The Otis town meeting in August endorsed a $6.4 million turbine proposal by a vote of 82-13, according to Julie Ruth, reporting in the Berkshire Record. The 1.7 MW turbine “will rise 415 feet, approximately 40 stories high.”
Although the promise is that the turbine will make $85,000 to $100,000 in town expenses “disappear,” not all voters believed the message. One abuttor stated she felt she did not have enough information to vote for it. Another said,
“I came here prepared to vote yes if I heard something that was reassuring enough,” said another abutter who did not wish to be identified. “But I realized that without first having a test balloon to see where (the tower) would be–and if I can see it or not–I didn’t have enough information to feel confident that the quality of my life or the value of my property would not be negatively impacted.”
This map indicates properties that will be impacted by this industrial wind turbine (IWT). Concentric circles here indicate the location of the turbine and the potential wind neighbors.
The inner circle indicates minimum set-backs designated by a regional body on Cape Cod (10 times the diameter of the turbine rotor). The outer circle indicates the number of neighbors who would experience sleep disruption. This is according to the work of Dr. Michael Nissenbaum, Jeffery Aramini, and Christopher Hanning, who studied two wind project locations (Mars Hill and Vinalhaven, Maine). They concluded in Noise & Health that “the noise emissions of IWTs disturbed the sleep and caused daytime sleepiness and impaired mental health in residents living within 1.4 km [4,600 feet] of the two IWT installations studied.”
The town must vote again on September 8th for the Proposition 2 1/2 override needed for the project to go ahead.
Noise–well above the allowable 10 decibels above ambient–is the take-away from data gathered on December 13, 2013. Stephen Ambrose charted readings HMMH recorded that night. Green areas show the allowable limit. Readings above that level are highlighted in pink. He notes that the turbines were not even running at full power.
Question marks indicate anomalies in the measurements.
Handling the response to the noise report for the Kingston Board of Health (released on April 16, 2015), the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) issued a “Summary of Public Input on Draft Kingston Wind Independence Turbine Acoustical Monitoring Study – Technical Report.” Rather than take advantage of a technical peer review by Stephen Ambrose, a Board Certified acoustician, the CBI merged comments of many parties into a single list. Ambrose responded with a pointed email to the CBI, MassCEC, MassDEP and HMMH, protesting the way that his analyses were presented:
Letter to Nils Bolgen MassCEC, Stacie Smith Consensus Building Institute, Douglas Fine MassDEP, Christopher Menge HMMH from Stephen Ambrose
I submitted six letters addressing critical KWI study “errors and omissions”.
I object to having my analysis letters destroyed by selective edits and chart removals.
The acoustic study has potential merit; so far, the review process is a scientific charade, a mockery of acoustic expertise, and a travesty of professional ethics.
An acoustic study that dismisses substantive peer-review analysis is unacceptable.
Stephen E. Ambrose, ASA, INCE Board Certified
Marie Stamos of Quincy gave her time at the hearing before the Joint Committee on Public Health to allow others to testify for H2032. The comments she had prepared are excerpted below and the full statement is available here.
Today, before you, you have many people who have suffered without acknowledgement or relief from the health impacts caused by the industrial wind turbine. Present, today, are but a few compared to the number of victims in our state of Massachusetts and, actually, across this country and around the world.
We were thrilled with the thought of free wind, the modern day wind mill. The wind turbine which made sense then does not today. Today we understand that there are proven health issues that must be researched fully to enable proper siting with no negative impact to human health or quality of life.
We did not know or appreciate that the industrial wind turbine was and is, in reality, an industrial machine that would industrialize rural and residential neighborhoods and that it would not be, could not be depended upon or relied upon to prevent the furtherance of climate change. The climate change issue is much more complicated than one simplistic answer, renewable energy.
Andersen showed committee members this chart representing the indoor infrasonic sound recorded at his house. The readings were taken as part of a study performed by Noise Control Engineering.
NCE can unequivocally state that the infrasonic signature captured inside the Andersen residence with the wind turbines operational is 100% attributable to one or both of the Town’s Wind Turbines. To put the conclusions more commonly, this study finds that the wind turbine(s) produce acoustic emissions which are “acoustically trespassing” into the Andersen home.
“This is what is aimed at me,” he said. “We need an independent study to show it is not just us.”
Jim Aylward, of Belmont and Nantucket, supported the bill (H2032) to form a commission, saying
I would recommend that the eventual members of this Commission, which I support, should go experience for ten minutes what some people endure for ten or twenty hours every day. I have, and I was surprised at how loud turbines can be, even from a great distance.
Turbines are more than a nuisance. They are impacting people’s health every day in all corners of this Commonwealth. Children. Infants. Grandparents. Parents. Students. Teachers. Employees. Employers. All are impacted by the noise and vibration of turbines that are poorly located.
For more of his testimony, read here.
Scituate resident David Dardi said he hoped the new Baker administration will stop the pouring of funds into wind subsidies and that the legislature will pass the bill to create a commission.
I am in favor of House Bill 2032. I am in favor of any bill that will change things so I can get a good night’s sleep. The last three nights the wind has been from the SW and I have been kept up all night long by Whoosh, Whoosh, Whoosh.”
There has been a political agenda set up by the Democratic party that favor the lucrative wind industry. An industry that makes billions of dollars on the backs of the taxpayer. Now that we have a new administration I hope that has changed.
Remember that this bill is only asking you to study the health effects nothing else. We are asking for nothing more that to be intelligently evaluated by health care professionals. There are hundreds of people , there are thousands of people throughout the Commonwealth, the Nation and the World that have experienced this new kind of illness caused by wind turbines located too close to residential areas. This bill ONLY asks that there be a fair examination of the effects. Hopefully, after this is done, some worthwhile legislation will come that will remedy the situation.
Dardi is a professional engineer, professional land surveyor and was an officer of the court, a Justice of the Peace, for 30 years.
The State House hearing on H2032 wrapped up late in the day with Sharon Eddy’s testimony about Wind I in Falmouth (7/28/15).
My first encounter with Wind I was at 11 pm immediately after startup. I was typing a letter on my computer when I felt a direct push on my chest. It knocked whatever I was thinking out of my head and I remember thinking, “What the heck just happened?” That was the beginning of a long, long nightmare.A month later, my learning disabled son, whose IQ is 73, came to visit during the day. He went out onto our back deck and said, “Mom, I just felt something on my body.” Then he said, “I don’t want to sound dumb, but is that thing turning?”
Read more of Sharon Eddy’s statement, including her letter to the Falmouth Board of Health and entries from her health log. She concluded, “I’ve always believed in science and collection of data and findings to back a theory or inquiry…only then can we learn.”
Eddy described her expeience at the packed hearing: “It was very hot and no room to sit. I was over 2 hours sitting on the floor next to others. Got home at 9 pm as didn’t get out of session until after 5:30 then stuck in Boston traffic for 3 hrs. I was last to testify at 5:20.”