Library from Massachusetts
After years of hearing complaints of noise, headaches and sleep deprivation, the Bourne Board of Health declared Wednesday that the four wind turbines across the town border in Plymouth are negatively affecting public health.
The terms of the lease were set in September 2016, when all three companies vying for state offshore wind contracts committed to use the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal under the same terms if they were selected.
The fire was confined to electrical equipment on the first floor, said Fire Chief Andy Theriault afterwards. “There was no extension,” he added. Theriault said smoke filled up the tower and eventually vented from the top of the 260-foot structure.
One of the two wind turbines under a court order never to operate at their current spot may spin again on the wastewater treatment plant property, a little less than a half mile north from where it now stands. Accomplishing the move, however, would cost the town just over $3 million and isn’t likely to appease critics of the turbine’s current location.
Weston and Sampson, engineers hired by the town to look at logistics and costs related to dismantlement and removal of the turbines, are scheduled to present their findings to selectmen Monday at 8 p.m., during the board’s regular meeting in Town Hall.
Barnstable and Vineyard Wind officials have signed a host community agreement that includes $16 million in payments to the town in return for the offshore wind energy developer landing a high-voltage electric power transmission cable at William H. Covell Memorial Beach rather than via a disputed route through Lewis Bay in West Yarmouth. But a final decision on the transmission cable route, the landing location and other details is still to be determined.
The proximity of the men’s grant areas means their oysters, which total about 3,250,000, could be smothered by sand and silt that’s stirred up when Vineyard Wind lays the cable, the letter contends. Although Vineyard Wind officials have met with the shellfishermen multiple times and proposed solutions that include installing silt curtains while work is conducted, there’s no evidence those solutions will work, according to the letter.
A September report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch indicated that the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management would approve projects like Vineyard Wind in a timely manner, Beane said. The report said timing of permitting affects whether offshore wind developers can take advantage of federal investment tax credits that are expected to expire in 2024.
A resident filed an enforcement action request (June 2018) alleging Wind 2 violates Chapter 240 Section 3B of the Falmouth Zoning Bylaw (the local provision copied from M.G.L. c. 40A, s. 7).
Funfar’s lawyer James Rosenblum argued that Wind 2 is the same make and model as Wind 1, and neither was ever issued a special permit from the zoning board. The lack of a special permit had never been legally challenged in court for Wind 2, as it had for Wind 1, “but that doesn’t mean Wind 2 is a legal structure,” Rosenblum said. “The structure had a legal building permit but doesn’t have a legal special permit and never did,” he said.
In his response, Mr. Palmer said this regulation does not apply to Wind 2 because of when it was installed. The letter indicates Wind 2 was issued a permit and became operational in February 2012. “The building permit and the date of initial operation are both beyond the six year enforcement provision of G.L. c. 40A, s. 7 for structures erected in reliance upon a building permit,” Mr. Palmer wrote.
As local opposition to a proposed high-wattage transmission cable intensifies, Yarmouth selectmen have rejected a second offer by offshore energy company Vineyard Wind to pay for costs incurred as the town considers a host community agreement with the company.
In reviewing the study, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection found that noise samples were collected at the wrong time of day and that not all the turbines were spinning when the sampling was done. The state also pointed out that some necessary information was missing from the analysis and that the report provided conflicting information relative to the turbines’ exact locations on the site.
Thousands of visitors and residents have signed a petition opposing an effort by offshore energy company Vineyard Wind to bring a high-wattage transmission cable through Lewis Bay and onshore in Yarmouth. ...A copy was given to Gov. Charlie Baker last week and to the Yarmouth selectmen at their meeting Tuesday, where Chairman Norman Holcomb told residents the board was open to hearing concerns.
Wind 1 and Wind 2, the two 1.65-megawatt turbines the Town of Falmouth installed on industrial-zoned land between 2009 and 2010, no longer turn or generate electricity. However, Falmouth residents Neil P. Andersen and Elizabeth L. Andersen said they still feel the aftereffects from the turbines and from their legal fight against them.
The town that said yes to wind power, then no, can now say goodbye to Minuteman Wind. The developer said Monday it will not go to court to fight the town's decision to deny it a building permit.
In a plea for help, a small group of residents came in front of the Bourne Board of Health on Aug. 8 after a Superior Court judge ruled that Bourne officials didn’t have the authority to regulate the construction of the turbines because they were outside of the town’s jurisdiction. ...however, the judge had written that a “Board of Health has broad powers to regulate and prevent nuisances that affect the public health,” adding that it remained to be seen whether the operation of the turbines would be a nuisance affecting the health of Bourne residents.
Ms. Gibides added that she and the other residents were appealing to the board for help and guidance as to the steps they need to take for relief from the turbines. “We are a few human beings that are being tortured for the greater good, according to the Town of Plymouth. We don’t know where to turn, so we’re turning to you again,” she said.
The DEP can no longer help enforce its own regulations because of its involvement in wind turbine contracts. The Project Regulatory Agreement does not take into consideration public health and safety it has become immoral with despicable inhuman conduct bordering on criminal. We know today the DEP has been aware residents have been living in a toxic environment around the wind turbines.