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Monday, October 26, 2009

Experts rip anti-wind claims

Even though the quotes below from pre-filed statements take the form of rebuttal testimony in the PSC proceedings on We Energies' Glacier Hills Wind Park, they can stand on their own. You need not read the filings they rebut in order to make sense out of what they're saying.

The pre-filed testimony stands among the strongest redupiation of anti-wind arguments.

These filings will be formally entered into the record when the technical hearings begin on November 2nd, but they (and all other filings) are available online at the Web site of the Public Service Commission and link directlyi to case 6630-CE-302.

Richard Larkin, a state certified real estate appraiser, rebuts a “study” of property values paid for by the Coaliton for Wisconsin Environmental Stewardship (CWESt), a group opposing the Glacier Hills project:

I am responding to testimony submitted by Kurt Kielisch on behalf of CWESt, in 1 which he claims that paired sales analyses at the Blue Sky Green Field and Forward wind projects shows that proximity to wind turbines results in a significant negative impact on residential real estate values. There are significant (and probably fatal) problems with his analysis, which I will explain in my testimony. . . .

. . .it is my opinion that Appraisal One’s Wind Turbine Impact Study is significantly flawed, and in my opinion, likely meaningless.
Read all of Larkin’s testimony here.

William Roberts, PhD in Epidemiology, former faculty member with the Medical College of Wisconsin (Dept. of Preventative Medicine), former Oklahoma State Epidemiologist dissects Dr. Nina Pierpont's "research" and rebuts CWESt's acoustical consultant. He summarized his testimony as follows:

+ “Wind Turbine Syndrome” is not a medical diagnosis supported by peer reviewed, published, scientific literature;
+ The materials presented to support “Wind Turbine Syndrome” are not of sufficient scientific quality nor have they received the rigorous scientific review and vetting that is customarily part of the peer review and publishing process;
+ The tried and true scientific method of developing a hypothesis, testing that hypothesis, publishing the results and having others attempt to repeat the research has not been done to test the existence of a health condition called “Wind Turbine Syndrome;”
+ An accumulation of anecdotal interviews with self-selected persons living near a wind turbine does not constitute an epidemiological study and is not sufficient to determine causation;
+ The bases for claimed adverse health effects due to wind turbines cited by Mr. James either cannot withstand scientific scrutiny or have nothing to do with wind turbines; and
+ Siting a wind turbine within view of a residence and the operation of that turbine could be a source of annoyance to those living in the residence.
Read all of Roberts’ testimony here.

Geoff Leventhall, acoustical consultant, PhD in acoustics, presented testimony to rebut CWESt's acoustical consultant.

Based on my experience of infrasound and low frequency noise, it is my belief that the infrasound from wind turbines is of no consequence. Attempts to claim that illnesses result from inaudible wind turbine noise do not stand up to simple analyses of the very low forces and pressures produced by the sound from wind turbines. Additionally, the body is full of sound and vibration at infrasonic and low frequencies, originating in natural body processes. As an example, the beating heart is an obvious source of infrasound within the body. Other sources of background low frequency noise and vibration are blood flows, muscle vibrations, breathing, fluids in the gut and so on. The result is that any effect from wind turbine noise, or any other low level of noise, which might be produced within the body is “lost” in the existing background noise and vibration. This is considered in more detail in my Appraisal of Wind Turbine Syndrome, which is submitted as Exhibit 18.

More broadly, my testimony establishes that the claims of health effects from the low levels of infrasound and low frequency noise from wind turbines, as described in the Wind Turbine Syndrome and Vibroacoustic Disease hypotheses, fail. However, higher frequency noise from wind turbines, if it is audible, can cause disturbance to some residents, but this effect is no different from that of noise from another source.
Read all of Leventhall’s testimony here.

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