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Falmouth’s Wind I Exceeds Noise Limits

May 15, 2012
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Cape Cod Online’s Sean Teehan got the scoop on Senator Therese Murray’s announcement of the findings: DEP: Falmouth wind turbine is too loud.”

“I’m glad that the results of DEP’s study will provide residents affected by Wind 1 with some relief. This is an issue that has divided the community,” Murray said in a statement. “I believe that industrial size wind turbines do not belong in residential neighborhoods, but we should not remove wind energy from the renewable energy mix in Massachusetts.”

Selectmen voted in favor of shutting down Wind 1, one of the town’s two 1.65-megawatt turbines off Blacksmith Shop Road, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. each day.

Teehan’s article is updated in State: Falmouth’s Wind 1 is too loud  and expanded with resident reactions. The DEP’s conclusion of excess noise is based on the findings of a 65-page report included with a letter forwarded to the selectmen on Tuesday May 15th. (Click here for an interactive description of L90 and other noise readings).

On May 8, 2012, Falmouth’s Board of Health voted unanimously to hold a public hearing to document adverse health impacts. According to Brent Runyan reporting in The Enterprise (Board Of Health To Take Public Testimony On Health Impacts Of Wind Turbines), BOH chairman Gail A. Harkness “said the wind turbines that could be affected by an emergency order are the two town-owned wind turbines, Wind 1 and Wind 2, and the Notus Clean Energy turbine at Falmouth Technology Park. All three turbines are 1.65 megawatts and made by Vestas.”

The Department of Environmental Protection was skewered in testimony at public meetings for its earlier literature review conducted jointly with the Department of Public Health.

The hearing to be held on Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 7 PM, will allow residents affected by the turbines a three-minute opportunity to speak to their testimony. The Board is requiring written testimony for its assessment of the health impact and residents will have until May 31st to make their submissions.


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris Kapsambelis permalink
    May 16, 2012 10:35 pm

    The Falmouth bylaw. limits wind turbine noise to less than 40 dB(A). Wind I specifications state that the turbine generates 103 dB(A) of sound power. We can now calculate that at 1,800 feet from the turbine it’s out of compliance with both state and town regulations, The Webb turbine is identical to Wind I, and Wind II is the same model with the same specs.

    40 dB(A) is the same at night as in the daytime. Common sense tells us that all three wind turbines are out of compliance with both state and Falmouth regulations. Do we really need daytime testing to determine the obvious?

    At the very least the burden of proof should switch to the owners, and all three turbines should be shut down until it can be shown that they can operate in compliance.

    The neighbors of all three turbines have suffered enough!

  2. Kate Huttemann permalink
    May 16, 2012 12:36 pm

    This decision to shut down Falmouth wind turbines during the night is a good start. Documenting health complaints from wind turbine noise is hampered by the non-disclosure agreements entered into by residents who have won substantial settlements after suffering serious injuries from living in close proximity to wind turbines.

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