 

insomnia

As the evidence of the harm caused by incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound goes from solid to incontrovertible, more and more victims will enlist lawyers and get the remedies (injunctions) and compensation (damages) to which they are obviously entitled. While the Herkimer County case is being mounted against the developer and its pet acoustic consultant, the list of potential defendants isn’t so limited.

The grounds for liability to victims are pretty straightforward: common law claims in nuisance and/or negligence (for starters) to obtain substantial damages for personal injury – caused by either – for pain and suffering, loss of amenity and enjoyment of life etc – as well as very substantial damages for the loss of the use and benefit of homes; diminution in the value of those homes and properties; relocation costs etc, etc.

The obvious cast of defendants includes:

  • the wind power outfits concerned;
  • the landowners hosting the turbines that cause the damage;
  • local Councils (where they are responsible for approving noise conditions and/or enforcing them);
  • State government Planning Departments (where they are responsible for approving noise conditions and/or enforcing them);
  • authorities, such as Environmental Protection Authorities (where they have either been involved in the creation – and/or (non)-enforcement – of wind farm noise standards);
  • acoustic experts engaged by the wind industry for their manifest failure to protect the health and well-being of wind farm neighbours – part of their (purported) ethical responsibilities, and especially those involved in the production of the noise standards;
  • State Health Departments, etc.

In short, a veritable cast of ‘thousands’. And behind them (with the exception of turbine hosts) stand a phalanx of insurers and underwriters – who will, no doubt, be taking a good hard look at their exposure.

The wind industry and its parasites were pretty quick to set the ‘rules’ in a way that means wind power outfits can operate around the clock, without any regard for the harm caused (eg, sleep deprivation) – ‘rules’ maliciously designed to discriminate against wind farm neighbours.

These are the boys who have sought to evade and avoid any kind of reasonable controls on their operations.

From the outset, they’ve made every effort to ensure that irrelevant and, therefore, woefully inadequate noise standards were adopted and are maintained – for a chronology of wind industry deception on this score, see our post: Three Decades of Wind Industry Deception: A Chronology of a Global Conspiracy of Silence and Subterfuge 

And wind power outfits have doggedly refused to cooperate whenever victims are trying to impose even those woeful standards; and who, when troubled by an ‘unhelpful’ noise report, simply get their pet acoustic consultants to ‘redraw’ the results and, using fabricated data, claim compliance with an utterly irrelevant ‘standard’: Pacific Hydro & Acciona’s Acoustic ‘Consultant’ Fakes ‘Compliance’ Reports for Non-Compliant Wind Farms

Whether it’s in Herkimer County, or elsewhere, a day of legal reckoning approaches; and it can’t come soon enough.

judges-gavel

Windpushers Cover Up the Truth About Wind Turbines!

Why Wind Turbine Noise is Just So Incredibly Annoying to Wind Farm Victims

insomnia

‘Annoyance’ is a term much used, and frequently abused, in relation to the acoustic torture caused by incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound.

Those that abuse the term, including a former tobacco advertising guru, claim that the known and obvious effects of being immersed in thumping waves of pulsating air pressure (ie noise and vibration), night after merciless night (such as sleep deprivation) are all the product of fertile imaginations and/or scaremongering.

Unfortunately for the guru and his shameful ilk, cases such as Clive and Trina Gare put paid to that lie. The Gares are cattle graziers with their home property situated between Hallett and Jamestown and, since October 2010, have played host to 19, 2.1MW Suzlon s88 turbines, which sit on a range of hills to the West of their stately homestead. Under their contract with AGL they receive around $200,000 a year; and have pocketed over $1 million since the deal began.

On 10 June 2015, the Gares gave evidence to the Senate Inquiry into the great wind power fraud during its Adelaide hearing: [Hansard from the hearing is available here as HTML and here as a PDF (the Gare’s evidence commencing at p55)].

Their evidence destroys the wind industry lie that turbine hosts never, ever complain; and the propaganda that it’s only “jealous” wind farm neighbours who complain about wind turbine noise, “jealous” because they’re not getting paid, apparently. The Gares pocket $200,000 a year for the ‘pleasure’ of hosting 19 of these things; and, yet, make it very clear that it was the worst decision of their lives.

In their evidence they describe the noise from turbines as “unbearable”; requiring earplugs and the noise from the radio to help them get to sleep at night; and the situation when the turbines first started operating in October 2010 as “Crap, to put it honestly” – evidence which is entirely consistent with the types of complaints made routinely by wind farm neighbours who don’t get paid, in Australia and around the world. Despite AGL spending tens of thousands on noise “mitigation” measures – double glazing, sound deadening insulation and the like, the noise from turbines continues to ruin their ability to sleep in their own home, as Trina Gare put it:

No, they were waking me up on the weekend. You wake up to the thumping. This is with all the soundproofing in the house. As I said, I sleep with the radio on every night. If they are really cranked up I have to turn the volume up, so I will probably just go slowly deaf.

In her evidence Trina Gare stated, in the same terms as her husband Clive, that:

In my opinion, towers should not be any closer than five kilometres to a dwelling. If we had to buy another property, it would not be within a 20-kilometre distance to a wind farm. I think that says it all.

For more on the Gare’s experience, see our post here.

As to the real meaning of the term ‘annoyance’ – in the realm of acoustics (which is what matters here) it has nothing to do with whether wind farm neighbours detest the look these things; and is all to do with hard-wired and involuntary neurological responses to a man-made stimuli received and processed in the brain.

Waking up to a clap of thunder or the screaming siren of a smoke alarm is an integral part of a biological system designed to respond to unseen, nocturnal threats and to, thereby, keep itself alive.  So far, so obvious.

For a properly qualified expert’s view on annoyance, here’s what Dr Bob McMurtry told the Senate Inquiry last year:

First, adverse health effects have been reported globally in the environs of wind turbines for more than 30 years with the old design and the new.

Second, the wind energy industry has denied adverse health effects, preferring to call it ‘annoyance’ even though annoyance, however, is an adverse health effect. Certainly it is a non-trivial effect when sustained because it results in ‘sleep disruption’, ‘stress’ and ‘psychological distress’— those are direct quotes from others’ research.

Third, annoyance is recognised and was treated by the World Health Organization as an adverse health effect, which is a risk factor for serious chronic disease including cardiovascular and cancer.

Fourth, experts retained by the wind energy industry have preferred the diagnosis of nocebo effect to explain the adverse health effects, but the claim does not withstand critical scrutiny as there is a dose-response effect and nocebo does not have a dose-response effect. And there is a clear correlation between exposure and adverse health effects. Researchers have talked about dose-response. I should also comment that making that diagnosis without a comprehensive evaluation of a person or patient would qualify as non-practice, and I know that has been said in this committee before.

One question though is what it is about wind turbine noise emissions, that makes them just so incredibly annoying?

That question was taken up by a team of American researchers and the answer was published last month in the Journal of the Acoustic Society of America.  This time, the work was done in the lab, with volunteers exposed for half-a-minute; rather than on unwilling victims subjected to a life-time of relentless sonic torture.

We have picked out the thrust of the study below and the whole paper is available in PDF here: Short-term annoyance reactions to stationary and time-varying wind turbine and road traffic noise

To the wind industry’s countless victims, the results will come as no surprise.

Short-term annoyance reactions to stationary and time-varying wind turbine and road traffic noise
Journal of the Acoustic Society of America  139, 2949 (2016)
Beat Schäffer, Sabine J. Schlittmeier, Reto Pieren, Kurt Heutschi, Mark Brink, Ralf Graf and Jürgen Hellbrück
24 May 2016

Abstract
Current literature suggests that wind turbine noise is more annoying than transportation noise. To date, however, it is not known which acoustic characteristics of wind turbines alone, i.e., without effect modifiers such as visibility, are associated with annoyance.

The objective of this study was therefore to investigate and compare the short-term noise annoyance reactions to wind turbines and road traffic in controlled laboratory listening tests. A set of acoustic scenarios was created which, combined with the factorial design of the listening tests, allowed separating the individual associations of three acoustic characteristics with annoyance, namely, source type (wind turbine, road traffic), A-weighted sound pressure level, and amplitude modulation (without, periodic, random).

Sixty participants rated their annoyance to the sounds. At the same A-weighted sound pressure level, wind turbine noise was found to be associated with higher annoyance than road traffic noise, particularly with amplitude modulation.

The increased annoyance to amplitude modulation of wind turbines is not related to its periodicity, but seems to depend on the modulation frequency range. The study discloses a direct link of different acoustic characteristics to annoyance, yet the generalizability to long-term exposure in the field still needs to be verified.

What they did

In this study the researchers recruited 60 participants (ages 18-60; median age 35 years; self reporting that they had normal hearing and felt well at the time of the experiment) and asked them to listen to 30 sounds (each 25 second long recordings) in a semi-sound proof room.

participant

While listening to each of the individual sounds, separated only by a second, they were asked to respond (using a computer) to this question:

When you imagine that this is the sound situation in your garden, what number from 0 to 10 represents best how much you would be bothered, disturbed or annoyed by it?”

The sounds had been synthesized to represent wind turbine noise or road traffic noise of equivalent A weighted sound pressure levels. Comparisons were made over a range of sound pressure levels and with different types of amplitude modulation.

source

‘Without amplitude modulation’ corresponds to a stationary noise. Wind turbine noise with periodic amplitude modulation represent situations with high-frequency swishing (normal amplitude modulation) as well as low-frequency thumping sounds (other amplitude modulation). Random amplitude modulation is more typical of road traffic noise on streets with low or intermediate traffic density. The authors acknowledged that because that some of these noises (such as periodic traffic noise) would not necessarily occur in nature but were included for completeness in the study.

sound amplitude modulation

At all sound pressure levels tested, the participants found that wind turbine noise was more annoying that its road traffic noise equivalent.

They even looked at how long it took for the participants to record their annoyance – and in all tests wind turbine noise was found to be more annoying and at a much earlier time, when compared to road traffic noise. In fact, as participants listened to more samples of wind turbine noise they became increasingly more annoyed and formed their opinion quicker as they became accustomed to just how annoying wind turbine sounds could be.

box plots

As part of their study they tried to prove that the characteristics of the participants were not playing a role in how annoying they were finding wind turbine noise. They were able to eliminate gender, age, how sensitive the person was annoyance in general, as well as their attitude towards the sources (wind turbine noise or road traffic noise). Wind turbine noise was just more annoying to everyone.

They pooled the results and compared annoyance to the A weighted equivalent continuous sound pressure level with and without the different types of amplitude modulation. Periodic and random modulation of wind turbine noise increased the annoyance, but the same pattern could not be seen in road traffic noise. They concluded that the increased annoyance reaction to amplitude modulation of wind turbine noise was not related so much to the period, but more on the modulation frequency range.

pooled results

While the study has plenty of obvious limitations – subjects were only exposed to a short sound grab of 25 seconds – by way of comparison with road traffic noise, it vindicates wind farm victims and provides yet more objective proof to reject the wind industry’s nocebo nonsense, if any more was needed.

Oh, and if the factor of human fallibility in this experiment troubles scientific types, why not check out the ‘experiment’ being conducted with Britain’s Badgers Wind in the Gallows: Study Shows Badgers Suffer Merciless Stress & Torment from Wind Turbine Noise & Vibration

Pretty hard to suggest that badgers suffering immune system destroying stress for the very same reasons – exposure to incessant wind turbine noise and vibration – are, somehow, victims of ‘suggestibility’ or their aesthetic take on these things.

Slowly, but surely, the evidence supplants the lies and the myths.

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