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Falmouth’s Status as a Cautionary Tale Continues

December 15, 2012
Hoosac-Don't get fooled like FalmouthThe turbine options group has run its course and doesn’t find any good solutions, according to the Falmouth Enterprise. Brent Runyon reported on 12/14/12 that the 21 meetings over 7 months are about to conclude with a product that is a compromise at best (Town work of turbine options group nears the end). “I think everybody had hoped to come up with a whiz-bang solution that would make everybody happy,” town assessor David A. Bailey, is quoted as saying.
“In the end, I think whatever is decided is going to be some sort of compromise.” But that compromise is not viewed in the same way by all sides, he said. “I think one of the problems is that there are a group of affected people who feel that a compromise is sort of akin to somebody being punched in the head once every five minutes, and the compromise is to be punched in the head every 10 minutes,” he said.
The FAA won’t let the town move the turbines to another site in Falmouth, and reducing the operating time reduces the income the town will realize from the turbines. Buying out impacted residents may allow them to relocate, but is a heart-breaking solution for people whose life plans revolved around that land, home, or vista.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2012 4:46 pm

    Falmouth resident confronts Gov. Patrick on wind turbines
    “I told [Gov. Patrick] that Falmouth bought two wind turbines from the state and the state had a responsibility for the project, and that the turbines were too big and too close to residences,” said Donald, who lives within 1,250 feet of the turbines. “We recommended the state remove the turbines and replace them with solar installation on the town’s capped landfill.”
    December 19, 2012 by Scott A. Giordano in The Bulletin
    FALMOUTH – After an unexpected, in-person plea from an opponent of Falmouth’s wind turbines to Gov. Deval Patrick, it’s clear state officials are open to various solutions to solving the perceived problems the turbines cause for some.

    The face-to-face encounter between Patrick and West Falmouth resident Malcolm Donald occurred Dec. 3 in the western Massachusetts town of Florida. Patrick was there to celebrate the near completion of the Hoosac Wind Power Project, the largest wind energy facility in Southern New England. Donald and West Falmouth resident David Moriarty were there to protest the same project and to confront… [continue via Web link]

  2. Chris Kapsambelis permalink
    December 19, 2012 7:47 am

    The Falmouth experience has shown that wind turbine testing to prove compliance is next to impossible. To prove compliance one needs to collect data with a technician in attendance for all wind speeds from cut-in to cut-off (6 to 56 mph), coming from at least four different directions with the turbines running normally, and with the turbines off. Such tests would take upwards of a year and are prohibitively expensive.

    The proposed limited duration tests by MassDEP may find one turbine out of compliance if they are lucky, but the chances are that they will not find any instances of a violation. All that means is that they did not test long enough. The MassDEP is still debating internally on how to determine wind turbine noise compliance. The decision by the BoH should be based on the number and intensity of resident complaints. They should task the Health Agent to investigate by interviewing and visiting residents at times when the wind is causing noise to judge severity.

    The history of MassDEP since 1970 has been that noise complaints usually result in a finding of non compliance. Unlike normal noise sources, investigated by MassDEP, this one is difficult because it is weather dependent and is constantly changing in intensity and direction. Previous testing protocols are inadequate.

    It falls on the BoH to investigate and make a judgment call to shut them down. The impacted residents should not be forced to wait years while the MassDEP figures out what to do.

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