Vermont cabin becomes lab to study wind turbine noise
Government officials in Vermont, Canada and Australia have dismissed concerns about the health effects of noise from wind power turbines, but don’t tell that to people living near them
Oct. 12, 2016, at 12:43 a.m.
By DAVE GRAM, Associated Press
SHEFFIELD, Vt. (AP) — Once it was just another cabin on a Vermont hillside. Now it’s an emblem in the debate over noise from the growing wind energy industry.
Studies have repeatedly found no evidence connecting noise from wind power turbines to human health problems. But critics question the soundness of those studies. Among them are Steve and Luann Therrien, who say a wind farm near their home made their lives hell.
The case has created a fissure among environmentalists in this liberal state with a reputation for green thinking, pitting those who see wind energy as key to reducing reliance on pollution-spewing fossil fuels against those convinced audible noises and inaudible “infrasound” present health threats to those living nearby. And each side questions the objectivity of the other’s research.
The Therriens’ old cabin is up 5 miles of dirt road from town, but is just a quarter-mile from a rural stretch of Interstate 91. The highway noise largely didn’t bother them.