Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

June 27, 2013

June 27, 2013: Letters to the editor

Kokomo Tribune

---- — Turbines don’t pose a threat to health

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Health, convened a panel of independent experts to identify any documented or potential health impacts of risks that may be associated with exposure to wind turbines.

In January of 2012, the panel’s findings were published in a report entitled, “Wind Turbine Health Impact Study: Report of Independent Expert Panel.” The panel consisted of individuals with backgrounds in public health, epidemiology, toxicology, neurology and sleep medicine, neuroscience and mechanical engineering. All of the panel members are considered independent experts from academic institutions including: Harvard, Boston University, the University of Massachusetts and the University of New England.

Another report was prepared by the chief medical officer of health of Ontario in May of 2010. This report was in response to public health concerns about wind turbines, particularly related to noise. This report provides a synopsis of scientific evidence on the potential health impact of noise generated by wind turbines.

In addition, a report was issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. In particular, this report shows there are no direct pathological effects from wind farms.

Other sources used for this letter are information from the Department of Energy; Acoustic Assessment Report prepared for the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm LLC and conducted by Tetra Tech in May of 2013; information from the World Health Organization; and various other reports used with guidance from the University of Iowa, the University of Wisconsin, Iowa State University, The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Illinois State University.

A summary of the scientific conclusions pertaining to noise and vibration is provided below.

• Most epidemiologic literature on human response to wind turbines relates to self-reported “annoyance,” and some combination of the sound itself, the sight of the turbine, and attitude toward the wind turbine project.

• Claims that infrasound from wind turbines directly impacts the vestibular system have not been demonstrated scientifically.

• The weight of the evidence suggests no association between sound from wind turbines and measures of psychological distress or mental health problems.

• Typically, at distances larger than 400 meters (about four football fields in length) sound pressure levels for modern wind turbines are less than 40 decibels, which is below the level associated with annoyance in the epidemiological studies reviewed. (See Acoustic Assessment Report for specific sound levels for the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm Project.)

• The measured levels of infrasound produced by modern upwind turbines at distances as close as 68 meters are well below that required for non-auditory perception (feeling of vibration in parts of the body, pressure in the chest, etc.)

• A sound level of 40 decibels is comparable to indoor background sound.

• Studies conducted to assess wind turbine noise indicate that infrasound and low frequency sounds (which are present everywhere in the environment) from modern wind turbines are well below the level where known health effects occur.

• Normal background noise in a rural area at night ranges from 20 to 40 decibels.

• The sound level in a quiet bedroom is approximately 35 decibels.

In conclusion: Nine reports were cited in this article. The peer-reviewed data from them overwhelmingly supports that wind turbines do not pose a threat to human health.

Mike Orr

Tipton CountyWind FarmCommunicationsCommittee

When will we wake and ‘smell the yuck’?

There was a time when the president of this great nation had the morals to be honest with the American public and tell the truth about what’s going on.

President Obama has not. It is such a shame how he has run a scam of what he calls a “transparent” administration. Whether it be Benghazi — where four Americans died and absolutely nothing has been done about it, except more fibs — or campaigning or playing golf, we still have a stagnant economy and nothing is being done except giving huge amounts of money to companies, which in many cases have filed bankruptcy shortly after receiving big bucks from Uncle Sam.

We have runaway gas prices that will probably top $5 a gallon this summer, and he is doing nothing about it. He could care less, now that he has been re-elected. What a shame that is.

There are so many scandals going on, too many to list. When will we Americans wake up and smell the “yuck” that is in the air? God, help us!

Tom La Follette