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Falmouth Wind Turbine Syndrome Victims Interviewed

October 3, 2011
Wind Turbine Syndrome victims reveal life with turbines

Betsy Andersen

Dr. Nina Pierpont continues her series of interviews with Falmouth sufferers of wind turbine syndrome. Betsy Andersen is interviewed along with Mark Cool, Neil Andersen, Ed Hobart and John Ford.

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  1. October 8, 2011 2:55 pm

    Wind Energy Siting Reform Hearing October 20.2011

    This is what happened in Mattapoisett as a result of the attempt to site a commercial wind turbine 650 feet from residential homes.

    The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) was stuck with two Vestas V 82 commercial wind turbines in 2004 at $3500.00 per month storage fees in a warehouse in Texas. The MTC was state’s semi quasi economic development agency for renewable energy. The costs of the turbines were 5.2 million dollars. The Massachusetts
    Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has since taken over the many duties of the MTC.

    The turbines were so old they were out of warranty. The semi quasi state agency had to produce good wind turbine studies for towns interested in wind turbines and sell these two politically embarrassing turbines to some town in Massachusetts. A report was prepared for the Town of Mattapoisett called, Wind Power in Mattapoisett, Marion & Rochester: Siting Considerations for a Met Tower and Fatal Flaws Analysis for a Wind Turbine.

    The twenty-three page report for Mattapoisett had what was called “mistakes” on almost every page and on some pages had up to three factual “mistakes.” MTC officials were asked at a public meeting about the “mistakes” in the report. The answer was given that the MTC paid University of Massachusetts engineering students $5,000.00 to build the report and it was not their issue. The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative at this point had become an economic development agency and commercial wind turbine sales agents.

    The report for Mattapoisett had a section that asked: are there any areas designated by the Audubon Society as Important Bird Areas (IBA)? The report said NO. The fact is that Ram Island in Mattapoisett is the chief nesting area of all the Roseate Terns in North America. The island is less than 3/4 of a mile from the proposed wind turbine site on the town owned land.Mattapoisett borders Buzzards Bay.

    The state at the time was also considering the Massachusetts Oceans Act. Wind turbine contractors were looking to build some 120 wind turbines in Buzzards Bay and understood
    that any mention of Ram Island and the Roseate Terns would have quickly ended the wind ocean turbine project.

    Disgraced and convicted Massachusetts House Speaker Sal Dimasi met with wind turbine contractors on Beacon Hill on Oct 18.2007 and then on November 15, 2007, minutes before the gavel fell a final time and the Oceans Act bill was sent to the Senate, paper work was slipped in an 11-page single-spaced amendment, one paragraph of which allowed for wind turbines on Buzzards Bay.

    Our group in Mattapoisett, Concerned Citizens for Responsible Wind Power, objected to the proposal of the wind turbine on 35 acres of town owned land. We hired a wetland scientist to show the large amount of wetlands and lack of a right of way to the town owned property. At this point the residents of our neighborhood had to finance our own report to protect wetlands and our own residential property rights. The MTC takes renewable energy taxes from our electric bills to build these reports and now we had to pay again to protect our homes.Many of the homes fell within 800 feet of the commercial turbine.

    The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and the MTC-Renewable Energy Trust Fund issued a permit number 22811A on January 16.2007 for a meteorological structure at Naskatucket Bay State Reservation. The DCR went around Article 97 of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution (land use) by telling local residents the state owned land and park was being used for “educational purposes.” The Naskatucket Bay State Reservation is next to the proposed commercial wind site on the town owned 35 acres. All the open space in Naskatucket Bay State Reservation was taken for well over a year from the public.

    Currently there are noise issues over the placement of commercial wind turbines. The Mattapoisett report done by the MTC states two different types of noise : A. Regulatory compliance and B. Human annoyance both on page 14 of the report.

    The Massachusetts Constitution affirms the dignity and equality of all individuals. It forbids the creation of second-class citizens. The state through its semi quasi state agency, the state legislators and the agenda of the current governor are creating a second class group of citizens with the poor siting of commercial wind turbines.

    The wind turbine fray is sparking class warfare. Time after time one section of town after town, usually the blue collar section, has been selected to lose their property rights for the good of all the others in town. Even today years later negative and bitter feelings still exist between residents in Mattapoisett over the wind turbine.

    We feel bewildered and betrayed by our own government, which is maliciously trying to steal our land through the poor siting of commercial wind turbines. We have lost our democratic rights and have become second class citizens, facing the theft of our land through regulation.

    By the end of 2007 the town of Mattapoisett made the decision the wind turbine did not make “economic sense” to pursue. At about the same time the Town of Fairhaven dropped their bid for the other Vestas V 82 commercial wind turbine over a lawsuit by local residents.

    The two older gear driven Vestas V 82 foreign made commercial wind turbines were repurchased in 2010 like a used car using an EPA waiver to use 2009 stimulus funds to purchase the turbines by the Town of Falmouth in 2010 . The two turbines are called Wind 1 and Wind 2 . Currently state officials have agreed to pay for a noise study on the Wind 1 turbine at the town’s wastewater treatment facility on Blacksmith Shop Road. For over a year more than fifty Falmouth residents have complained about regulatory noise and human annoyance noise.

    Thanks Frank Haggerty ,Concerned Citizens for Responsible Wind Power Mattapoisett

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