EPA works alongside the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to regulate wind energy facility noise.
Managing audits of noise assessments
DELWP provides guidelines and manages the planning approval process for wind energy facilities, also known as wind farms. Noise assessments and audits are part of the wind energy facility planning permit approval process. At the end of this process, the Minister for Planning is responsible for granting planning permits for new wind energy facilities.
It’s EPA’s role to oversee the independent audits of noise assessments, before and after the construction of a wind energy facility.
Noise assessments and noise testing must be undertaken by a suitably qualified and experienced acoustician. The acoustician’s report is then audited by an EPA-accredited auditor. The auditor’s role is to make sure the acousticians have correctly undertaken the noise assessment and testing activities consistent with the NZ standard, which is the wind energy facility noise standard in Victoria.
EPA provides guidelines for auditors, see Wind energy facility noise auditor guidelines (publication 1692).
Investigating noise from wind turbines
In the first instance, you should report concerns about wind energy facility noise emissions to the wind energy facility operator. The operator will respond according to their complaints management procedures. If unresolved, report concerns about noise pollution to EPA.
If you need further help, contact the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner (AEIC).
Investigating noise from related infrastructures
EPA can investigate noise from operational wind turbines and noise from other related infrastructure at the wind energy facility. Wind turbine noise comes under the wind energy facility regulations, while noise from ancillary infrastructure comes under the commercial, industrial and trade noise premises noise regulations. Ancillary infrastructure noise includes noise from:
- step-up transformers
- substations that connect to the transmission grid
- other onsite servicing or maintenance activities.
Noise from construction of wind energy facilities is managed by councils under planning permit approval conditions.
Read more about wind energy facility noise
Reviewed 7 July 2021