Woodstock Site Plan Review
Page 15 , Number 18
Noise: the proposed development shall not raise noise levels to the extent that abutting and/or nearby residents are adversely affect.
A) The maximum permissible sound pressure level of any continuous, regular or frequent or an intermittent source of sound produced by any activity shall be limited by the time period and land use which it abuts listed below. Sound levels shall be measured at 4 feet above the ground at the property boundary of the source.
Sound pressure level limits using the sound equivalent level of one hour (leq 60 measured in dB(a) scale)
7:00 am to 10:00pm, residential 55 dB(a)
10:00pm to 7:00am residential 45 dB(a)
B) Noise shall be measured by a meter set on the A-weight response scale, fast response. The meter shall meet the American National Standards (ANSA SI-4-1961) American standard specification for general purpose sound meters.
TESTIMONY OF LEOLA BALLWEBER February 8, 2012
My name is Leola Ballweber, I live in Woodstock, Maine.The town of Woodstock Planning board used the DEP guide lines for sound, yet, approved a waiver to raise the sound levels.
The wind project was appealed at the town level, DEP level, which Warren Brown suggested a NRO for 3 turbines starting at 7pm and adding 3 more from 10pm till 7am, 6 of 10 turbines would be restricted during this time and then it was off to the BEP. After the Supreme Court case was dropped, only 20% chance in the citizen’s favor. Patriot Renewable petitioned for the NRO to be removed. My understanding is that it was granted and the NRO was removed.
What was learned was that the state does not have regulations in place to protect the citizens from the unique infra-sound projected by industrial wind turbines.
The science is there to prove it exists, yet it is the citizens who are left to protect themselves.
The wind industry does and will not admit that these machines on top of Maine’s mountains make noise.
The sound maps that are computer generated are flawed and incorrect in these projects.
Bayroot, LLC owns land that is part of the Spruce Mount Wind Project, leases were giving. As soon as the Spruce mountain wind project began construction, Bayroot, LLC began removing timber between abutting properties and the wind project. If, the abutters had taken some consolation in the filtering of sound through the trees, it was made clear, it was not to be. Irish Family Logging Company came in and literally stripped the land. They paid the fines for their actions and continued to strip the 1000’s of acres around the Spruce Mountain Wind Project.
It is clear that the wind company, land owners of the logging properties, walk hand in hand on these wind projects.
There is no consideration for the ECHO Effect from the surrounding ridges and sound traveling down into the valleys.
It has been made clear that this is not a time for emotions. It is clear that the distress felt by the victims of these projects will not be considered.
I present to you some facts from Woodstock:
There are over 90 abutting properties to the Spruce Mountain wind project. Most of those are seasonal residents. The figures that I am submitting to you are taken from the Woodstock Map/Lot Index dated Tuesday, January 2008. I checked with the town manager and he assured me that this was the latest, up to date version.
Concord Pond Area-
Shagg Pond Area-
Cushman and Perkins Valley Road-
Town’s value for buildings and land, $$3,241,030.
The Combined total,
It is clear that the properties involved are mostly seasonal owners who pay taxes and buy groceries when they come to Woodstock. They may be considered seasonal citizens, yet, spend summers, go skiing, snowmobiling or just get away from their busy lives on weekends, year round. They have no vote at town meetings and could not participate in the decision of this wind
project coming to their neighbor. Now they live with the blade flicker and the Whooosh Whooosh of industrial wind turbines. The wind turbines came to them and they are given a short list of alternatives in dealing with the noise. Please consider the impact this will have on the other small towns, who have or will have wind projects come to their town. Our small townships are now being put in the position no matter what they decide, for or against a wind ordinance; they can expect challenges from both sides of the issue. Law suits are costly, timely and can at times be indecisive in the outcome. (Moot) When the industrial wind projects are built in Canton, Carthage, Dixfield, Peru, Sumner and phase two of The Spruce Mountain Wind Project is put into motion, these figures, one town at a time, will add up.
I believe that the Maine Legislature put us in this position of Fight or Flee and I believe the legislation should send a strong message to the wind industry. It is time for educating yourselves on the dangers of infra sound and making regulations that protect the citizens of Maine. Distance is the only control factor when dealing with this industry. I believe that the BEP’s intents are good, but feel that the 42 dB(a) is still too high, yet, it is a beginning.
Industrial wind turbines have a unique sound, they are a unique industry and the citizens of Maine deserve to be protected to the fullest from industrial wind’s noise pollution. I have been following the PUC with First Wind and see a pattern with the challenge to ethics, along with morals. Business is business and we should all go by the same rules, with the same penalties. They say that Enron is dead, yet, we are still dealing with the ghost of Enron,
There are other alternatives to choose from and Maine is already 30% renewable energy. Remove the cap on hydro and let the waters run. In these economic times, we should be consolidating, rather than wasting federal dollars on rich man’s projects. The down fall is that until someone tells the rich guy, he can’t walk all over the little guy, there will be casualties. The seasonal residents, tax payers and abutters to the Spruce Mountain Wind project are caught in the cross fire of this warring power for dominance on Maine’s mountains.
Thank-you, for the time. and the opportunity to speak today.
Thank-you C. M. for your assistance in formatting.
As a citizen, I can not support 42 dB(a). I know and acknowledge the hard work it has taken to get to this point,yet, I will not be satisfied with this tidbit of hope. The repercussions are still high on this issue.
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