Editorial

Voices of Mars Hill

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and wind energy developers insist a modern wind facility at a distance of 1000 feet produces a sound no louder than a kitchen refrigerator. This comparison is recited over and over in public hearings throughout the U.S. and worldwide. The residents of Mars Hill, Maine have pages of documentation from UPC Wind highlighting the developer's assertion that the 42MW, 28-turbine facility would not produce noise.

Having now "lived" with the turbines for four full seasons of the year, the Mars Hill residents within 3000 feet of the turbines have a consistent refrain: "Noise is a real problem". Residents of Mars Hill recently submitted letters to the towns of Byron and Roxbury Maine, who were considering changes to their land use regulations to permit turbines.

The developers proposing the Byron/Roxbury wind facility made similar statements to those of UPC Wind in Mars Hill ("Wind turbines are usually audible only within a few hundred feet." )

Windaction.org encourages everyone to read these letters, written by people who would have no reason to publicize their plight except to inform others who may learn from the mistakes made by the Mars Hill community.

In a recent press article, Paul Gaynor, CEO and president of UPC Wind stated: "I know there was an expectation [in Mars Hill] about what these were going to sound like. These are big structures and they do make sound." We wonder if Mr. Gaynor understands that it was UPC who set the expectation about sound. It is now time for Mr. Gaynor to accept responsibility for the problems at Mars Hill, to proactively resolve the issues and to speak publicly about the risks in building turbines too close to where people live.

APR 7 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/14273-voices-of-mars-hill
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