Library filed under Impact on People from Connecticut
Now that two of these state-approved wind turbines are up and spinning in Colebrook, the local residents are showing the same ill health impacts cited in my group’s exhaustive research-based presentation to the state Siting Council. Headaches, sleep deprivation, increased blood pressure to name a few are the symptoms being felt by a doctor’s wife on their Flag Hill Road home in Colebrook. As reported in the Dec. 13 Sunday Republican, the couple lives 1,500 feet from the turbines.
Lawrence said he was unaware a wind farm was planned when he bought his land in 2009. When he learned of it potentially happening, he began to do research. He consulted the work of scientists such as E.L. Petersen, whose survey of populations living near wind turbines in the Netherlands has formed the basis for what is known today. Petersen and his colleagues concluded that wind turbine noise — especially low-frequency levels — affects people at much farther distances than generally anticipated, both inside and outside buildings.
Meanwhile, Dr. David Lawrence, whose house on Flagg Hill Road in Colebrook stands about 1,500 feet from the nearest turbine, describes living under a state of siege. When the turbines started operating in earnest on October 17, his wife Jeanie developed insomnia, headaches and unsteadiness on her feet. The couple moved their master bed from the second floor into the basement, which is shielded by an earth embankment. “We’ve hardly been back up there since,” says Lawrence.
The Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism submitted letters to the council saying turbines at the second site on Rock Hall Road would threaten the nearby Rock Hall Luxe Lodging.
"The siting council's decision confirms the belief that wind projects need to be developed carefully - if not we could serve as the poster child against wind projects," said Nardello, co-chair of the energy and technology committee.
In a surprise straw vote on Monday, six out of seven members of the state Siting Council indicated they will vote against a wind turbine project in Prospect. Council members expressing concern of the size of the turbines and the fact that they will be located close to homes.
Even if there were no issues such as health concerns and property value, it should matter when a person wants their life respected and their dreams honored. This is America. The people of Prospect (saveprospect.com) who are trying to preserve their neighborhood are only asking for the respect that all of us deserve.
Commercial-scale wind generation is far more complex than anyone imagines at first glance. These are not our grandfather's faithful 30-foot tall windmills ...These are towering 300-to-515- foot tall behemoths-some approaching the height of the Washington Monument, often placed atop scenic ridgelines, creating serious obstacles to anything that flies, including airplanes.
"Caruso stated that the only reason he had allowed "those people from Massachusetts" to speak at hearing ... is because he saw the "pained expression" on my face when he initially said they would not be given an opportunity to speak," Tinley wrote to Roberts. "Judge Caruso said, ‘They're all nice people. But it's a lot of bull----."
Reilly said people feel like the turbines are an imposition on their rights and came out to make their voices heard. "I think the Siting Council got a clear message from the town," Reilly said. Reilly said his group has 29 witnesses to provide testimony to the council and 2,000 pages of documents to support their case. He felt when the process is over the council will conclude the application needs to be denied.
Residents implored the council to deny the petition because the turbines would be too close to their homes and would risk their health, safety and quality of life. Others urged the council to approve the petition, citing new jobs and the importance of embracing renewable energy.
More residents of Colebrook, Winchester and Norfolk are planning to file similar petitions, said Joyce Hemingson, president of FairWindCt, a Colebrook citizens group. The group is calling for a moratorium on the approval of commercial wind farm developments until regulations governing their location in residential areas are established.
Save Prospect's Tim Reilly said at the Connecticut Siting Council meeting that they have been speaking to members of FairWindCT on a regular basis, making the case that the current regulations - which regard just air and water safety - are not enough. Both Save Prospect and FairWindCT support a moratorium on residential wind turbine development until such regulations can be crafted.
The proposals by BNE Energy Incorporated would place wind turbines on hilltops in the two towns. Despite the fact that he will be out of office on Wednesday, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal came to their aid Monday. "These turbines have been proposed without any standards, essentially in a situation of lawlessness," Blumenthal said.
The concerns voiced about the windmills at the meeting revolved not around the turbines themselves, but their location. As they will be placed in a largely residential area, neighboring residents were worried about the noise, turbine blades - the windmills will be approximately 100 meters tall, most likely using 41-meter blades - and flickering.
BNE Energy's plan to put the state's first wind farm in town met with some degree of opposition. One potential neighbor has taken her case to the Connecticut Siting Council, seeking the rejection of the plan. According to the petition, BNE Energy has been accessing [Robin] Hirtle's property to reach their parcel of land. There is a mutual easement in place affecting both BNE Energy and Hirtle, stating that it "shall be limited to residential use exclusively."
Mayor Robert Chatfield hired a bus and took nearly three dozen residents to Cape Cod on a recent weekend to look at a wind turbine on Falmouth property and to talk to neighbors. "When I first heard of it, I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread," the mayor said. "Now I've kind of backed off a little bit."
Three dozen residents of Prospect, Conn. traveled three hours to Falmouth on Saturday to get a firsthand glimpse of Wind I, Falmouth's 400-foot, 1.65-megawatt turbine at the wastewater treatment facility. The reason, said Prospect Mayor Robert Chatfield, is that a private company is trying to build two similar-size turbines as close as 1,500 feet to nearby homes.
"It's a safety issue. It's a quality of life issue with the noise and what's called shadow flicker, as the setting sun goes through the blades," said Tim Reilly of Prospect. "There's so many issues here that it makes this the wrong place." Reilly led a protest rally Saturday morning.
Commission members Peter Kaufman, LuAnn Zbinden, Mark Fraher, Stephen Cooney and Don Wilkes rejected the proposal because of concerns about "adverse effects upon the existing and probable future character of the neighborhood or its property values" and because "this specific site is not appropriate for this specific use."