Articles filed under Impact on People from Maine
Some people living near existing wind farms say the cost is too high in addition to noise complaints, some think wind farms have an irreversible visual impact. Marilyn Roper and her husband Harry own a camp in Danforth. "It had a beautiful pristine scenery and two lakes," says Roper. The Ropers are avid star gazers and they say the Stetson 1 and 2 projects have ruined their view.
Since the Fox Island Wind Project started running last November, all eyes have been on Vinalhaven. The $15-million dollar project was built to provide power for Vinalhaven and North Haven. While it's been widely thought of as a success, there have been some issues, mostly concerns about noise. "My quality of life before the wind turbines was fantastic…it was very quiet, a remarkable quality of life, a rare opportunity," says Vinalhaven resident Ethan Hall.
The opponents to wind power are concerned with the pace at which its development is occurring in the state of Maine. Skepticism and caution are necessary anytime new industries and possibly lucrative business opportunities develop. There are big bucks and big questions now associated with wind power.
For Ethan Hall, who lives 3,500 feet from a wind turbine on Vinalhaven, being subjected to the turbine's sound is like listening to a drippy faucet -- "torture." "I wouldn't be here if it was easy to get used to," Hall said at a Feb. 19 press conference at the Statehouse Hall of Flags. "The sound is different from anything I have ever heard. It is an intense pulsing. It is impossible to block or mask this noise." Hall wasn't the only person voicing his opinion at the press conference.
Wind energy is generating some bad vibes in Maine, it seems, where some residents of an offshore village have turned against the industrial-sized turbines they originally welcomed on their island.
Opposition to wind farms has been growing around the state -- even as state leaders try to make Maine a pioneer in harnessing wind power. Now a new opposition group has formed in western Maine to fight what could be one of the largest projects: a 48-wind turbine development south of the Bigelow Preserve.
In Vinalhaven, a small island community off the coast of central Maine, the recent installation of three massive wind towers was hailed by residents and developers as the answer to the island's energy woes, but as soon as the turbines started turning this past November, some local residents began to regret what they now feel was a "devil's bargain."
Art Farnham is trying to ignore the noise, although he can clearly hear it inside his mobile home. A lobsterman who lives 1,300 feet from a turbine, Farnham turned down an offer to buy his 6-acre property. He continues working on a new home and shop that will have a turbine almost in its backyard. "I think they should shut them down," he said. "We were here before they were."
The turbines were running, the community had pulled together, and with the support of the Fox Islands Electric Cooperative Inc. et.al. ...the dream of community-based wind power on Vinalhaven was a reality! ..."We support the windmills, but not the noise." The noise is as constant as the wind, building in intensity according to wind speed and direction. It can be a low rumbling, whooshing, grinding background noise that one can just hear above the sound of the trees or it can build to an in-your-face noise, like jet engines roaring combined with a grinding and pulsating sound that echoes in your head, keeps you awake at night, and beats on your house like a drum.
A group opposed to a wind project near the town of Lincoln says not enough testing has been done on the possible health effects of those living near turbines. The wind turbines would run along the ridge of the Rollins mountain range between Lincoln and Lee.
There are 18 families who live under a mile and downwind of the Mars Hill wind project who have been negatively impacted by these massive turbines. We all want for people to understand what is at stake when turbines move into your community. The 28, GE 1.5 megawatt turbines here in Mars Hill have destroyed a way of life that many have cherished for generations. It is an industrial facility that covers over 3 miles. It has destroyed wildlife habitat, breathtaking views, and property values. It has forever scarred the mountain. It has disturbed streams, ponds and wetlands. Safety issues with ice throw, risks of fire and tower collapse are all things that neighbors have to consider.
Opponents of a wind farm project approved last month by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection are appealing that final order. Through attorney Rufus Brown of Portland, Concerned Citizens to Save Roxbury, 37 individual camp or property owners, and the Silver Lake Camp Owners Association filed the appeal on Monday. Roxbury Pond is also called Silver Lake.
This week, Concerned Citizens to Save Roxbury appealed the Maine Department of Environmental Protection's approval of the Record Hill Wind Project. The group wants the DEP's board to hold a public hearing to explore conflicting medical and technical information regarding the licensing of large wind turbine projects. The appeal comes while Gov. John Baldacci is on a trade mission in Europe to promote Maine as an attractive place to develop wind power.
At the Maine Medical Association's annual meeting, the group took up the issue of wind energy and public health. The MMA approved a resolution, submitted by Dr. Albert Aniel and Dr. Michael Nissenbaum, to encourage studies of the health effects of wind turbines.
Peter Kelley, the attorney for the group, said Tuesday that his clients have seen the quality of life they experienced before the windmills were constructed slip from their grasp. He said his clients are alleging that they were not properly notified about all that the construction process entailed. Noise, which Wendy Todd said Tuesday was not supposed to be an issue, continues to reverberate from the wind farm. Headaches and frayed nerves are now a problem, according to Todd, and property values among the homes allegedly affected by the project have diminished.
A group of Mars Hill residents who live near the second largest wind power project in the state have filed a lawsuit against the developer, First Wind, citing noise and health concerns and seeking compensation for a loss of property value. ...Wendy Todd says she and her husband were supportive of the project. ...Soon Todd says the intermittent sounds and shadow flicker from the turbines began to wear on her nerves.
Selectmen decided at Tuesday night's board meeting to wait 60 days from June 23 before rendering their decision on a petition that seeks to rescind previously approved town laws allowing wind power facilities to be built on town ridges. Responding to lawyer Maura Horodyski's question about the petition and the board's response, Chairman Bob Sutton said they agreed to have lawyer Jennifer Kreckel of Rumford review the petition before they decide whether to follow its intent.
People opposing Record Hill Wind LLC's proposal to site 22 wind-power turbines in town have launched a petition drive to rescind approved ordinance changes allowing such facilities. The petition asks selectmen to call a special town meeting to amend the comprehensive plan by deleting all language and sections referring to wind power that were added by a majority vote at a special town meeting Jan. 15.
Families who live on a portion of East Ridge Road and Mountain Road on the backside of Mars Hill say, at times over the past two and a half years, they've lived with unbearable noise. They feel their complaints have been ignored. Read and watch their story as reported by WLBZ Channel 2 in Maine.
Our work has shown that people in Mars Hill living within 3,500 feet of turbines there are truly suffering, in a real medical sense. Clearly, any regulation that results in placement of turbines, anywhere in Maine, at less than a 3,500-foot setback is courting a bad human outcome, regardless of sound modeling used by the industry to show there will be no ill effects in that range. As clearly demonstrated by post-construction measurements at Mars Hill, the model used by the wind industry for that project was seriously flawed.