Friday, September 16, 2011

Clayton wants wind turbine noise limited at 45 dBA

The Town Council proposed a zoning amendment Wednesday that would force commercial wind turbines to be five decibels quieter than allowed under its existing wind law.

“We want to amend it from 50 dBA to 45 dBA based on the World Health Organization guidelines for community noise. That would be the noise limit at participating residences and nonparticipating property lines,” Town Supervisor Justin A. Taylor said.

The new standard was developed by the five-member Clayton Town Council after a “noise test” Sunday, where Charles E. Ebbing, a retired acoustic engineer, demonstrated how turbines would sound in a number of settings from different distances.

While the council’s newly proposed noise standard is more restrictive than its original law adopted in 2007, it is not as limiting to wind farm developers as the turbine noise cap of five decibels above ambient sound levels recommended by the town’s Wind Committee.

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