Articles filed under Impact on People from Massachusetts
When a new bylaw spelling out regulations on future wind turbine construction in Falmouth is written, it will likely be the result of a consensus-building process among town officials, developers, and abutters of the controversial Wind 1 turbine.
The mitigation report, which selectmen received at the end of July, estimates the costs associated with studying several possible options to solve problems abutters say have been caused by Wind 1. Noise, low-frequency sound waves, and other effects from the turbines cause headaches, dizziness, and vertigo among other health problems, nearby residents have said.
Health board concerns include turbine flicker and noise. Members said they approved the regulation based on citizen testimony and their opinion that other state and local laws "are inadequate to protect the citizens of Bourne from the unique health risks associated with wind energy conversion systems."
Your health is worth a lot more than money. Money can't buy health. So when they tell you that the wind turbine will generate large sums of money, will it be worth losing Winter Island and most importantly your health? I think not.
A team of eight doctors and scientists that includes a neurologist, a civil engineer and a sleep disruption expert will have a report on the potential health hazards posed by giant wind turbines ready in October, state officials said.
The only option that the board elected to hold off pursuing was purchasing the homes of those aggrieved, something that Selectman Kevin E. Murphy and Chairman Mary(Pat) Flynn argued should be considered as a last-ditch effort, should all other mitigation strategies fail.
Under the proposed guidelines, noise and shadow flicker created by turbines would be regulated by the board of health, which would issue a permit once the regulations were deemed met. The board would deny a permit if the turbine is "likely to have an adverse effect upon public health," the regulations state.
Pierpont didn't have the resources to do an epidemiological study, but she said a pattern emerged that showed similar risk factors among the people she interviewed who experienced severe symptoms associated with living near turbines. The symptoms include sleeplessness, headaches, tinnitus, and eye and ear pressure, she said.
The entire auditorium received a bit of news early in the meeting when Steven Clarke, assistant secretary at the state's Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, announced that a panel will be formed this week to specifically study any health effects regarding the sounds from wind turbines.
Hobart accused town officials of allowing “politics, money, and self-interest” to interfere with protecting the health and safety of Falmouth citizens, and said firms like Vestas “hide behind the big green picture.” More abutters came forward to tell the board about their experiences with the turbines. Opinion was strongly and universally against the machines as currently sited.
Whatever happened to human rights? Is it OK to destroy some citizens' quality of life, health and property rights?
A skeptical Bourne Board of Health says turbine flicker as delineated by New Generation Wind might be more than a nuisance to abutting property owners, but the turbine group says there are no industry or state legal standards governing that shadowing.
Cape Codders should press policymakers to stop the nonsense, stop the betting with people's health and the enjoyment and value of their property. The gamble of an ill-sited wind turbine has no place in the halls of municipal or county government, let alone residential areas. Not until science can prove otherwise.
Residents attending initial hearings on both projects brought out concerns regarding the sights, sounds and quality of life in town center and beyond. The turbine planned for the northern edge of the Bay Path property abuts only the school and wooded hillside, while the Overlook's twin turbines will be within 1,000 feet of homes and about 2,000 feet from recreation facilities and an elementary school.
Plans for a controversial wind turbine on Turkey Hill have been put on hold while project organizers review a lawsuit likely to test Cohasset’s three-year-old regulations on wind turbine construction.
Argo and members of a wind advocacy group called the Cape and Islands Wind Information Network were skeptical, and they went to talk to the neighbors. "Meeting with those people quite honestly blew our minds," Argo said. "We had expected that they would be kind of wacky. And we would be able to dismiss them. And none of us will dismiss their complaints now."
Dozens of people living near the 1.65-megawatt turbine have reported sleep interruptions, headaches and vertigo since it was turned on last April. Neighbors say it's like sea sickness - some people feel it, others don't. But the effects seem to be cumulative in that symptoms appear and increase the longer they're near the turbine.
Neighbors say this isn't a debate about a turbine ruining their view, and their goal is not compensation. Some just want it turned off at night. But Anderson can't compromise. "This house has been my hobby, my investment, and we love it out here. We will move if we have to. Because we cannot live with (the turbine). No, we cannot," Anderson said.
On Tuesday, backers of the New Generation Wind project pulled their plans for seven turbines to be built in the area of a proposed Bournedale technology park, Bourne Board of Selectmen chairman John Ford Jr. said. Letters were sent Tuesday to the town's planning board and the Cape Cod Commission notifying the local panels of New Generation Wind's intention to withdraw its plans for the wind farm but to refile "shortly," O'Brien said.
"Town counsel asked that there be no discussion, and we've already not honored that request this evening," Harper said. But Selectman David Braga, speaking publicly on the issue for the first time, said he personally visited some of the affected homes in the middle of the night in October and was alarmed at the noise level.