Articles filed under Impact on People from Massachusetts
Claims of ill-health effects stemming from the Kingston Wind Independence (KWI) Turbine were on full display this week during a Board of Health (BOH) meeting that turned into a series of emotional appeals and disturbing revelations.
"The state put the carts before the horse when it came to assuring that there were proper protective measures and bylaws in place," said Joanne Levesque, of Wind Wise. "Now they're coming to find out that there are very serious adverse impacts to residents who live nearby."
In the suit, six plaintiffs - all Falmouth residents who live near two turbines at the wastewater treatment facility on Blacksmith Shop Road - are challenging a 2011 ruling by the town's zoning board of appeals that affirmed building commissioner Eladio Gore's approval of the turbine without a special permit.
The Massachusetts Departments of Public Health and Environmental Protection continue endorsing noise guideline and noise sampling protocol tools which, both agencies admit, do not adequately address, nor properly mitigate the unique noise characteristics associated with Industrial Wind Turbines (June 30, 2011 letter from MassDEP to Falmouth Selectmen & Health Agent).
Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, praised the idea of removing the turbines. Murray, whom selectmen named as a legislator they would likely approach seeking financial assistance, said in a statement she looks forward to hearing more about Falmouth's decommissioning plans.
Fairhaven officials and critics of the town's two turbines will be watching closely as Falmouth selectmen begin the process of removing two turbines there. ..."There's a lot of energy and optimism about if this can transfer here."
Leland Road resident Doreen Reilly said it's obvious from their inaction that the owners of Kingston Wind refuse to acknowledge the nightmare she, her family and other residents are living due to noise and flicker from the turbine. "It's so discouraging."
Daniel H. Webb, owner of the Notus Clean Energy turbine, said that the town-owned turbines have not been running at night for eight months and questioned how the board will take that into account. "I think Dan has a valid point that ideally we would have done this last year," said Dr. Goldstone, when the town turbines were running 24 hours a day. Unlike the town-owned turbines that have been turned off from 7 PM to 7 AM since May.
"There has been no previous study completed, be it acoustic, shadow flicker or health impact related, since the industrial wind turbine became operational," Thompson said. "What [was done] is flawed modeling that was utilized as part of the approval process, that grossly understated both the actual noise and shadow flicker emanating from the wind turbine."
Prior to the meeting, dozens of residents held a candle light vigil and prayed that the selectmen would not only hear their voices, but also take immediate action to stop what they described as a nuisance and danger to their health. Nearly 50 residents voiced their opinion during the public comment session, with almost every comment opposing the future operation of the turbines.
The public will have its say on the town’s wind turbines at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23 – when the Falmouth Board of Selectmen will solicit public comments before it decides how to proceed with Falmouth’s two turbines, Wind 1 and Wind 2, located at the Falmouth Wastewater Treatment Facility.
The collective frustration of the residents, after months of complaining about health issues related to the turbines, was voiced by one audience member who shouted at the board after the vote: "Shame on you." The neighbors want operations ceased at the Independence turbine, a privately owned machine running since May on the town's landfill, and three turbines owned by local businesswoman Mary O'Donnell.
Curtailing operation between 10:30 p.m. and 7 a.m. could alleviate some neighbors' concerns about sleep loss they blame on the turbines, while still avoiding a net financial loss for the town, the report said. However, a continuation of the current policy of shutting the turbines off between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. could cause a five-year revenue loss of between $672,000 and $1.3 million.
If you don't have a suitable site for a wind turbine, it is folly to investigate which unsuitable site might be the best. ...Cramming one wind turbine into an inappropriate space on shore is not going to do anything meaningful toward the creation of a renewable energy future.
After reviewing the Planning Board's latest draft of a bylaw that would halve the size and quadruple the setbacks for future turbine projects, Espindola is advocating that the town first deal with complaints it has received regarding the existing turbines.
Further research is needed to figure out safe distances for wind turbines, said Michael Nissenbaum, a radiologist at the Northern Maine Medical Center who conducted a study of residents living near wind turbines in Mars Hill, Maine. His study found that noise from the turbines disrupted the sleep and impaired the mental health of residents living within 1.4 kilometers of the machines and had "the potential to harm human health."
Many in Falmouth town government have been inclined to ‘down-play' the devastating health plight of local residents. Town official chose to promote the turbines for their financial and ‘green' benefit. The required night time curtailment protocol has nullified those expected benefits. The justification from Town Hall for the turbines has dramatically changed. The benefit has mistakenly become a liability. Simply stating the town's case -- "it's just not possible to afford not to operate them."
"It is possible that cognitive and mood complaints and other medical or psychological issues associated with sleep loss can stem from living in immediate proximity to wind turbines, if the turbines disrupt sleep."
Two-and-a-half years after the Dennis Old Kings Highway Historic District Committee approved Aquacultural Research Corporation's application to construct a 600 kilowatt wind turbine on its 39-acre property adjacent to Chapin Beach in Dennis, an Orleans District Court judge will decide the fate of ARC's application. The trial is set to begin at 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 14.
In a filing on Dec. 14, Mark and Lauren McKeever filed a complaint through Plymouth Superior Court, asking that the court remand the issue of the turbine operation back to the Board of Health. In the filing, the McKeever's say that the board erred in letting the 400-foot tall industrial turbine remain turned on, despite that it's harming the health of residents.