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Falmouth, Shelburne Hearings

May 24, 2012

Fear and Loathing in Falmouth

The Falmouth Board of Health’s public hearing on adverse health effects from Wind-1, Wind-2, Webb/Notus, or the Woods Hole Research Center turbines in Falmouth begins at 7:00 pm on Thursday in the Selectmen’s meeting room in Town Hall.

The Board is interested in firsthand testimony of adverse health impacts experienced by neighbors who live near the turbines or people who work near Falmouth’s turbines.

NBC 10 video: Residents fight town over wind turbine noise

But even those not  medically affected by the wind turbines, or who choose to submit written testimony only, can show support for the wind turbine neighbors by attending.

Falmouth residents suffering adverse health effects from the two town-owned wind turbines have declined to be driven to consensus-building discussions before their health concerns have been addressed.

Shenanigans in Shelburne

The Mt. Massaemet wind proposal is off the table again, with developer Fred (Don) Field withdrawing his plan. But the Zoning Board of Appeals has the opportunity to decide whether they will view the withdrawal “with” or “without prejudice.” This has implications for a possible 2nd resurrection despite the moratorium on siting approved at the town meeting.

The Shelburne Zoning Board of Appeals meets Thursday, May 24th at the Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School at 7:30 pm to act on the withdrawal and at 8:00 for a previously-scheduled public hearing on the industrial scale wind project.

A copy of the application and the Zoning Bylaws that the Board must consider can be found at www.shelburnewind.info.

ZBA Chairman Joseph Palmeri told reporter Diane Broncaccio, “I don’t quite know what’s next,” he said. “We may vote to accept the withdrawal. I’m trying to talk to legal counsel now.”

Palmeri said some people want the ZBA to accept the withdrawal “with prejudice,” which would mean Field could not resubmit a new plan for at least two years. “Without prejudice” would mean a new plan could be resubmitted at any time. However, unless the Planning Board’s rejection of a subdivision application for the turbines was appealed and overturned, new plans would fall under the town’s ban and moratorium bylaws.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 28, 2012 11:04 am

    June 30, 2011 MassDEP letter to Ms. Flynn (Falmouth Selectmen’s Chair) and Mr. Carignan (Falmouth Health Agent) – excerpt;

    “The current MassDEP Noise Sampling Guidance was developed to be
    generally applicable to industrial noise sources that typically exhibit fairly steady
    emission signatures with relatively little frequency and octave variation.”

    MassDEP is aware wind turbines are not NORMAL industrial noise sources. MassDEP
    is aware wind turbines have erratic emission signatures with great frequency and octave
    variations.

    The wait for the truth and the wait for the facts have been anticipated much too long.

    Furthermore, until the facts and the truth about the harmful emissions of wind turbines
    are put into a regulatory protective guide, the MassDPH and the Falmouth Health Board
    is obliged to “protect first.” This principal is the underpinning law of the health
    profession.

  2. Chris Kapsambelis permalink
    May 26, 2012 11:40 am

    In response to the Falmouth Eneterprise editorial calling residents obstinate!

    The Town of Falmouth was misled into allowing three identical wind turbines in close proximity to the neighborhood surrounding the wastewater treatment plant. The finding by the MassDEP that the noise level from Wind 1 is in excess of state regulations is proof positive that the more than 50 resident complaints for more than two years are justified. The ill health experienced by some residents is true. The loss of property value is true.

    The Falmouth Enterprise editorial was probably written before the Thursday night testimony of some 28 residents who one after the other told us of their two-year torture under the wind turbines. The town’s response has been one mistake after another. They hired the engineering firm that had assured them that the turbines are safe to conduct a noise study that declared the noise was not excessive. The Board of Health refused to act and passed the problem to state authorities, and continues to “wash their hands” and point to the statehouse. The residents produced evidence from noise studies done by other than the town’s hired engineers that showed the wind turbines are not in compliance with neither state regulations nor the town’s own bylaw that limits noise levels to less than 40 dB(A). The McPherson study even made those conducting the study as ill as the folks forced to live in the neighborhood.

    The accusation that the residents are obstinate is misplaced. If one of three identical wind turbines generates excessive noise beyond acceptable levels of state and town regulations, the presumption should be that all three are out of legal compliance, and should be turned off. Instead, state and local authorities want to continue operation while more tests are done, and want the residents to participate in a process that will result in a compromise.

    It is not the residents who are obstinate. It’s the state and local authorities, who now have proof positive that these three wind turbines are harming the surrounding neighborhood, but refuse to take the necessary actions to provide relief, and insist on negotiating while the neighborhood continues to suffer.

    The three wind turbines are out of legal compliance with both state and town regulations. There is nothing to negotiate. The editor of the Enterprise should hang his head in shame for his callous disregard for the suffering ordeal of some folks for more than two years.

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