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Maine Wind Power Sound Rule Takes Effect

Maine’s newly adopted sound limits that apply specifically to wind power projects became effective June 10.  The Maine Department of Environmental Protection amended its Chapter 375(10) sound rules after a citizen-initiated petition to initiate rulemaking proceedings was submitted by wind power opponents.  The new rules lower the nighttime sound limit for wind power projects to 42 dBA from 45 dBA, while at the same time relaxing predictive modeling parameters imposed on developers.  In July 2011 the Board of Environmental Protection held a public hearing at which developers, opponents and project neighbors gave testimony on the potential health impacts of wind power sound.  Although the Board voted to lower the nighttime wind power sound limit, Board Chair Sue Lessard noted that it did so as a precautionary measure and not because there had been a demonstration that existing sound limits would result in adverse health effects.

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