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Letters Relate Dangers of Poorly-Sited Wind Turbines

September 11, 2017

Small towns in the cross-hairs, little attention paid to predictable impacts, projects helped by closed-door deals–these are the realities of wind turbine siting in Massachusetts.

From Raymond Hartman of Shelburne’s letter in the Berkshire EagleSavoy Wind Turbine Study is Junk Science” (9/8/2017):

“Wind developers are eying our small towns, while unprepared to evaluate the adverse effects that 35 to 50-story wind turbines will have. These include lower real estate values near turbines and negative impacts on the tourism-based regional economy of Western Massachusetts. Would we alter these elevated ridge lines with 35- to 50-story Walmarts?” Read the entire letter

From Dave Dardi of Scituate’s letter

There is a reason why the courts ordered the two turbines in Falmouth to permanently shut down. And why do you think that the town did not appeal that decision. They understood that they had made a mistake in allowing them to be installed in the first place.
Don’t you make a mistake! Read more  in “People of Savoy”

From Louise Barteau of Fairhaven:

Gordon Deane of Palmer Capital put up two wind turbines in Fairhaven, MA, where I live. Most of the work was done behind closed doors and in close financial collaboration with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The neighbors only found out when the land was cleared on Veteran’s Day, 2011. At that time the project was so far advanced that there was little the neighbors could do to stop it although we tried very hard. Read more in “Wind turbines don’t make good neighbors in Fairhaven”

Berkshire Eagle letter to the editor “Savoy Wind Turbine Study is Junk Science” (9/9/2017).
To the editor:
I am a mathematical economist. I have studied alternative green energy sources as a faculty researcher at MIT and have taught energy and environmental economics as an associate professor at Boston University and the University of California at Berkeley.

Voters in Savoy will soon decide whether to allow taller wind turbines in the town. In the discussion leading up to the relevant vote, the Minuteman Wind representative told the town that “there is not scientific consensus” about sound issues (Eagle, Aug. 25), citing a submitted noise study. She was likely referencing a state-sponsored January 2012 wind turbine study. Her assertion is a complete mischaracterization of the scholarly research.

As an expert witness, I have professionally reviewed hundreds of quantitative policy analyses and provided leading testimony that ended in landmark legal decisions. I thoroughly evaluated the state-sponsored study and found it to be fundamentally flawed in its analysis and conclusion that wind turbines do not cause negative health effects.

Simply put, the health impact study is not independent science. Rather, it is biased, distorted and in many cases outright deceitful. Several members of the panel were not independent; they benefit from big wind financially or have demonstrated a scientifically unsupported intellectual preference for this technology. The study relies primarily upon four to five articles while ignoring hundreds of other relevant studies. It summarizes health effects of much smaller turbines than the ones proposed for Savoy, for example, and examines the effects in Sweden, Holland and New Zealand, while inexplicably ignoring the serious health effects that have arisen from the many large wind projects in Massachusetts and the rest of New England.

Furthermore, the panel distorts, ignores and misstates the conclusions of the very studies upon which it relies. These studies conclude that industrial wind turbines disrupt sleep, and note that chronic noise exposure is a psychosocial stressor that can induce maladaptive psychological responses and negatively impact health. Furthermore, wind turbine sound varies unpredictably, and the noise does not cease at night.

Wind developers are eying our small towns, while unprepared to evaluate the adverse effects that 35 to 50-story wind turbines will have. These include lower real estate values near turbines and negative impacts on the tourism-based regional economy of Western Massachusetts. Would we alter these elevated ridge lines with 35- to 50-story Walmarts?

I hope voters in Savoy do not rely on this fatally flawed health study as science to evaluate the project. If one of my students had handed it in to me, I would have given it a failing grade.
RAYMOND S. HARTMAN
Shelburne, MA

People of Savoy,
It is wise to learn from your mistakes and even wiser to learn from the mistakes of others. I live in Scituate, MA 3200 feet from a single 1.5 MW wind turbine. Six years ago Gorden Deane came to town and sold a bill of goods to our town officials. He said that the turbine would not have any negative impact on the community and they believe him, for he is a very personable individual. For the last 5 years my neighbors and I have suffered from sleep deprivation, ringing
of the ears, dizziness and shadow flicker. We are woken from a sound sleep and because of the noise cannot get back to sleep. Over that time period we have submitted hundreds of complaints, brought petitions before the Board of Health and Selectmen; but all that has been ineffective in gaining relief. The fight to rid our homes of this intrusive noise seems to have no end.
If you think five, 2.5 MW wind turbines will be quiet you are wrong. You should come to my house and listen to a single 1.5 MW turbine that is 3200 feet away. There is a reason why the courts ordered the two turbines in Falmouth to permanently shut down. And why do you think that the town did not appeal that decision. They understood that they had made a mistake in allowing them to be installed in the first place.
Don’t you make a mistake!
Dave Dardi
Scituate

Wind turbines don’t make good neighbors in Fairhaven
Gordon Deane of Palmer Capital put up two wind turbines in Fairhaven, MA, where I live. Most of the work was done behind closed doors and in close financial collaboration with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The neighbors only found out when the land was cleared on Veteran’s Day, 2011. At that time the project was so far advanced that there was little the neighbors could do to stop it although we tried very hard.

After the giant blades (total turbine height is 394 feet) began to spin, the turbine neighbors turned to the MA Department of Environmental Protection for relief from the intrusive turbine sounds. Testing showed that the turbines exceeded the noise limits set by the state. Residents submitted over 850 complaint forms to the local Board of Health but nothing was done to help those who were suffering. Instead, Gordon Deane’s company, the MA DEP and the MA CEC met behind closed doors to come up with a non-protective mitigation plan that only turns off the turbines occasionally between 12 and 4 am in light winds and never in the rain. Not helpful.

To date, those who actually live next to the turbines have been excluded from every decision involving the turbines and the impacts of the turbines on their lives. Based on the experiences of turbine neighbors in Fairhaven, Falmouth, Scituate, Kingston, Plymouth, and the Hoosac project in the Berkshires, the Commonwealth of Mass and your local government will not help you after the turbines are turned on.

Industrial wind turbines are power plants that run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The sound they emit is intrusive and harmful. Gordon Deane has not seemed to care about the very real physical distress that is caused by living next to his industrial wind turbines in my town. And the turbines in my town are smaller than the five turbines proposed for your town.

To understand more about the destructive results of Deane’s wind turbines in the communities of Fairhaven and Scituate I suggest that citizens of Savoy go to wind-watch, a website that collects news stories and documents about industrial wind turbines from news sources around the Commonwealth, the nation and the world.
And then do everything they can to prevent these turbines from ever being erected.
Louise Barteau
Fairhaven

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One Comment leave one →
  1. BARRY FUNFAR permalink
    September 11, 2017 8:38 pm

    I have spewed out some comments here in the past, all over the past seven plus years since I became a victim of the Town of Falmouth, Massachusetts twin 1.65MWatt wind turbines at 1500 and 1662 feet from the back of my house. Now having prevailed in getting them shut down I continue to give my warning of DO NOT LET A WIND TURBINE BE BUILT WITH-IN ONE MILE OF A RESIDENCE.

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