Friday, April 03, 2009

Pre-construction accoustical survey

The recent homeowner court victory over the nearby Blue Knob wind plant (Stull vs. Gamesa Energy USA LLC and Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm, LLC) gives new hope that excessive turbine noise can be successfully litigated by complaining homeowners.

In the event that noise and vibration from turbines near Folmont makes litigation necessary, we're advised we should engage a court-credible acoustical engineer to measure and document ambient sound levels, prior to the turbines becoming operational, at several Folmont sites within 2,000-3,000 feet of a planned turbine site.

On Folmont's behalf, SOAR (Save Our Allegheny Ridges) has contacted a number of engineers and universities with a track record in this field and is recommending Rick James. As SOAR writes:

Rick is an acoustics expert from Michigan and has testified in several court
cases. You can google “Rick James wind” and a number of hits will pop up
where he has worked with communities in the mid-west and in New York. He
is doing a lot in Cohocton, NY and has worked in Calumet County. He told
me that wind companies are not good neighbors and that too often the companies
cover up the truth, or lie to get into a community.

Rick James plans to be in New York soon and can swing by here afterwards – sometime right after Easter.

He estimates the cost of taking measurements at several Folmont sites and preparing the acoustical engineer's report at about $1900, plus some miscellaneous travel expenses.

Yesterday, Terry Doran contacted some Folmont owners, mainly along Old Farm Road, and already we have six commitments totaling about
$1400.00, a little over half the expected total expense.

This survey will be commissioned, if at all, by individual property owners acting on their own behalf, rather than the FPOA.

We'll need to give the engineer a go/no-go decision, based on the level of pledges we receive, early this coming week. If you can make a pledge, kindly notify Terry Doran.

The funding target was met and the acoustical measurements were taken, daytime and nightime, at several Folmont sites April 23-24. The final report is expected in a few weeks.

No comments: