CLINTON — The county is on the verge of contracting with a firm to conduct a post-construction sound study of the Alta Farms II wind energy project. That study would measure sound levels at pre-determined points in the area of the project.
The county is close to making an agreement with Tech Environmental, zoning administrator Aaron Paque´ said Monday.
Paque´, land use chairman Terry Ferguson and land use committee member Aaron Kammeyer met with representatives of Tech Environmental, Paque´ told the full committee during its meeting on Monday. He said they interviewed representatives of several firms and also contacted others.
In choosing Tech, Paque´ explained how the study would be conducted.
“You’re going to be able to get the most accurate results; it will isolate any external sounds and get the best results,” Paque´said. “If you have any sort of external noise that is not the wind tower itself, you’re going to be able to get that data.”
He said the study would be more specific and detailed in the time periods used to take sound measurements.
“The reason we go to a 10-minute evaluation is because you can identify the noisiest 10 minutes during the period,” said Terry Ferguson. “And, you can get a clearer determination if there is a problem with a unit making more noise than what is allowed by the Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB).
Ferguson said, in measuring for a one-hour period, it would take an average of the noise occurring during that period.
“By isolating down to 10 minutes, you can pick the hottest point of the time period,” Ferguson said. “This seems to be kind of the standard for doing these noise studies.”
He said the goal was to pick the worst case scenario so the result would be less likely to be challenged.