Thursday, January 19, 2017

Now is the time.

President Obama was the greatest energy President in history. He was magnificent and I thank him for all his arduous work. I know it wasn't easy or popular at a time of fossil fuel crony politics. We are a better country today, President Obama and it is due to his undaunted leadership.

January 19, 2017
By Tim Means

Murrysville council (click here) Wednesday night instructed municipal officials to prepare revisions to a draft ordinance regulating unconventional gas and oil drilling in the community.

Council members re-hashed the setback requirements for shale drilling in an effort to strike a balance between providing protection from the impacts of drilling operations for nearby residents and making sure the ordinance is not so restrictive that the law could be challenged as exclusionary and struck down in court.

After a lengthy discussion about how setback distances should be measured, council reached a consensus that a minimum protective buffer zone should be required from the edge of the well pad to any protected structure.

The current version of the draft ordinance proposes a 250-foot buffer zone from the edge of the well pad plus a 550-foot buffer zone to a protected structure....

The only buffer zone needed for wind energy is its shadow and whether it will have an ill effect on plants in the spring time. If people want a wind turbine a variance from the local zoning board might be necessary. It give the neighbors a time to make themselves known.

In Denmark, (click here) the local municipalities determine where wind turbines can be placed. However, there are some rules and regulations that have to be complied with, before a wind farm can be erected in the Danish landscape. The regulation related to wind turbines includes planning, building and nature protection legislation, as well as noise and grid connection regulation.

Set back distance and noise

The most central legislation on wind turbines establishes a requirement for a setback distance of 4 x total height of the wind turbine. To major roads and railways a distance of 1 x total height is required. In addition, specific noise limits determine allowable noise-levels for neighboring houses at different levels of wind speed. The noise limits are outdoors limits and must not exceed:

• In residential areas:
     39 dB (wind speeds of 8 m/s) and 37 dB (wind speeds of 6 m/s)
• Near residences in the open country:
     44 dB (wind speeds of 8 m/s) and 42 dB (wind speeds of 6 m/s)
For both categories of areas the limit for low frequency noise is 20 dB. The limit for low frequency noise applies to the calculated indoor noise level at both 6 and 8 m/s wind speed.

Shadow flicker

The Danish requirements related to wind turbines normally also include a limit on the annual number of hours that neighboring houses are affected by shadow flicker from turbines. It is recommended that the calculated average of shadow hours on neighboring houses do not exceed 10 hours per year. If the shadow limit is exceeded the wind turbine owner may alternatively be required to shut down the wind turbine in critical periods. Usually, wind turbines can be fitted with meters so that the operation can be halted if the sun shines during critical periods.