New bylaw to regulate wind farm noise, infrasound

The Independent, Petrolia and Lambton, October 8, 2014
Plympton-Wyoming’s proposed wind turbine noise bylaw is going where no regulation has gone before.
Council has given first and second reading to a bylaw which regulates the amount of noise coming from industrial wind projects. Council asked staff and the municipality’s lawyers to come up with the bylaw since much of the concern about the project has to do with the potential health effects of the noise coming from the turbine.
Clerk Brianna Coughlin says much of the regulation set out in the bylaw meets standards already set by the provincial government. “We can’t go beyond that,” she says.
But Plympton-Wyoming is going to hold the wind energy companies to a new standard. “The only difference (from the provincial standards) is the bylaw has mention of infra-sound which not regulated by the province right now,” says Couglin.
Infrasound is inaudible for most people but can be perceived by other senses and it is measurable according to some experts says Couglin.
Under the bylaw, if a resident complains about infra sound, the municipality would hire an engineer qualified to take the measurements before laying a charge.
Under the proposed bylaw, fines – if a company is found guilty – can range from $500 to $10,000 per offence and could exceed $100,000 if the offense continues. The municipality could also recoup the cost of the specialized testing under the bylaw.
Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper says that while Suncor Energy (which is developing the Cedar Point project in the municipality) has yet to comment on the inclusion of infrasound in the bylaw, he thinks it is necessary.
“We think it is our obligation to look after the health of the people,” he says. “You just can’t make rules and not cover everything.”
And he believes the proposed fines are appropriate. “It’s no worse than polluting,” he says.
Council will get another look at the bylaw Wednesday. Couglin says council could decide to hold a public meeting to get input or it could pass it without public comment that evening.
Meantime, the municipality also introduced a bylaw which would see Suncor provide a letter of credit for the value of the scrap metal for the turbines instead of providing a deposit.
The bylaw would also see Suncor pay building permit fees of nearly $300,000 for the 27 turbines it plans to erect near Camlachie.
Read the full story and comments here.

What's your reaction?


  • Melodie Burkett
    Posted October 9, 2014 1:43 pm 0Likes

    I have just sent this off to our councillors in Clearview Township. This is a very wise bylaw to protect the people forced to live in an industrial setting with industrial noise plus infra sound that has proven to harm human and animal health world wide.
    THANK YOU Plympton Wyoming and Lonny Napper for leading the charge! We are most grateful to you.
    Yours truly,
    Melodie Burkett

  • Ron Hartlen
    Posted October 9, 2014 5:32 pm 0Likes

    Such bylaws and criteria would be strengthened considerably if they also covered vibration in any home. Any detectable vibration, at frequencies clearly traceable to wind turbines, would be in violation.
    Vibration is easier to understand, easier to measure…and it will be there, because sound and vibration are part of the same thing…you can’t have one without the other.

  • johana
    Posted October 10, 2014 8:44 pm 0Likes

    Thank you, Ron, for bringing in the issue of vibration because that is what has aroused me many a night and kept me from getting the restorative sleep I need to stay H E A L T H Y!
    Unfortunately, my health is going down the drain because night after night I DON’T GET restorative sleep!

  • jane doe-755
    Posted October 11, 2014 9:22 pm 0Likes

    People need to know that your elected mayor has swore an oath to protect his or hers jurisdiction(chief justice) as such has a moral duty beyond queens parks criminal green energy act to over ride this act of stupidity and ignorance and protect the rural communities. Communities need to protect the mayor at all costs for his or hers sworn oath to protect us. It works both ways. Enough is enough Let the legal bullshit leave the room and allow true natural law bloom. Cheers

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