Wendy Todd of Mars Hill, ME provided this letter to the residents of Byron and Roxbury, ME in hopes the voters of both towns would make informed decisions before agreeing to permit industrial turbines on their ridgelines. This letter is published here with the permission of Wendy Todd.
It has come to my attention that Mars Hill and my name in particular have been coming up in conversations, literature and website material. I am writing you with the concern that some of the information is not correct.
Noise issues in Mars Hill are still under review by the developer UPC and the DEP. 18 families to the North and East of Mars Hill are experiencing noise levels that are changing the way people live in their homes and the way they view living around the mountain.
I have no desire to ruin development plans for Rob Gardiner or Angus King. I am not against wind turbines except for when they are placed to close to people or areas of critical importance with respect to visual impact. I do hope that the towns of Roxbury and Byron are told of all aspects of the project that can and most likely will affect the residents of those towns. I agree with many things that Rob Gardiner has said but there are some items that need to be clarified.
Our home is approx. 2600 feet away from the closest turbines, not 2100 feet. 3,000 feet will not resolve the issue of noise if your project is anything like Mars Hill's project. The residents in Mars Hill who are experiencing noise problems inside their homes are approx 3000 feet or less from the turbines. There are no other homes beyond that point (only fields and forest) until you reach approx a mile or better. Meaning there are no houses downwind of the project that are at 3500 feet, or 4,000 feet or 5,000 feet. The next house is at about 5200 feet. The Fletchers do experience noise but the number of days that they are bothered inside their home are far fewer than the 18 families 3000 feet or less.
To the west and south (upwind side) of the project most homes are at greater distances than those on the downwind side. There are occasions when those to the west and south do experience noise but again the number of days that they are bothered inside their homes are far fewer than residents who are downwind of the project. There have been reports from residents who live on the outskirts of town of days when they hear the turbines loud and clear. The town of Mars Hill lays about 11/2 miles from the mountain.
I urge the towns of Roxbury and Byron to use extreme caution especially on the issue of noise because it has been such a problem here for so many. People who are too close may be affected in a multitude of ways. We have neighbors who are now taking sleep aids and depression medication to cope with what is happening here. We have others who are suffering from increased headaches and migraines. Shadow flicker and the motion of the blades cause some to become dizzy and/or nauseated. Most of us have had to change how we live in our homes. Many of us are coping in different ways.
Please be cautious. Gather all the information and get as many questions answered as you can before giving up any rights as citizens of the towns of Roxbury and Byron. If you have any questions please call me at 207-551-2775. I can give you the names of town officials and others who are dealing day to day with living next to turbines if you need them. Let us know if and how we can help.