Articles filed under Impact on People from Massachusetts
Mr. Greenberg has portrayed me as anti-windmill, and I am not. ...If I had been aware of the wind turbine before it was built, I would not have had any views to bring forward since I have had no experience with them. At that time, I was a member of the ignorant majority, but now it is a different story.
The testing is little more than a bit of performance art, designed to appease those who are ignorant about the ill health effects caused by these industrial monstrosities. The most these noise measurements can show is that turbines comply with a law crafted in 1962 for the purpose of measuring things like the noise created by cars rushing past a residential neighborhood on a new highway.
Linda Alvarez, who lives on Collier Road, said she has talked to 10 of her neighbors who hear the turbine at night, and all of them are upset about it. "They don't call it a windmill - it's a turbine,'' she said. "It's not just a whoosh, whoosh; it's a jet engine."
Ms. Carlson said her focus will be on sound and whether the turbines are increasing noise levels by more than the 10 decibel limit allowed by the state. Ms. Carlson said it's not in her purview to test for infrasound or the so-called flicker effect, or for any ill health effects caused by the turbines.
Carlson, who will personally conduct the testing, said the DEP is working with turbine developer Sumul Shah to coordinate turning the turbines on and off during testing so she can measure each neighborhood's ambient noise. In Massachusetts, something is in violation of noise regulations if it is 10 decibels louder than the ambient noise level.
Wiehe, who managed the project for five years, said any location would need approval from boards concerned with wildlife, natural heritage and historic value, among others. It would probably take about two years, he said.
Mass DEP Director of Public Affairs Edmund Coletta says the state has not commissioned a sound study ...Instead, he said, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, a quasi-public agency, is working with the wind turbine developer to find the resources so that the developer can conduct the sound assessment.
Board of Health member Barbara Acksen said she was appalled by Shah's letter, saying "We were not at all pleased with the report." "He should just be responding to the data and not casting aspersions on people who complain," she said. "You can't just say 'Well, these people didn't like the turbines before so their complaints don't matter.'"
Neighbors of Kingston's new wind turbines made plenty of noise at a zoning board of appeals hearing, sharing stories with panel members about sleepless nights and anxiety caused by the turbines.
Town assessor and group member David Bailey said the town will need to raise $644,000 in funds if the turbines do not operate in Fiscal Year 2014. That number includes $524,000 to pay the debt on Wind 1 and ongoing turbine maintenance for one year, and $120,000 to pay for electricity at the wastewater treatment plant. That is just less than $54,000 every month that the turbines do not operate, he said.
The Reillys say they can hear the sound or vibrations from the turbines in town even in a basement room, where they thought they would be insulated from the noise. They would like the turbine to be shut down at night. While the Reillys aren't experiencing other symptoms, they've been warned that other symptoms can develop over time.
Kingston homeowners near four industrial wind turbines say the whirring blades are causing health issues ranging from ringing ears and chronic headaches to vertigo and sleep disturbance, and they want officials to shut down the wind machines while noise measurement is done.
Board member George Heufelder said the state health officials are swamped with requests for studies, but he believes they will respond to the Falmouth request. "They're not beyond moving something to the top of the pile" for political reasons, he said. The state officials should study the health effects of wind turbines, he said, because of the state energy policy promoting wind turbines and the corresponding health concerns.
But for other residents, who live nearby the turbines, they've lost sleep, they feel nauseous and dizzy from the constant noise and the flickering of sunlight through the blades spinning. Some have even had to call out of work due to lack of sleep.
Falmouth selectmen, according to a recent article in the Cape Cod Times, continue to "sympathize" with the desperate plight of wind turbine abutters ...But the board of selectmen is sticking to its so-called "statement of principles," a shockingly callous and misguided policy statement that proclaims that the board intends to earn enough revenue from the wind turbine to pay the electric bills of the wastewater treatment plant and the debt service on the machines.
The noise effect is called a random assault because as the turbine moves around with the wind the homes to the side of the turbines are the most affected. If the wind blows from one direction for several days, those homes to the sides of the turbines become "hot spots."
"What you can hear is not the problem," Senie said. "What you can't hear is." While Senie praised the state's decision on the Falmouth turbines, he said current sound standards are not complete. The "distressing sound pressures" in the sub-audible range that affect neighbors should also be studied.
The facts are, that in no other place are turbines like these as close to as many homes. They do make noise and obviously they do have an impact on property values. If the wind is blowing in your direction you will hear a constant jet plane sound ...Whenyou see those 400-foot towers with their spinning blades above your roof you can think about the loss of home equity town officials have cost you.
Coletta says the DEP hasn't finalized what to do with the task force report. The agency is deciding whether to put new regulations in place, he says, and the numerous concerns raised about Wind 1 in Falmouth will certainly play a role in the outcome.
Mark Cool, an air traffic controller who lives on Fire Tower Road, said lost sleep from turbine noise almost led to tragedy earlier this month. At work, he said, he was nearly responsible for a midair collision. "This near midair collision event was my first in 32 years," Cool told the board.