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Fairhaven BOH Votes to Ask DEP for Noise Study

June 5, 2012
by Louise Barteau

Watch the video on Windwise TV

Turbine victims shared their experiences and concerns at a tense BOH meeting last night in Fairhaven. The Board of Health has received upwards of 130 complaints in less than one month from people who live in close proximity to the turbines.
Peter Goben shared video of the flicker effect at his house at Teal Circle which lasts for 45 minutes in the morning. His concerns with the flicker were echoed by Brian McKenna and Joe Rosa. Joe Rosa found he had trouble driving after 45 minutes of the flicker in his house. He is concerned about his ability to earn his living under these conditions, which is especially worrisome as he is a single parent. Others spoke of being woken up, being unable to sleep, feelings of pressure in the head, nausea, vomiting, and the heartbreak of watching their children suffer the same symptoms. Citizens expressed frustration with the speed of the process that Chairman Peter Deterra reccomended.

Peter DeTerra, Chairman, made a motion to share the complaints with Fairhaven Wind, giving them three weeks to come up with a mitigation plan. This incensed most of the citizens who demanded that the Board of Health act promptly to declare a health emergency and expressed frustration that they will have to continue to live under appalling conditions going forward. Dr. Barbara Acksen suggested splitting the Chairman’s motion into two motions. One motion would contact the DEP to do a noise study and another to send suggestions for mitigation based on Falmouth to Mr. Shah of Fairhaven Wind. When Jeanine Lopes stated that she would not vote on Dr. Acksen’s submitted mitigation plan as she had not seen the mitigation suggestions, a member of the audience expressed frustration with her for repeatedly referring to the affected citizens as “you people.”Dr. Acksen’s motion to contact the DEP for a noise study was approved by the board. Peter Deterra will continue on his plan to have Mr. Shah respond to the complaints with a mitigation plan. He repeatedly stated that it is their responsibility “as they own the turbines.” John Methia objected on the grounds that other complaints such as leaking sewage or party noise would be shut down immediately by the police or the Board.

Later, at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting, other citizens of the town were treated with the utmost respect as they protested the extensive tree removal associated with a road work project. Their concerns were listened to and the plan was amended to reflect their concerns. The irony of this was not lost on the many turbine victims who came to the Board of Selectman’s meeting to support Selectman Bob Espindola. Mr. Espindola had been instructed in his first meeting as a member of the three person Fairhaven Select Board to seek advice from Town Counsel as to whether he must recuse himself on any turbine matters before the Board of Selectmen. Mr. Espindola who wished to consult other counsel than Crotty, gained the support of the third Select Board Member, Mr. Charlie Murphy, when he was able to arrange the same financial rates with another highly reputable law firm that specializes in municipal law. Mr. Bowcock cast the only dissenting vote. A small victory, perhaps, but a victory nonetheless.

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