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The science says wind turbines do not pose a provable health risk.

But residents living near the town-owned turbines on Blacksmith Shop Road believe science has little to do with the new state report, “Wind Turbine Health Impact Study: Report of Independent Expert Panel.”

Malcolm Donald of Ambleside Drive, Neil P. Andersen of Blacksmith Shop Road, and Mark Cool  of Fire Tower Road all went to Boston to attest to the experience sleep deprivation, ear pressure, depression, tinnitus or other ailments.

“How ignorant does the Patrick administration believe the public is?” Mr. Andersen said. “Common sense tells people if there were no health issues before the Falmouth turbines started and then people started feeling the onslaught of head pressure, depression, and tinnitus, et cetera, after the turbine started turning, then what can be concluded?”

“The DEP/DPH report just makes the governor look foolish,” he added.

Those residents are now also pushing the state to conduct a full-fledged epidemiological study rather than what Mr. Donald called “a literature review.” The group has already met with State Senator Steven M. Brewer (D-Barre), chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, and briefly with State Representative Randy Hunt (R-Sandwich), who sits on the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy; and hope to meet with Senate President Therese M. Murray (D-Plymouth) and State Representative David T. Vieira (R-Falmouth).

“It is no surprise to me that the committee came to its conclusions. The design of the committee was to review prior studies, not to perform a new epidemiological study, which I believe is necessary to understand the potential effects of living close to these turbines,” Rep. Hunt said.

The Department of Public Health and Department of Environmental Protection have released an independent Wind Turbine Impact Study that’s drawing the ire of critics.

The study results say there’s no scientific proof linking wind turbines to negative health effects.  But folks who live by them disagree, complaining of headaches, stress and nausea.

The state study also acknowledges that they need to further examine the “annoyance” that wind turbines can cause nearby residents.

  • 2012-Jan-20 The Point with Mindy Todd WCAI Radio News Roundup news-article

Editors of the Cape Cod Times (Anne Brennan) and Barnstable Enterprise (Laura Reckford) discuss the issues raised by the state’s report denying health effects of wind turbines. This and the questions about conflict-of-interest between two  Cape & Islands energy agencies take up the first five minutes of the roundup.

I have wasted a perfectly good day reading the Wind Turbine Health Impact Study. … And I certainly don’t think this report proves anything. All this report has done has insulted the intelligence of anyone who has done their homework, and the integrity of anyone who has reported health symptoms from proximity to wind turbines. I guess that’s why citizens from Falmouth went to the Statehouse this week to complain about the so-called “study”. I wish I had gone with them.

A new preliminary state study that says that wind turbines do not pose serious health risks drew criticism from wind farm opponents — and may not be helpful to local planning boards that are reviewing wind turbine bylaw proposals or wind projects.

Landscape architect Walter Cudnohufsky of Ashfield said the study “is a travesty of the highest order that cannot and will not stand.  … This secretive process of cherry picked professionals on this panel is once again an attempt at face-saving for an obvious enormous mistake: adopting industrial wind as a source without any serious evaluation.”

“I think it’s clear that the state will now be turning to western Mass. And using this report as a back-door route to introducing the concept of allowing greater noise in rural areas,” said [Ashfield’s Wind Turbine Siting Bylaw Advisory Committee chair Andrew] Wells.

“Who do we rely on, other than the strong opinions of the pro- and anti-wind turbine people? We could believe one (study) or the other, but we don’t have the capacity to analyze them and come to an independent conclusion,” [Charlemont Planning Chairwoman Gisela Walker] said. “You do the best you can. You read both sides. You see who comes to the meetings, and you listen to both sides. You consider the project at hand, and you hope the democratic process works.”

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