Documents from Massachusetts

Town of Barnstable, MA v. Federal Aviation Administration

Barnstable_v._faa_decision_oct_28_2011_thumb This case arises following the approval of a lease by the U.S. Department of Interior to Cape Wind Associates for construction of an offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound. Under the lease, Cape Wind must obtain the Federal Aviation Administration’s (“FAA”) determination whether the turbines pose a hazard to air navigation and comply with any mitigation measures before beginning construction. In Town of Barnstable, Mass. v. FAA, 659 F.3d 28 (D.C. Cir. 2011) (“Barnstable I”), the court held that the “no hazard” determinations in 2010 for each of the wind turbines in a 25–square mile area of Nantucket Sound were “inadequately justified.” Id. at 31. Petitioners now challenge the no hazard determinations in 2012 as similarly deficient for failing to analyze the safety risks posed by the project and to perform an environmental review required by the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”), 42 U.S.C. § 4332. The court denies the petitions for review regarding the 2012 FAA determinations due to changes in radar technology and new FAA studies and analysis.
22 Jan 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

Noise Test Procedure for Industrial Wind Turbines

Alliance-iwt-noise-protocol-submission-massdep-july-2013_thumb This letter, submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) details the appropriate methodology for surveying turbine noise post-construction. The procedure was developed under the guidance of acoustician, Richard James of E-coustics Solutions. The criteria for compliance is specific to the Massachusetts state law regarding noise and will differ from other jurisdictions. However, the procedure should be consistent for all noise surveys. The full report can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of the page.
17 Jul 2013

Critique of the MA DEP “Wind Turbine Health Impact Study, Report of Independent Expert Panel,” January 2012

Raymond_hartman_statement_ri_june_5_2013_thumb Dr. Ray Hartman prepared this detailed critical review of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) “Wind Turbine Health Impact Study, Report of Independent Expert Panel,” released January 2012. Dr. Hartman demonstrates the fallacy of using the findings of the DEP study to justify wind turbine siting. An excerpt of Dr. Hartman's report is provided below. The full critique can be found by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.
5 Jun 2013

Fairhaven Wind letter: Turbine noise studies tainted

Lettertokenkimmellreoctober15samplingissue_thumb The wind developer for Fairhaven Wind, two industrial-scale towers built near residences, has admitted that the sound survey conducted on October 15, 2012 was tainted due to one of the turbines, while still spinning, was not producing power. The developer insists human error was the cause but claims the no intent to artificially reduce the sound levels. The State of Massachusetts has ordered the results be discarded and for further studies to be conducted.
28 Feb 2013

PMLD admits wind facility is losing money, raising rates

Generalmanagerletterratepayers_thumb This letter written by Princeton Municipal Light Department's (PMLD) General Manager, Brian Allen, offers a candid assessment of the utility's two-turbine (3.0 MW) project. The turbines have failed to live up to expected production levels. The project has also been plagued by technical problems. Rather than reducing rates for customers, the project lost $1.875 million and will continue to lose $600,000 yearly under current circumstances. Excerpts of the letter are provided below. The full letter can be read by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
12 Sep 2012

Wind turbine acoustic investigation: Infrasound and low-frequency noise—A Case Study

Wind_turbine_acoustic_investigation_infr_thumb Abstract Wind turbines produce sound that is capable of disturbing local residents and is reported to cause annoyance, sleep disturbance, and other health-related impacts. An acoustical study was conducted to investigate the presence of infrasonic and low-frequency noise emissions from wind turbines located in Falmouth, Massachusetts, USA. During the study, the investigating acousticians experienced adverse health effects consistent with those reported by some Falmouth residents. The authors conclude that wind turbine acoustic energy was found to be greater than or uniquely distinguishable from the ambient background levels and capable of exceeding human detection thresholds. The authors emphasize the need for epidemiological and laboratory research by health professionals and acousticians concerned with public health and well-being to develop effective and precautionary setback distances for industrial wind turbines that protect residents from wind turbine sound. A portiion of the report is provided below. Click the links on this page to access the full paper.  
10 Sep 2012

Falmouth Wind #1 post-construction noise survey

Finalfalmouthreportwithappendix_thumb The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection announced that one of the two turbines sited in Falmouth exceeds noise levels permitted under State law. The letter from the MassDEP confirming the findings of a sound survey as well as the study report can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page. An excerpt of the MassDEP letter is provided below.
1 May 2012

Cape Wind decision on FAA hazard determinations

Capewind__decision_10_28_11_thumb On October 28, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals found the FAA failed to supply any apparent analysis of the record evidence concerning the wind farm’s potentially adverse effects on flight operations. The court vacated all 130 determinations of no hazard issued by the FAA. An excerpt of the court's ruling is provided below. The full order can be accessed by selecting the link(s) at the bottom of this page.
28 Oct 2011

https://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Massachusetts&p=2&type=Document
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