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Noise Advisory

July 20, 2013

When the Technical Advisory Group met in Boston on July 18th, acoustician Stephen Ambrose delivered the paramount message: learn from the people who experience the noise and vibrations from the wind turbines in their vicinity.


In the meeting, he stated:

[W]e have to end up putting at the top of our list human complaints–that’s why we’re all here. If we end up putting our instruments there, we’re not going to end up solving the human complaint problem until we understand the mechanisms and the “whys” for those complaints.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection brought together a diverse panel for its “Wind and Noise Technical Advisory Group” (WNTAG). The initial meeting was held at the MassDEP offices on July 18, 2013. The Consensus Building Institute acted as moderator–the same consulting firm used in the Falmouth Wind Turbine Options Process.

In the clip captured by David Dardi, Ambrose told the committee:

I have gone out and listened as a neighbor. Slept in the neighbor’s bed–much to my surprise when they abandoned the home to me. Wind turbines are … not a good acoustic neighbor out in the country and I could go on and on explaining the “whys.”

Ambrose told the committee that looking back to 1976, when the noise standards were established, a greater than 10 dB increase has “been proven to be the point at which widespread complaints occur.”

But that’s more for steady state sound levels. This variation that we have with wind turbines, this amplitude modulation, we have to account for that amplitude modulation in that 10 dB difference. And when we do, we’ll end up finding that we’re not having complaints. [That’s] my professional opinion on this and after 4 years of research I think that it’s valid. I can present other information at a later date.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 22, 2013 11:59 am

    thanks gain Steve…One defender of the truth… there arent many. Yet I do offer the same deal as steve got to anyone genuinely interested in exploring the truths in this mess. Until the studies come into the homes there is nothing but cheap talk in the disguise of science!

  2. July 21, 2013 8:26 am

    All acousticians know or should know what Steve Ambrose is talking about. They also know that if they take his advice, onshore wind turbines will be rare.

    There is no money for studies that tell developers you cannot plant your wind turbines here.

    For Steve’s message to do any good, it needs to reach the public at large!

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