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Financial Relief for Impacted Communities

August 10, 2021

Testimony on H3373, the Wind Energy Relief Act, July 23, 2021

David Dardi and Karen Canfield asked the MA legislature’s Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Joint Committee to report favorable on H3373. The bill, sponsored by Rep. David T. Vieira, would establish a trust fund to compensate citizens, businesses, and municipalities for losses incurred as a result of detrimental health effects, property loss or any other adverse impacts of wind turbines sited with assistance from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. The bill also establishes a Wind Turbine Decommissioning or Relocation Fund.

“Mistakes can be made,” Dardi said. “Some turbines have been constructed too close to residential areas such as Scituate, Fairhaven, Kingston, Falmouth, Plymouth, Bourne, Rowe, Florida–they go on and on.”

“Why should the mistake of an improperly located wind turbine result in such high penalties and costs to communities and individuals?” Dardi asked. He went on to say that this Wind Energy Relief Act would use existing funds in the Renewable Energy Trust Fund, so the Commonwealth would need no extra resources to help out affected communities

Karen Canfield, Vice Chair, Scituate Select Board said “This legislation is vital to addressing the unanticipated consequences of wind turbines located near residential homes.”

Scituate leads Massachusetts in receiving FEMA funds to rebuild after coastal storms, Canfield said, so the town has a particular interest in reducing the harm from climate change. For this reason, it embarked on a process in 2005 that resulted in wind turbine operations beginning in 2012. “However, immediately after the operations began, so did the complaints,” Canfield told the committee. The town has commissioned many studies only to learn that the turbines are operating within regulations, even though the operation continues to impact residents’ health. The town decided to protect its citizens by turning off the turbines at night from May to October during the hours when most complaints were lodged. This costs the town almost $100,000 per year.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. peaceandquietplease permalink
    August 10, 2021 6:30 pm

    On July 23, 2021 Scituate Select Board member, Karen Canfield, testified to the State Senate in support of the Wind Energy Relief Act. This BOS member stated: “The Scituate wind turbine complaints are entirely related to negative health impacts resulting from the operation of the wind turbine”
    Yet…
    On August 9, 2021 the Scituate Board Of Health refused adversely impacted neighbors’ requests to take protective action to remedy the various nuisance conditions (noise and strobing) .
    The multiple requests for a public nuisance determination… as was approved by the Kingston, Bourne and Plymouth Boards’ of Health in addition to the Falmouth ZBA’s wind turbine nuisance declaration… were ignored / denied by the Scituate BOH.

    Note: The BOH did extend their sympathies to the neighbors.

    Observation: Ladies and Gentleman, this is not how local government is supposed to operate. That a Board of Health would refuse action thereby perpetuating continued harm is a disgrace and in direct conflict with their statutory obligations.
    By law, local Boards of Health in Massachusetts have the duty to protect public health and well-being.

    Reporting: https://www.patriotledger.com/story/news/2021/08/10/scituate-board-health-wont-investigate-turbine-health-complaints/5541661001/?fbclid=IwAR06DFYDAgg9UPutGO1iI-friHJRGTQuT7SqtQ9z22a8BGDEYxdAKI3UxJY

  2. peaceandquietplease permalink
    August 10, 2021 6:26 pm

    FACT CHECK: Select Board member Canfield made an inaccurate statement in regards to the following: “…the Town has commissioned many studies only to learn the turbines are operating within regulations…”

    FACT: The Town commissioned only 1 study, the first was commissioned by the wind developer who hired a wind industry consultant who did NOT ever collect acoustic data in the conditions during which neighbors are adversely impacted. The 1 study they did commission the developer was found, via a FOIA request of internal documents, to have been allowed to choose the consultant and to design the protocol ergo the 1 study the Town did commission was, again designed to “show compliance” rather than document evidence of worst case noise / non-compliance – the Study efforts have been a sham and Peer REviews ignored by the Board of Selectmen prove the errors and omissions ….

    FACT: Using the wind consultants own data, Rob Rand, via his peer review documented that the Scituate Wind turbine is far exceeding MassDEP noise regulation limits. Again, the Town is refusing to acknowledge the Peer Reviews submitted for consideration choosing instead to go with the wind industry fraudulent reports.

    The Town does not want to make a finding of non-compliance because they want to avoid the legal costs associated which will commence once the developer sues for any Order to shut down his turbine for not adhering to all applicable legal requirements – the Town would rather allow fraud to make it appear that the turbine is operating within the law … yet this select board member outrageously admits during testimony that public health harm has resulted directly from wind turbine operations….in search of state funding.

    This testimony was, in essence, to support a money grab all the while the Town is allowing continued harm to avoid legal exposure.

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