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Turbine impacts and our Green Community

Proponents of wind energy state that blade failures, fires and collapse are small in relation to the number of turbines and we should not consider those failures when siting. How does that protect abutting businesses and residents? I witnessed the process steamroll through to develop Port's standards — decreased from what the state models recommended for safe setbacks to property lines for ice throw, blade throw and collapse. Ours is only 150 feet, not even the minimum of 1x turbine height (Mass DOER recommends 1.5x).

Having grown up, raised my family here and lived in the Back Bay for 15 years now, I am proud to join with some of my neighbors in being what some call "exaggerating NIMBYs."

I am speaking about those who've been labeled such for voicing concerns about impacts from improperly sited wind turbines. You can love turbines and may even tolerate impacts because you believe it's the right thing for the planet, but you cannot deny the truth.

Industrial wind turbines create noise and flicker, kill birds/bats, fragment wildlife habitat, catch fire, throw blades, shed ice and collapse. Not exaggerating — just stating facts.

Noise and shadow flicker may be subjectively unimportant to some, but to others it causes disturbance. Flicker is not one shadow blinking across your home for a few minutes each year — it's a strobing series of shadows, sometimes lasting for up to an hour per day for many days that can encompass numerous rooms at once in your home — closing the blinds does not stop it. Regardless of decibel levels, the thumping, whooshing or humming of aerodynamic and mechanical noise at 2 a.m. just might keep you awake — even if not a crashing bang.

Proponents of wind energy state that... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Having grown up, raised my family here and lived in the Back Bay for 15 years now, I am proud to join with some of my neighbors in being what some call "exaggerating NIMBYs."

I am speaking about those who've been labeled such for voicing concerns about impacts from improperly sited wind turbines. You can love turbines and may even tolerate impacts because you believe it's the right thing for the planet, but you cannot deny the truth.

Industrial wind turbines create noise and flicker, kill birds/bats, fragment wildlife habitat, catch fire, throw blades, shed ice and collapse. Not exaggerating — just stating facts.

Noise and shadow flicker may be subjectively unimportant to some, but to others it causes disturbance. Flicker is not one shadow blinking across your home for a few minutes each year — it's a strobing series of shadows, sometimes lasting for up to an hour per day for many days that can encompass numerous rooms at once in your home — closing the blinds does not stop it. Regardless of decibel levels, the thumping, whooshing or humming of aerodynamic and mechanical noise at 2 a.m. just might keep you awake — even if not a crashing bang.

Proponents of wind energy state that blade failures, fires and collapse are small in relation to the number of turbines and we should not consider those failures when siting. How does that protect abutting businesses and residents?

I witnessed the process steamroll through to develop Port's standards — decreased from what the state models recommended for safe setbacks to property lines for ice throw, blade throw and collapse. Ours is only 150 feet, not even the minimum of 1x turbine height (Mass DOER recommends 1.5x).

Subsequently, many of my neighbors (alongside almost 300 petitioners) requested officials change the ordinance to better protect residents, businesses and the public in the future. This process dragged on over eight meetings and still is in limbo.

Green Community Act: The mayor and her energy advisers are now seeking Green Community status. I urge you to fully understand what that means. To get grants from the state (generated from millions in surcharges on our utility bills), the city must adopt an "expedited permitting" process and designate "as-of-right" siting for renewable technology through production, manufacturing or R&D. "As-of-right" permitting eliminates the public process in approving/denying projects.

I'm not anti-green, am all for improving the environment, but am not for removing the public's right to assess projects on a case-by-case basis through public hearings that allow people to speak for their right to not be impacted.

Many now being called names are good, honest people. They unselfishly stepped forward to ask for proper siting of wind projects so that others are protected. I believe the majority of Newburyport people are also good people who neither want to sacrifice one sector of our community to benefit another or allow our public rights to be sold in order to receive grants that are actually our own "taxes." I urge you to learn more — it may just impact you.


Source: http://www.newburyportnews....

FEB 25 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/24790-turbine-impacts-and-our-green-community
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