The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) South Australia has released an important independent report on wind farm infrasound. The EPA commissioned Resonate Acoustics to conduct a comparative study into the level of infrasound in urban, rural, and wind farm environments.
The field research reveals infrasound from wind farms is not above levels typically experienced in urban and rural settings, and in some cases was found to be lower. This finding quashes the claim of anti-wind campaigners that farms increase infrasound and further undermines the unfounded argument that wind farm infrasound causes adverse health impacts.
Here are some excerpts from the report, Infrasound levels near windfarms and in other environments:
This report presents the findings of a comparative study into the level of infrasound within typical environments in South Australia, with a particular focus on comparing wind farm environments to urban and rural environments away from wind farms.
Measurements were undertaken over a period of approximately one week at seven locations in urban areas and four locations in rural areas including two residences approximately 1.5 kilometres away from the wind turbines.
From an overall perspective, measured G-weighted infrasound levels at rural locations both near to and away from wind farms were no higher than infrasound levels measured at the urban locations. The most significant difference between the urban and rural locations was that human activity and traffic appeared to be the primary source of infrasound in urban locations, while localised wind conditions appeared to be the primary source of infrasound in rural locations. Of particular note, the results at one of the houses near a wind farm (Location 8) are the lowest infrasound levels measured at any of the 11 locations included in this study.
This study concludes that the level of infrasound at houses near the wind turbines assessed is no greater than that experienced in other urban and rural environments, and is also significantly below the human perception threshold. (2013:41)
Infrasound levels at houses adjacent to wind farms (Locations 8 and 9) are no higher than those at houses located a considerable distance from wind farms (Locations 10 and 11). For example, the outdoor infrasound levels at Location 8 are significantly lower than those at Location 11, despite the house being located much closer to operational wind turbines (1.5 kilometres compared to 30 kilometres).
Organised shutdowns of the wind farms adjacent to Location 8 and Location 9 indicate that there did not appear to be any noticeable contribution from the wind farm to the G-weighted infrasound level measured at either house. This suggests that wind turbines are not a significant source of infrasound at houses located approximately 1.5 kilometres away from wind farm sites. (2013: ii-iii)