Scituate: Negotiations continue regarding municipal wind turbine noise study

The Scituate Board of Health met Monday night to discuss the issue of the town’s wind turbine, which neighbors claim is ruining their health.

A steering committee negotiating on an agreement to conduct a noise study of the town’s municipal wind turbine, reported their progress to the board.

Scituate Wind, the wind turbine management company, has agreed to fund the noise study under state department of energy guidelines.

However, steering committee community group liaison Tom Thompson said told the board that the neighbors a more detailed acoustical study.

“They’re (Scituate Wind) going through the process for the soul and express purpose of demonstrating that they comply with Mass. D.E.P. guidelines. There are three principle problems with that. First, there’s a very limited A rating component to the analysis, which is basically what the modern ear picks up. As a result, we miss the higher and lower frequencies. Second, they only want to go with 1 second measurement intervals in the lower frequencies. We want much shorter time frames that will allow us to accurately get a better sense of the noise emanating from the industrial wind turbine”, Thompson said.

The neighbors also oppose the use of sound averaging as opposed to peak sound measurements.

“The averaging is essentially a flat line throughout a period of time, as opposed to the significant spikes that actually emanate from the turbine, which is what causes a lot of the health discomfort emanating from the dog-gone thing”.

Scituate Wind says they will not participate in, or fund either a shadow flicker study or health assessment, which neighbors are demanding.

The wind turbine steering committee will meet again January 15.


About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.