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Health Issues Haunt Existing Turbines as New Projects Progress

January 7, 2013

Emily Sweeney’s Boston Globe Local section piece captured many of the concerns that haunt, even terrorize, wind turbine neighbors. “The Roar Over Wind Turbines” captures the furious and sometimes despairing quality that enters homes after turbines appear in town. From strobing light to inability to concentrate to migraines and sleep disruption, complaints are being lodged in five towns South of Boston.

In a video posted with the piece, Doreen Reilly’s camera (although tilted 90 degrees off vertical) captures both the disorienting strobing and what her family does to cope with the invasive effect–absent themselves.

My family is not here just because it’s not enjoyable to be here–as you can imagine. So, would you want to sit and have dinner right about now?

Reporter Sweeney notes that while understanding of health effects is in its infancy, new studies are coming out. In the meantime,

Tim Dwyer, who lives on Country Club Way in Kingston, insists he’s not making up his symptoms. Dwyer said he and his wife have been awakened by a “constant and rhythmic grinding noise” that they could hear even with their windows shut, their air conditioning running, and a white-noise machine on. He also said he experienced a feeling of increased pressure in his ears.

While the questions rise and town boards are sued by impacted residents, new development in Gloucester also received coverage in the Sunday Globe. In “Gloucester sets sail with new use of wind” Steven Rosenberg describes the commercially-owned turbines going online there.

Kirk and other city officials believe that locating the turbines in an industrial park – away from neighborhoods, and near Route 128, helped negate any opposition. And, to date, there’s been no opposition to the turbines. Paul McGeary, the city councilor who represents the neighborhood nearest to the turbines, says it’s because they stand about 1,000 feet away from the nearest homes.

“What really helped us was location, location, location. It’s properly sited,” said McGeary, who helped organize public meetings about the turbines in the neighborhood over the last year.

But what happens in one town after another is that people support industrial scale wind in theory. Once the vibrations, noise, and flicker are experienced, harmful effects are noticed. Turbines set 1,000 feet from homes are probably not far enough away to avoid health impacts.

 

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