Skip to content

Troublemaking and Truth-telling are Righteous Roles

July 27, 2013

South Coast Today has been giving local residents a say in the opinion section, “Your View.” Louise Barteau mulled over why it seems that “Asking questions makes you the troublemaker” (7/24/13). Fairhavenites just wanted to know

We have asked how many homes are located within 3,000 feet of these turbines.

We have asked why the DEP refuses to enforce its own noise regulations, despite their promise that the turbines would be shut down if they were found to be out of compliance.

Lately some of us have been asking another question — what has it been like for you to live next door to the turbines?

We have been told over and over again that we are the only ones who have asked that question. Are we really the only ones who care?

Henry Ferrera, also from Fairhaven, noted that “Compromise has more than one meaning” (7/25/13).

The boss of Palmer Capital and Fairhaven Wind, Gordon Deane, and his partners Sumul Shah and Jim Sweeney want a compromise. They have a compromise, shutting the turbines down from only 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. The neighbors get 12 hours of peace, and noise the other 12. It sounds like the dealer who’s allowed to keep half the pot after being caught playing with a stacked deck — and then asking for a bigger split.

In both editorials, the authors point to the stacked deck where the wind developers put their critics on the defensive. But these critics make articulate and persuasive arguments. Read their full commentaries…

Your View: Asking questions makes you the troublemaker

By LOUISE BARTEAU

July 24, 2013 12:00 AM

Fairhaven Wind and their supporters have managed to convince many people in the area that if you question anything about their wind turbine project you are a bad person — a turbine foe, an anti-wind activist, a climate change denier.

All of this labeling is meant to discourage us from asking important questions and supporting our neighbors publicly.

So what are these questions we have asked?

We have asked why Fairhaven Wind would not post a bond to guarantee the neighbors protection from potential health impacts and property value loss.

We have asked how many homes are located within 3,000 feet of these turbines.

We have asked to go out at night with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection when they performed their compliance testing so that we could witness the process and hear how loud the turbines are in the quiet hours of the night.

We have asked why the power to the turbines was turned off by the operator during the testing hours on Oct. 15, and why the DEP was unaware of that.

We have asked why the town and its citizens were not informed for six months after the turbines were first found out of compliance in November 2012.

We have asked why the DEP refuses to enforce its own noise regulations, despite their promise that the turbines would be shut down if they were found to be out of compliance.

We have asked why we should continue to support a project that uses our tax dollars to support a Chinese company using stolen software that cost Americans their jobs.

It seems very strange to me that we are being called names for asking questions like this.

We are also being criticized for standing up for those of our neighbors who have been impacted by the turbine noise, the pressure waves and the inaudible low-frequency sound that the turbines emit.

I am quite proud to stand up for my neighbors — even when that makes other people call me names.

Lately some of us have been asking another question — what has it been like for you to live next door to the turbines?

We have been told over and over again that we are the only ones who have asked that question. Are we really the only ones who care?

Your View: Compromise has more than one meaning

By HENRY FERREIRA

July 25, 2013 12:00 AM

The boss of Palmer Capital and Fairhaven Wind, Gordon Deane, and his partners Sumul Shah and Jim Sweeney want a compromise. They have a compromise, shutting the turbines down from only 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. The neighbors get 12 hours of peace, and noise the other 12. It sounds like the dealer who’s allowed to keep half the pot after being caught playing with a stacked deck — and then asking for a bigger split.

Town officials from the beginning compromised their own town. Setbacks were framed around a predetermined location. The previous selectmen Chairman Brian Bowcock and Executive Secretary Jeffrey Osuch worked in tandem and under the radar with the developers. They gave them a deal they couldn’t refuse.

The Health Board Chairman Peter DeTerra ignored his Board’s legally mandated role. The town lawyer defended and continues to defend the developers, apparently convincing the health board chair to violate a privacy promise with a mass email survey. People in the neighborhood around these things have had the deck stacked against them from the beginning and now the developers want a better compromise?

The health board compromised the law. The Fairhaven Board of Health is required by the Noisome Trade Act, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 111, Section 143, to ban any trade or employment, which would result in a nuisance, is harmful to person or property or negatively impacts health. If a proposal for such activity is brought forward, the health board is required by this law to hold public hearings and determine if possible, a proper location. This never happened. A new select board is elected, apologizes, begins to right a wrong and now the developers want to negotiate a compromise?

The truth was compromised. The developers and their friends in town government told neighbors there would be no noticeable noise or health issues, and property values wouldn’t be impacted. The developers said minimum setbacks weren’t necessary; the turbines were guaranteed by the Chinese manufacture. They said the news about problems in Falmouth weren’t true or the turbines were different — Fairhaven’s were special guaranteed Sinovel turbines.

There have been over 450 noise complaints, people are unable to sleep, some are made dizzy by the low-level sound and suffer headaches, homes have lost value and some will be impossible to sell. The five Falmouth selectmen voted unanimously in February to remove the turbines because of health impacts. Sinovel is being sued for theft of trade secrets, so that promised guarantee might be problematic.This project was compromised from its inception. The turbines are too close. They have been found to be out of compliance by a DEP biased toward wind developers. An independent acoustical engineering firm would find violations far in excess of those found by a state agency with a mandate of 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020.

The turbines are exactly what the Mass. General Law was meant to prevent. The developers and two current members of the Fairhaven Board of Health ignored this law. They ignore the damage they’ve inflicted. This project has failed and now they want to compromise? A new compromise, after an earlier town government dealt a winning hand to the developers, cheating their own citizens out of the enjoyment of their homes and risking their health?

Health and home can’t be compromised. It’s time to pull the plug. Take the stacked deck away and kick Deane, Shah and Sweeney out of town. They can take their two 400-foot Chinese Sinovel turbines with its stolen software with them. Call that a compromise.

Advertisements
One Comment leave one →
  1. August 4, 2013 4:27 pm

    Environmental groups like the Sierra Club have been duped by the wind industry into believing that wind turbines are a major contributor to the reduction of greenhouse gas, and will someday replace the use of fossil fuel.

    None of these claims is true. None!

    They are not environmentally friendly.
    They do not reduce greenhouse gases.
    In addition to being very expensive, they are an add-on to our system for providing eclectic power.
    They are a net job loser.
    They kill birds and bats.
    The annoyance and ill effects they cause is for nothing in return.

    By the year 2030 the Green Communities Act (GCA) will force National Grid and NSTAR to buy the wind energy from as many as 25 wind farms the size of Cape Wind. Initially we were told Cape Wind will save money. Now we are told that the increase will be small. Adding 25, 2.5 billion dollar, wind farms is not going to be a small addition, and the cost increase will not be small.

    In addition, billions will be needed to increase grid capacity with additional transmission lines to connect all these wind farms to the grid and avoid curtailment.

    It’s time for everyone to realize that we need to STOP!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: