Highlights from St Columban ERT: infrasound is real (we knew that)
Dr. David Michaud at the St. Columban ERT Hearing
“Knowledge gaps on noise, infrasound”
In testimony before the ERT Hearing on the St. Columban Project last week, Dr. David Michaud, the Principal investigator for the Heath Canada study into wind turbine noise, appeared to contradict Sylvia Davis, a lawyer for the MOE who questioned the existence of low frequency noise generated by wind turbines at the Ostrander Point ERT.
Dr. Michaud testified that there was a ‘knowledge gap’ in respect to low frequency noise emitted by wind turbines. International standard used to assess noise do not consider low frequency noise as they do not deal with sound 31.5Hz.
Dr. Michaud also stated that the knowledge gaps relative to both audible and low frequency noise from wind turbines were sufficient to qualify for Health Canada funding. He stated that to receive funding, a project had to deal with a knowledge gap be of sufficient importance to Health Canada that addressing it is a priority. In the Federal government’s view, wind turbine noise fell into this category.
Dr. Michaud confirmed that Health Canada has received a number of complaints referring to low frequency noise but these complaints were not accompanied by data documenting the level of low frequency noise being experienced.
The Health Canada study includes both a questionnaire to assess people’s response to wind turbine noise but also full time monitoring of noise, including low frequency sounds, at various distances from wind turbines. Dr. Michaud was not able to specifically identify the equipment being used but did confirm that it was specialized equipment designed to measure low frequency noise.
The Health Canada study is still on track to release its findings in late 2014. This will include raw results plus preliminary assessments of the data which will then be subject to a peer-review process.