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Falmouth’s Experience

Falmouth residents once thought a wind plant would be a beneficial renewable energy solution and would make their town money. People were enthusiastic. But once the turbines began to run, neighbors found themselves experiencing unanticipated health effects. They complained. Town officials were not responsive at first, but later listened to citizen concerns. The MassDEP, rather than investigate, convened a panel to study health effects–but never interviewed residents of Falmouth. It’s been almost two years. How much longer will residents  have to wait for answers based on evidence instead of political expedience?

  • Falmouth’s Wind 1 was installed with fanfare and local support almost two years ago
  • State agencies provided support with funding and financing, and assured the town of huge benefits with no downside risk
  • Noise was described as no more obtrusive than a household refrigerator  or a “babbling brook”
  • Press reports of the time say local residents were canvassed to see if there were any objections.
  • There were no objections. Although, some residents claim they were not consulted.
  • Town officials were quoted as saying that some locals, anxious to get going commented that they were tired of being asked and said “Let’s Get Going”.
  • Shortly after full operation, unexpected complaints began to surface about excessive noise and ill health.
  • As a result of complains, the town commissioned a noise study that found that turbine noise is in compliance with the MasssDEP regulation against noise pollution.
  • Residents commissioned a private data collection study showing wind turbine out of compliance.
  • MassDEP agreed to review the study to determine compliance.
  • MassDEP ruled the noise study incomplete, in the wrong format, and failed to measure with the necessary procedure.
  • MassDPH had no response.
  • In March 2011 the BOS ordered Wind-1 shut down for wind speeds greater than 23 mph to reduce the effects of noise pollution and ill health.
  • Wind -2 scheduled to start in October, was delayed for technical reasons.
  • Currently, both turbines have been ordered to shut down by the Board of Selectmen except for test periods to collect additional data.
  • Falmouth stands to lose more than 11 million dollars, if the turbines are declared out of compliance.
  • MassDEP/DPH assembled the Health Impact Panel to review peer-reviewed studies, and other popular literature and reports. But not to look into Falmouth.
  • The Health impact study, while unable to confirm direct health impacts, found that wind turbines generated enough noise power to confirm indirect health problems.
    • The panel of experts recommends adoption of Danish and German standards, which are significantly more stringent.
    • The panel calls for continuing data collection to achieve replicable research findings.
One Comment leave one →
  1. February 17, 2012 10:57 pm

    I have spoken so much about this I hardly know what more to say. I have been hammered by the Webb turbine since it went on. No relief and no remorse on his part.
    How developers stand proudly a top of their alleged saved CO2 emissions while simply inflicting a different kind of harm on the environment i simply cannot buy in to. Two wrongs do not make a right.
    Long after I am dead this will be proven…In my life it already has without a shadow of a doubt.
    The Mcpearson report was performed in my own living room. Not one single person from the state or town, in spite of invitations to attempt to duplicate or further study the site, has ever offered to speak to me or lend any kind of hand whatsoever. These so called experts are all bought and paid for.
    I used to be a nice person. Now I am sick , bitter and a useless hater. My life as I knew it is dead and can never be recovered.
    Guess I would have been one of the first in the hole at Auschwitz… Lousy weak human guinea pig.
    I thought they outlawed this kind of thing.
    God Forgive America…. We screwed up the “bless “part with politics and greed, as usual.

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