Acoustic experts declare Salem sound study flawed

Independent acoustical engineers Robert Rand and Steve Ambrose reviewed the City’s acoustical analysis purported to measure existing “ambient” sound levels and predict the amount of additional sound generated by the proposed Winter Island turbine. The Rand/Ambrose report points out significant shortcomings in the City’s study. First, ambient sound pressure measurements were not done according to Department of Environmental Protection standards; modeled sound levels were not accurate; the starting “sound power level” was not properly adjusted; and, the study failed to address sound propagation over water – as Winter Island Park is close to hundreds of residential homes along the coastline. The Rand/Ambrose review concludes: “The Study appears to under-predict the sound level at receptors by 4-5 decibels over land and 5-12 decibels over water.” This calls into question the City’s claim that noise from the industrial wind turbine would not increase the ambient sound levels in surrounding neighborhoods by more than 10 decibels, which would violate state noise pollution laws. [ more ]

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