Falmouth Select Meeting Jan 23 ,6 PM Wind Turbine Harm
Posted in the Dedham Forum
Two municipal turbines in Falmouth, Massachusetts, have been at the center of the heath impacts discussion. Nearby residents have long claimed that the turbines are negatively impacting their health. The MassDEP released a study on May 15, 2012, finding the town’s Wind I turbine in violation of state noise standards. MassDEP recommended that the turbine be restricted from operating at night, but the town chose to shut it down before recently resuming partial operations. In addition, the Falmouth Board of Health held a hearing in the spring to listen to testimony on the turbine’s health impacts, which was then presented to the State Board of Health. As discussed elsewhere in this newsletter, an advisory panel that includes selectmen, abutters, and other stakeholders has been convened to discuss turbine operations, with the goal of reaching a consensus around the range of long-term options for the future of the turbines. Some of the options under consideration include mechanical or operational changes, as well as relocation and removal.
Massachusetts is not the only state that is actively debating health impacts or related turbine siting standards. In Maine, a citizen-initiated rulemaking proceeding conducted through the Board of Environmental Protection resulted in new, more restrictive night-time noise limits for future projects. The Connecticut Siting Council finalized its wind siting regulations and forwarded them to the legislature for approval in October 2012. In addition, Rhode Island developed a Summary Report and Siting Guidelines through the Renewable Energy Siting Partnership in response to the requirements of the Comprehensive Energy Conservation Efficiency and Affordability Act of 2006 (RIGL 42-11-10-f.7). The report and guidelines provide guidance regarding best practices for wind siting and public health. They were released for public comment in July 2012, and a final version of the products is expected in the late fall. Each of these efforts is detailed in the “State Regulatory and Legislative Updates” article.
Wind Turbine report available online
Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 10:07 AM
Last update Jan 21, 2013 @ 10:12 AM
The 53-page report from the Wind Turbines Options Analysis Process (WTOP) is now available online at the Falmouth town website.
The report was posted just days before the Jan. 23 meeting in which the Falmouth Board of Selectmen will solicit public comments on the wind turbines. The selectmen then hope to vote on language for a warrant article in time for a spring special town meeting. The selectmen must come to a consensus by Feb. 4 in order to so.
To review the WTOP report, go to
Look for updates in the Jan. 23 edition of The Bulletin and on Wicked Local Falmouth.
Sting operations reveal Mafia involvement in renewable energy
By Anthony Faiola,
Jan 23, 2013 02:49 AM EST
The Washington Post Published: January 22
PALERMO, Italy — Inside a midnight-blue BMW, a Sicilian entrepreneur delivered his pitch to the accused mafia boss. A new business was blowing into Italy that could spin wind and sunlight into gold, ensuring the future of the Earth as well as the Cosa Nostra: renewable energy.
“Uncle Vincenzo,” implored the businessman, Angelo Salvatore, using a term of affection for the alleged head of Sicily’s Gimbellina crime family, 79-year-old Vincenzo Funari. According to a transcript of their wiretapped conversation, Salvatore continued,“for the love of our sons, renewable energy is important.. . 201;. it’s a business we can live on.”
And for quite awhile, Italian prosecutors say, they did. In an unfolding plot that is part “The Sopranos,” part “An Inconvenient Truth,” authorities swept across Sicily last month in the latest wave of sting operations revealing years of deep infiltration into the renewable energy sector by Italy’s rapidly modernizing crime families.
The still-emerging links of the mafia to the once-booming wind and solar sector here are raising fresh questions about the use of government subsidies to fuel a shift toward cleaner energies, with critics claiming huge state incentives created excessive profits for companies and a market bubble ripe for fraud. China-based Suntech, the world’s largest solar panel maker, last month said it would need to restate more than two years of financial results because of allegedly fake capital put up to finance new plants in Italy. The discoveries here also follow so-called “eco-corruption” cases in Spain, where a number of companies stand accused of illegally tapping state aid.
Because it receives more sun and wind than any other part of Italy, Sicily became one of Europe’s most obvious hotbeds for renewable energies over the past decade. As the Italian government began offering billions of euros annually in subsidies for wind and solar development, the potential profitability of such projects also soared — a fact that did not go unnoticed by Sicily’s infamous crime families.
Roughly a third of the island’s 30 wind farms — along with several solar power plants — have been seized by authorities. Officials have frozen more than $2 billion in assets and arrested a dozen alleged crime bosses; corrupt local councilors and mafia-linked entrepreneurs. Italian prosecutors are now investigating suspected mafia involvement in renewable energy projects from Sardinia to Apulia.
“The Cosa Nostra is adapting, acquiring more advanced knowledge in new areas like renewable energy that have become more profitable because of government subsidies,” said Teresa Maria Principato, the deputy prosecutor in charge of Palermo’s Anti-Mafia Squad, whose headquarters here are emblazoned with the images of assassinated judges.“It is casting a shadow over our renewables industry.”
Revelations of malfeasance in one of Italy’s most promising new sectors is underscoring a recent push by one of the world’s largest criminal organizations into a host of legitimate businesses, from chain supermarkets to shopping malls. But perhaps most importantly, the mafia taint on an industry seen as a rare engine for new jobs in a country still-mired in the region’s debt crisis is foreshadowing a massive challenge ahead for Europe.
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