Documents from Massachusetts

Ambrose: Courts Uphold Wind Turbine Noise Limits

Letter_to_wind_action_group_-_8dec2017_thumb This important letter by acoustician Stephen Ambrose explains how two separate court decisions, one in Massachusetts and the other in Michigan, together provide clarity on what the minimum protective noise limits should be when siting industrial wind energy facilities. Mr. Ambrose's letter includes links to the two decisions as well as supporting background information. The content of the letter is shown below. The original can be downloaded from this page.
8 Dec 2017

Falmouth Wind Turbines 1 and 2: Court Order to cease and desist operation

Judge_moriarity_decision_june_2017_thumb In this important ruling issued by Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Cornelius J. Moriarty II, the court ordered that the decision of the Falmouth MA Zoning Board of Appeals be affirmed to the extent that the operation of Wind 1 and Wind 2 constitute a nuisance and that the Town of Falmouth cease and desist operation of the wind turbines immediately. The full order can be accessed by clicking the document icon located on this page.  
21 Jun 2017

On the predominance of unstable atmospheric conditions in the marine boundary layer offshore of the U.S. northeastern coast

Archer_et_al-2016-journal_of_geophysical_research-_atmospheres_thumb This paper reports on research that looked at wind data collected offshore along the Northeast Unitied States. The paper's main finding is that atmospheric conditions around Cape Wind are predominantly turbulent, or unstable, which is very different from prevailing data from European offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Wind conditions at Cape Wind were shown to be unstable between 40 and 80 percent of the time, depending on season and time of day, The abstract of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed from the links on this page.
18 Jul 2016

Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals Ruling

308985283-falmouth-zoning-board-of-appeals-ruling_thumb In this detailed ruling issued by the Falmouth Zoning Board of Adjustment in reference to Wind 1, one of two Vestas 1,65 MW turbines sited at the town's water treatment center, the board listed 38 separate finding on whether a permit should be issued that would allow the turbine to continue operating. The turbine was shut down following a court ruling that found the turbine was erected the town without first securing a permit. Some of the 38 findings are provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.  
15 Apr 2016

Cape Wind Request for permit extension denied: Decision

306365698-cape-wind-tentative-decision-permit-extension-deny_thumb A Massachusetts state board has issued a draft decision denying the extension of permits that would enable Cape Wind to build an electricity transmission line to connect its proposed offshore wind farm to land. The draft decision offers an informative discussion of the now historical events leading to the denial. The full decision can be accessed by clicking the link on this page. 
29 Mar 2016

Falmouth Wind Turbine: Deemed ineligible for permit

302178715-decision-making-spreadsheet_thumb On the morning of March 5, 2016, the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) deliberated over whether the Town's application for a special permit to retain Wind 1 should be approved. Wind 1 is the first of two Vestas V82 1.65 MW turbines erected at the community's wastewater treatment facility. The turbines created significant controversy following noise complaints by nearby residents beginning in 2010 when the turbines were first turned on. In a February 2015 ruling, the Massachusetts appeals court found that the Town of Falmouth failed to meet the requirements under the local bylaws when it erected Wind 1 without first obtaining a permit. The ZBA hearing was to determine whether a newly filed application met the requirements for a permit to be issued retroactively. Wind I has been idle since September 2015. The attached documents represent the arguments by the town's attorney (in favor of issuing a permit), the residents (on why a permit should not be issued), and a spreadsheet itemizing the decisions that need to be made the the ZBA. The below summary by Mark Cool explains how the Board ruled on each of the decisions. 
5 Mar 2016

Town of Bourne v Future Generation Wind LLC

Bournecomplaint_thumb This enforcement action was brought by the Town of Bourne in Massachusetts acting through its Board of Health. The purpose of the action is to require compliance with the Town's duly adopted Wind Energy Conversions System Regulations for a wind turbine system on land in the Towns of Bourne and Plymouth. The Town of Bourne seeks a Declaratory Judgment ruling that the wind turbine project is subject to the provisions of the Town's Board of Health Regulations and orders requiring the Defendant, Future Generation Wind, LLC to comply with the requirements of the Regulations. A portion of the complaint as filed is provided below. The full complaint can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.  
9 Feb 2016

Infrasound Measurements of Falmouth Wind Turbines Wind #1 and Wind #2

Nce-report-of-february-27-2015_thumb This important study conducted at a home situated within 1300 feet of the Falmouth MA wind turbines identified infrasonic sound pressure levels inside the residence. These results are similar to results from other international researchers with references given in the report. The executive summary and conclusions sections of the report are provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
27 Feb 2015

DRUMMEY et. al. vs. TOWN OF FALMOUTH

Drummey_v_falmouth_appeals_court_decision_thumb This important ruling by the Massachusetts appeals court found that the Town of Falmouth was required to obtain a special permit for the wind turbine (Wind 1) sited at the town's wastewater treatment center. The town argued that no permit was necessary since the turbine was viewed as a municipal purpose and therefore exempt from the zoning ordinance. The appeals court voided the decision of the lower court. 
26 Feb 2015

Cape Wind contract termination letter

Nstarfmnotice_thumb Cape Wind, the first proposed offshore wind project in the United States, sent letters to the two utilities that contracted to purchase nearly 80% of the project's output, including energy, renewable energy credits (RECs) and capacity. The letters, one to National Grid, the other to NSTAR, stated the company was invoking the 'Force Majeure' clause of the contracts due to on-going litigation as its reason for not meeting the December 31, 2014 deadline for securing project financing. Both utilities responded within six days with official notice that the contracts were terminated. Cape Wind could have sought a six-month extension of the contracts by paying $1.29 million in consideration but opted not to take advantage of that option. 
6 Jan 2015

Cape Wind: Federal Appeal Filed

Appellant_20brief_20as_20filed_20aug_2025_202014_thumb The town of Barnstable, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound and local businesses and residents filed a legal brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston this week seeking to overturn a lower court decision dismissing their lawsuit, which alleged that the state illegally coerced utility NSTAR to purchase power from the Cape Wind project. The introduction to the filing is provided below. The full appeal filed with the court can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
30 Aug 2014

US District Court ruling on Cape Wind

Cw-msjorder_thumb In this District Court ruling, Judge Reggie Walton found that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in their reviews of the offshore wind project. The court remanded the case to FWS to independently evaluate a shutdown of turbines during migratory bird season. The court also ruled that NMFS can no longer avoid fully evaluating impacts to right whales and must formulate and issue an incidental take statement because of the documented presence of this highly endangered species in the area. The conclusion of the ruling is provided below. The full ruling can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
14 Mar 2014

Wind Turbines: A different breed of noise?

Ehp.122-a20-adifferentbreedofnoise_thumb Nate Seltenrich, a science and the environment writer, explores wind turbine noise. In this report, he writes that "anecdotal evidence strongly suggests a connection between turbines and a constellation of symptoms including nausea, vertigo, blurred vision, unsteady movement, and difficulty reading, remembering, and thinking." An excerpt of his report is provided below. The full article can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
23 Dec 2013

Court order granting injunction; Falmouth turbine operations limited due to noise

Falmouthzbapreliminaryinjunctiondecisionandorder_thumb Two weeks ago, in the injunction hearing in the Town of Falmouth vs. the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals case where the ZBA decided that the wind turbines were a nuisance to Neil Andersen, both parties presented a 7AM to 7PM agreement to the judge.  Falmouth Selectmen subsequently disregarded that agreement and continued to run the wind turbines 5AM to 9PM.  One selectboard member advocated running the turbines 24/7 in spite of the Court's request. Hearing this, Superior Court Justice Christopher Muse granted the injunction sought by nearby residents. The order is available by clicking the link on this page.
21 Nov 2013

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Massachusetts&type=Document
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