Documents from Massachusetts
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Sarah Laurie of the Waubra Foundation in Australia delivered these important comments to attendees at the Falmouth MA Human Rights Conference. A portion of Dr. Laurie's comments appear below. Her full set of comments can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This letter, written by William Hallstein, MD, a practicing psychiatrist with over 40 years of experience, was delivered to the Chairman of the Falmouth Board of Health. Dr. Hallstein is also a resident of Falmouth Massachusetts. In his letter he explains the very real impact of the Falmouth turbines on human health.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Falmouth Massachusetts Health Department send this letter to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health requesting the Mass DPH immediately initiate a health assessment of the impacts of the operation of wind turbines in the town.
This revealing letter to the FAA documents a clear pattern of political pressure on the FAA to rush the review process of Cape Wind thus creating a possibility of threats to air safety and national security. A portion of the letter is provided below. The full letter can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
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.
Contract signed between Cape Wind and NSTAR, a Massachusetts-based utility.
THe map shown in this document highlights the locations where residents of Falmouth, Massachusetts have filed formal complaints due to turbine noise. The map represents the period from July 2011 to March 2012.
This letter, written by Massachusetts State Senate President, Therese Murray, responds to the risks of siting turbines in residential neighborhoods.
This study investigated the possible presence of infrasonic and low frequency noise emissions (ILFN) from the “WIND 1”, a municipally-owned Vestas V82 industrial wind turbine in the town of Falmouth, Massachusetts.
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.
This letter provides a preliminary evaluation of the Feasibility Study for the proposed Salem Wind Turbine generator on Winter Island in Salem, MA relative to noise. Acoustic experts Robert Rand and Stephen Ambrose raise questions pertaining to how existing background noise levels were surveyed and predictive noise levels after the turbine is erected.