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Common Sense Urged in Hearing Testimony

January 18, 2014
DPU_hearing_panel_1-9-14

DPU panel members

JimAylwardatDPUhearing At the Bunker Hill Community College hearing on January 9, 2014, voices like Jim Aylward’s (below)  joined testimony from impacted wind neighbors Karen and Chelsea Isherwood (see previous post).

My name is Jim Aylward, and I am here from Nantucket.  In the early 1980’s, I was a Town Administrator for the Town of Boxford, Mass.  Back then there weren’t any wind turbines proposed for my Town.  I would like to give you my perspective, as if I were a Town Administrator now, on how I would look at a proposal for a wind turbine in my Town:

  1. Number one, protect the public health of all citizens, including people who work and go to school.

  1. Use common sense and avoid costly lawsuits by siting turbines where known harmful effects such as noise, flicker and strobing will not be imposed on any unwilling property owners or citizens.  This can be done using 3D GIS models integrated with acoustical models to show how far and where noise, flicker, strobing, and other effects would likely travel from the turbines.  I can give you more details on that if you like.

  1. Protect tax revenues by not causing property values be diminished by siting wind turbines too close to residential, commercial, industrial or public property.

  1. Enforce the laws of the State and the Towns and cause the turbines to be shut down if it exceeds state or local noise ordinances or maximum noise levels represented by the developer or the manufacturer.  Give turbine owners time to fix the problems; if problems persist, turbines should be decommissioned.

  1. Have the turbine developers pay to establish acoustical (or noise) monitors at half, 1, 1 1/2 and 2 mile radii from the turbine.  Exceeding state or local noise laws should trigger automatic shut down for repairs.

  1. Prior to the final approval of a turbine project, the turbine developers / owners (including a state or local public agency) should be required to post either a bond an evergreen letter of credit to cover all decommissioning costs, including removal and full site restoration.

These are a few of the things that I would do to protect the citizens, avoid lawsuits and ensure that decommissioned turbines are removed at no cost to the community.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 25, 2014 8:39 am

    Jim, your comments are right on. As a North Andover resident (former neighbor) but a property owner and manager in Plymouth, I recently was faced with a proposed Industrial wind turbine by Stop and Shop less than 500 feet from a 200 unit complex. I believe that developers of these turbine should not be allowed to use shell corporations or. LLC’s to own and operate these machines and that funding the taking down of them is no where near the significant reductions in real estate values that they cause hundreds to suffer let alone the health problems they create. While we were successful in stopping it, others don’t have the resources needed to adequately insure a proper site. The ZBA should also require applicants to notice all those properties within two miles. In out case some members of the ZBA actually advanced the possibility of lower grocery costs as meeting the public benefit required in Plymouth’s by law. This is an industry that exists solely based on tax benefits and many of the proposed turbines have little,if any, economics behind them. The only green involved is federal and state taxes revenues flowing to developers, given the inability to consistently provide reliable power to the grid and the nominal usage attained by most turbines.

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