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Louise Barteau Testifies

My name is Louise Barteau and I am from Fairhaven, MA.

I am here to testify in support of H2048 presented by Representative Sarah Peake.

In Fairhaven there are 701 homes within 3000 feet of 2 1.5 mw Industrial Wind turbines.

[A new elementary school has been built within 2300 feet of the turbines.]

Since the turbines were turned on in May 2012, there have been over 450 citizen complaints from 59 households.

After the first 100 complaints, the Fairhaven Board of Health, asked for help from the MA DEP who performed sound testing to measure noise. I went out at night with the DEP while they performed the testing.

The MA DEP has found the turbines to be louder than the allowed 10 decibels over ambient on four nights out of the nine nights that they tested over the period of a year.

When the MA DEP refused to shut the turbines down, the Fairhaven Board of Health acted to shut the turbines off from 7 to 7. Now the Board is under intense pressure from the developers to turn them back on.

In an effort to better understand what is going on, several of us have recently walked from door to door in the neighborhoods next to the turbines. People told me of headaches, sleep interruption, dizziness, nausea, depression, anxiety, and the loss of use of their property.

[These symptoms have also been reported worldwide. In 2012 a peer reviewed study of the effects of wind turbines in Mars Hill, ME by M. Nissenbaum confirmed these effects were experienced by those who live too close to turbines.]

On June 30, I interviewed five people who told me what it has been like for them living next to the turbines. These interviews and others were recorded on video and will be available shortly.

I asked one of the people I interviewed to write down for this hearing what it has been like for him and his family. This is what he wrote:

My name is Grant R. Menard and I currently reside 2376 feet away on Weeden Road in Fairhaven, MA with a clear view of both wind turbines over the marsh.  There are no trees to dull the audible sound that resonates through my home.  First let me start by saying that this is not a  “not in my back yard” situation, they are JUST TOO CLOSE.   My wife Maria, children and I have suffered from many sleepless nights from the audible sound that I can only describe as a constant “thumping” or a jet taking off from the from lawn. Furthermore when both turbines are on full blast we also feel what as I describe as an “energy” or “anxiety”  from the un-audible sound.  Pending legislation in light of the recent health concerns in Falmouth (bill H.1757), sponsored by Demetrius Atsalis (Barnstable-D) would prohibit the location of wind turbines within 3,000 feet of a residence or residentially zoned property.  Bills such as these are clearly being proposed for a reason.  Our town originally turned a blind eye to our cries for help until recently when they shut them down from 7pm to 7am.  Since the shutdown I have noticed a significant increase in my energy level and I have yet to have a sleepless night.

I became an advocate for the people in my town after I experienced pressure in my ears and head, dizziness, and nausea in May of 2012 in my art studio located 963 feet from one of the turbines. I was able to move out of my studio immediately, as my landlord let me out of the lease early.

Since I moved away I have tried to become an advocate for my neighbors who cannot move away so easily.

Please join me in supporting Bill H2048 so that the concerns of the affected citizens in Fairhaven, Kingston, Falmouth, Florida, Monroe, and Scituate are properly investigated with a fair, honest, and relevant investigation of the health effects that they are experience 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Thank you for your time.
Louise Barteau, West Island, Fairhaven

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