Masachusetts agrees to study Falmouth turbine noise
Posted in the Falmouth Forum
#1 Sep 23, 2011
State agrees to study Falmouth turbine noise
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var isoPubDate ='September 23, 2011'By sean teehan
September 23, 2011
FALMOUTH — State officials have agreed to pay for a noise study on the Wind 1 turbine at the town's wastewater treatment facility on Blacksmith Shop Road.
In a letter dated Sept. 8, Alicia McDevitt, state Department of Environmental Protection deputy commissioner, wrote to selectmen that DEP staff would collect data on noise created by the turbine.
"We're hoping to begin shortly," McDevitt said in a phone interview with the Times on Thursday.
"It's our hope that we'd certainly be under way by the end of the month."
At the end of July, Weston & Sampson, one of Falmouth's consultants on the Wind 1 and Wind 2 turbine projects at the wastewater treatment facility, gave selectmen price estimates for studies on mitigating environmental effects from the windmills, including noise.
Low-frequency sound waves and other effects from the Wind 1 turbine have caused headaches, dizziness, vertigo and other health problems, nearby residents have said.
Weston & Sampson estimated a noise study would cost about $17,000. The town already faced bills for studies on decommissioning the turbines, sound-proofing neighboring houses, and other environmental mitigation options, which could cost up to $44,000, according to Weston & Sampson's estimates.
"We were looking for the state to assist us in mitigations," said Selectman Mary Pat Flynn, chairwoman of the board. "They came back and said,'We'll do the study.'"
Selectmen voted to move forward with several other studies of mitigation options earlier this month after learning that the financial burden of the noise study had been lifted, Selectman Kevin Murphy said.
"We spent virtually the entire sum of money we had (dedicated to wind studies)," Murphy said in a phone interview with the Times on Thursday.
Todd Drummey, who lives near the Wind 1 turbine, expressed relief that the DEP, not a town consultant, was charged with conducting the noise research.
"I have more faith in the DEP than I do in the consultant that the town (hired)," Drummey said.
DEP officials hope to complete the noise study about six weeks after they begin, McDevitt said, adding the state agency must conduct tests during several different weather conditions, so the timing of the research is unpredictable.
#2 Sep 23, 2011
Re: Wind Energy Siting Reform Hearing (next month Oct 2011 )
THIS EMAIL IS FOR THE FULL JOINT COMMITTEE TO READ ABOUT THE WIND ENERGY SITING REFORM ACT
The Falmouth,Massachusetts wind turbine called Wind 1 is a prime example of what happens when local zoning bylaws are not complied with using special siting rules to install commercial wind turbines in residential locations.
The purchase and waiver by the EPA bring up a possible misuse of federal stimulus funds. Buying 2004 commercial wind turbines with 2010 stimulus funds. We need to ask how the Town of Falmouth bought two turbines in 2010 valued at 5.2 million each through the MTC.
The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative bought these two turbines in 2004 and kept them in a warehouse at $3300.00 per month until the politically embarrassing turbines were sold to the Town of Falmouth through some agreement with our federal funds in 2010.
EPA -Falmouth waiver http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-9...
These same two turbines were considered for siting within 800 feet of my home in Mattapoisett prior to the installation in Falmouth. The Nasketucket State park was used for the wind study tests for two years. The state park is state owned land. The State bypassed the Article 97 Land Disposition Policy and used the state park to place a meteorological tower for "educational purposes ."
We need to ask how stimulus funds got used for two turbines that were so old they had NO warranty left on them? The entire Falmouth wind project needs a hard look by the legislature. Here is the link to the wind turbine auction in 2008 prior to any stimulus plan:
The Massachusetts Constitution affirms the dignity and equality of all individuals. It forbids the creation of second-class citizens. The state through its semi quasi state agency and the cities and towns along with the agenda of the current governor are creating a second class group of citizens with the poor siting of commercial wind turbines.
The wind turbine fray is sparking class warfare. Time after time the blue collar section of town after town has been selected to lose their property rights for the good of all the others in town.
We feel bewildered and betrayed by our own government, which is maliciously trying to steal our land through the poor siting of commercial wind turbines. We have lost our democratic rights and have become second class citizens, facing the theft of our land through regulation. Massachusetts State law forbids the creation of second-class citizens
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