Articles filed under Noise from Massachusetts
It's the board's second stab at getting a plan past town meeting. The first, a proposal to fund removal of the turbines, was shot down both at a special town meeting in the spring and in a May 21 ballot question.
"My personal take on this was I was disappointed that the forecasted winds weren't the actual winds, [and] that there was so much insect noise," said Jennifer Sullivan, Scituate's director of public health. "There is reason to believe that at some point during the testing the turbine wasn't making power but using power, which is not exactly what we want to test, and the community people are not happy with the westerly testing direction."
The consultants have been contracted to take four noise samples beginning in March, but said they were only able to get one sample in April, because there hasn't been enough wind to get the turbine up to maximum power. Mark Wallace from Tech Environmental said that one noise sample that was taken at four locations in the neighborhood shows the noise from Scituate's wind turbine is hardly perceptible.
there is adequate scientific evidence in peer-reviewed publications to make it clear that some infrasound emitted by wind turbines - sound vibrations at frequencies below those normally heard - makes some people sick. By refusing to consider and investigate infrasound as a cause of physical distress ...state agencies are only storing up trouble for the future of wind energy.
"The period at which those most impacted by shadow flicker on the South Coast of Massachusetts is between October and March," said Tom Thompson, Executive Director for a neighborhood fighting against the location of the Scituate turbine. "Anyone that's looking to commission a shadow study prior to that that knows those are not the peak periods. [To do one now] is not an accurate analysis."
Too much time is being lost relative to performing acoustical studies of the Scituate Wind turbine and this has the Scituate Board of Health, among other stakeholders, concerned. During the board's meeting on August 12, board members, along with Scituate Public Health Director, Jennifer Sullivan, discussed the complexities of the testing requirements - wind speed, wind direction, tides, etc., and how the conditions have yet to prove favorable for testing.
"Your rush to test this evening and tomorrow morning is extremely curious. ...Not only does this wind direction not impact the majority of your selected locations, these higher wind speeds create a biased background noise level (rustling leaves and branches) that will clearly impact the integrity of these test results."
A new report from the Massachusetts Department of environmental Protection says in June the turbines exceeded legal noise limits, after midnight.
"The 'Kelly paper' is just one of many studies published in the 1980s by acousticians and other researchers working under grants from the DOE, NASA, and others. ... The acoustical conferences, at least in the U.S., all had presentations on wind turbine noise; it was one of the 'hot' topics in the field." The industry response? Ignore or deny the science.
A group of residents have complained that their health is adversely affected by the noise and shadow flicker from the turbine, which is owned by Scituate Wind LLC, made up of Palmer Capital and Solaya Energy. The town's board of health requested that Scituate Wind hire acoustical engineers to see if the turbine complies with noise standards.
The owner of the town's two wind turbines resumed full operations of the machines Tuesday night in defiance of the Board of Health's June order that the turbines be shut off between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Turbine manager Gordon Deane, in a statement released Tuesday night, said officials of Fairhaven Wind, which owns the turbines, decided to turn them back on after a meeting of the health board earlier in the day.
The 16-member technical advisory group includes acousticians, public health professionals, representatives of the wind industry and a neighbor to the Falmouth Wind turbines. The group will consider changes to MassDEP noise regulations and policy as they relate to wind turbines. "It is an acknowledgement that noise from wind turbines is different," DEP spokesman Edmund Coletta said.
After meeting behind closed doors in executive session, the Fairhaven Board of Health came out to announce it had not made a decision on what to do with the town's controversial wind turbines. Wind turbine developer Fairhaven Wind, LLC has already been ordered to shut the turbines down from 7 pm to 7 am because of noise and health complaints.
"I think what we're seeing throughout the region, throughout the state, and actually throughout New England is that people are looking at the experiences of other people who live near wind turbines and are saying 'we don't want that in our community'," said Tillinghast.
Members of the Fairhaven Board of Health said Tuesday they consider complaints from residents to be evidence of the turbines' health effects. "That evidence is coming in every day," board member Barbara Acksen said. Chairman Peter DeTerra agreed, saying "hearing from the people is important."
Sue Hobart presented this powerful testimony before the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health about industrial turbines and the effects they have on the health of the people who live near them. Ms. Hobart formerly lived at 476 Blacksmith Shop Road East Falmouth, just 1600 feet from the Webb Notus 1.5 MW wind turbine.
Tim Dwyer presented his case that the turbines are clearly out of compliance, in violation of No Fossil Fuel's Power Purchase Agreement with the town. He implored selectmen to use their authority to right a wrong and protect the families affected by the noise from the O'Donnell turbines by requiring compliance testing under the direction of the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Sumul Shah of Fairhaven Wind LLC told selectmen he tried several options last week for reducing noise, including feathering the blades and changing the speed and direction, but that shutting one turbine off at night seemed to work best. Selectmen voted June 10 to give Fairhaven Wind 30 days to come into compliance with the terms of the lease and the 10 decibel limit for adding to surrounding noise levels under state law.
In his "open letter" of December 2011, Gordon Deane described Fairhaven Wind as the private part of a "partnership" with the town of Fairhaven. Sumul Shah, Jim Sweeney and Deane have been operating a sound nuisance illegally ever since, depriving residence of sleep, the peaceful enjoyment of their homes, and their property value. It is time to reassess this so-called partnership.
Fairhaven Wind developer Gordon Deane announced his intention Monday to recover from the town the lost profits of the two turbines the Fairhaven Board of Health ordered shut down overnight. His announcement was in reaction to news earlier Monday that the Board of Health had issued a written order to shut down the turbines at night.