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Fairhaven Town Counsel Ignores Privacy Promise

July 6, 2013

South Coast Today reported on July 4, 2013 that a questionnaire emailed to town residents had several startling elements. Peggy Aulisio’s article “Questionnaire on wind turbines raises concerns” revealed that a message sent to about 60 households which had submitted health complaints about the two wind turbines violated the confidentiality statement on the form itself.* The email header listed the addresses of all the individuals to whom the questionnaire was sent.

Another cause for concern, according Louise Barteau, is the appearance that the survey was intended to identify residents who had been opposed to the turbines all along.

Ms. Barteau said the questionnaire sounds like something the developer, Fairhaven Wind LLC, would have written. She said it raises red flags because it is mostly concerned with whether residents were opposed to the wind turbines before they went up and had health problems previously. She said the survey doesn’t seem to be interested in the sleep deprivation or health problems residents are experiencing.

Peter DeTerra, Board of Health Chairman, identified Town Counsel Thomas Crotty as the sender of the e-mail. DeTerra told SCT that Crotty wanted to bring more “neutral” voices to the July 15th hearing requested by the turbine developer. The questionnaire is signed by Board of Health Agent Pat Fowle, who declined to comment to SCT Editor Aulisio. The article also reported that Board of Health member Barbara Acksen, and Selectman Chair Charles Murphy, both were unaware of the email message.

*Privacy: The Board of Health will maintain these records. All personal information will remain confidential. The owner of the wind turbines will be contacted about the nature of the complaints. This information is confidential and will not be shared unless express permission is granted by the complainant.

The questions included in the email are provided below.

Here is the questionnaire sent out by Pat Fowle:

On Monday, July 15, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. the Fairhaven Board of Health intends to hold a hearing at the request ofFairhaven Wind LLC, which exercised its legal right in asking for a hearing with respect to the Board’s June 17, 2013 order to Fairhaven Wind LLC to abate a noise nuisance caused by its wind turbines.
At that hearing the Board intends to take statements from some of the people, like you, who have reported problems or concerns with regard to noise from the turbines.
Please reply to this e-mail no later than Monday, July 8, 2013, 4:00 p.m. whether you would be willing to come before the Board on July 15th to make a statement.
Also please provide answers to the following questions which will help the Board in preparation for the hearing.

How long have you lived at your current address?

Who lives there with you?
o M/F Age _____
o M/F Age _____

Prior to May 2012 did you or anyone in your household suffer the problems that you have reported to the Board of Health? If “yes”, explain:

Prior to May 2012 would you describe your general attitude toward wind energy as:
o Very favorable
o Somewhat favorable
o Neutral
o Somewhat unfavorable
o Very unfavorable

o If somewhat or very unfavorable, explain why?

Prior to May 2012 would you describe your attitude toward the placement of wind turbines near the FairhavenTreatment Plan as:
o Very favorable
o Somewhat favorable
o Neutral
o Somewhat unfavorable
o Very unfavorable

o If somewhat or very unfavorable, explain why?

Prior to the construction of the wind turbines located near the Fairhaven Treatment Plan had you ever acted to oppose them by:
o Attending a public meeting
o Signing a petition
o Joining any opposition group
 o Other (describe):

Prior to the construction of the wind turbines located near the Fairhaven Treatment Plan had you ever acted to support that project by:
o Attending a public meeting
o Signing a petition
o Joining any opposition group
 o Other (describe):

Thank you for your assistance in this matter. If you have any questions regarding this request please call me at the Board office at 508-979-4022 or email BOH@Fairhaven-ma.gov.

Sincerely,
For the Fairhaven Board of Health
Patricia Fowle, Health Agent

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 7, 2013 12:19 pm

    The windpushers are trying to play “blame the victim”. If and when the issue goes to court, they can use that information to discredit the victim, and claim that their illnesses are not caused by the turbines. The fact that for many people, exposure to turbines has a dose response, is ignored completely. The fact that when they are away from the turbines, their symptoms improve or disappear completely, does not get any attention. The windpushers are not looking for the truth, they are looking for a way out! A real health study would ask if you have symptoms when the turbines are on or off, what wind speed and direction, distance from turbine…etc. You may be asked to record symptoms when these situations occur, but they don’t want that kind of information, they just want ammunition, to blame you for the illnesses they have brought to you. If the government wasn’t in collusion with the wind industry, none of this could have happened.

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