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Lament for Vinalhaven echos wind woes in MA

February 20, 2012

Alan Farago’s account of living with 3 turbines in Vinalhaven, ME is captured in Big Wind’s Inconvenient Truth from the political newsletter, Counterpunch.

Neighbors can be woken in the middle of the night with an unidentifiable pounding; it is either in one’s head or chest or the walls of one’s house. From aural flickering to a constant disturbance: either way; having to spend significant time, energy and money to prove the point compounds the despair.

Fargo not only captures the experience from Maine, but also the message from Falmouth. The effects exist but are hard to describe and methods to capture the soundscape are only now being developed.

Think of the sounds from a wind turbine as of a thunderstorm. The noise metric, called the dbA scale, captures the peal of thunderbolts. It fails to capture the low rumble of the storm; the vibration and hum of the turbines. Most wind noise controversies are framed around the dbA level because that is how the industry established the metric for sound in the 1990’s.

Farago says it is too late to complain in Maine. The cards are all stacked against IWT noise victims. In Massachusetts, the stack of cards is a little less secure. The comment period to demand a real health study is ongoing until March 19, 2012, with a final hearing of the DEP/DPH on February 28 in Lee.

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