New twist in Falmouth windmill plot
The Falmouth building commissioner isn't the only one who could have requested that the town follow the special permit process for its controversial turbine.
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#1 Feb 17, 2011
These same two commercial wind turbines were proposed in Mattapoisett and Fairhaven . The residents of Mattapoisett and Fairhaven were given a wind study by a semi-quasi state agency whose job it is to install commercial wind turbines. The wind study only contained the positive aspects of installing a commercial wind turbine. The Mattapoisett residents hired their own wetlands scientist and other professionals to review the 23 page wind turbine report given to the Town of Mattapoisett.
Ultimately the study had what were called "mistakes" found in the turbine report. The report had a "mistake" on at least every page and up to three "mistakes" on other pages. Mattapoisett dropped the wind turbine because it was not economically feasible and Fairhaven dropped theirs over legal action.
The advantage for the residents of Mattapoisett and Fairhaven was that the population was much larger around the proposed wind turbine sites and the residents were able to set up a legal defense fund and organize to bring public attention to the negatives of the wind turbines.
Unfortunately the residents of Falmouth found out to late. The people who value intellectual honesty should not quietly be fleeced by such mendacity, even from their government.
#2 Dec 19, 2011
Sounds like a giant conspiracy to ruin folks' view out their window. Quick! Find a quasi-scientific and/or legal reason to remove them.
#3 Dec 25, 2011
The EPA is looking into the use of stimulus funds on the purchase of two Vestas V 82 wind turbines sold to the Town of Falmouth and a private company The turbines were sold by the semi quasi state agency the MTC , Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.
The Town of Falmouth, Massachusetts and a private company, were granted 2010 stimulus funds to "repurchase" the two turbines that went to Falmouth. The turbines were purchased in 2004 stored in a warehouse in Texas and then "repurchased " again with an EPA waiver as a new product in 2010.
An article stating the turbine was the older unit can be found here: http://www.notuscleanenergy.com/images/3-26-1... .
The EPA expects to have a review of the project funds and original purchase dates of the 2009 ARRA ,stimulus funds complete by Jan 13,2012 .
#4 Dec 25, 2011
In May 2011 the EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its Semiannual Report to Congress for October 1, 2010, to March 31, 2011. The report covers the OIG’s efforts in assisting the EPA in auditing and investigating programs and operations recommending more efficient, economical and effective operation of EPA programs and informing Congress and the EPA Administrator of problems, deficiencies, and necessary corrective action related to the same programs. The OIG’s purpose is to detect and prevent waste, fraud and abuse within the EPA or its programs.
Much of the OIG’s activities during the reporting period related to the EPA’s use of $7.2 billion received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Twenty million ARRA dollars were allocated to the OIG for oversight and review of the EPA’s use of ARRA funds. Over half of the funds have been used thus far. Problems identified by the OIG include:
•Numerous U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-based manufacturers were granted ARRA contracts after falsifying compliance with Buy America provisions, resulting in the seizure of $1.1 million of equipment
•ARRA fraud awareness briefings are leading to the reporting of potential fraud by individuals through the OIG hotline, resulting in ARRA funds savings
#5 Mar 7, 2013
Falmouth turbine flap in costly spiral
By sean teehan
March 07, 2013
Falmouth may have to pay back nearly $5 million in federal stimulus funds it received to construct one of its wind turbines.
The state Department of Environmental Protection released the federal money to the town in 2010 as a loan that would become a grant once the town's second wind turbine project is complete.
But with about a month until Falmouth's town meeting is scheduled to vote on whether to remove its two municipal turbines, the town has not filed paperwork with the DEP to certify the second one as a completed project.
The town is possibly facing millions of dollars in costs to remove its two 1.65-megawatt turbines, Wind 1 and Wind 2, from the wastewater treatment plant on Blacksmith Shop Road. The turbines have become a flashpoint because some town residents say they cause health problems.
Selectmen are scheduled Monday to vote on their recommendations for warrant articles for the annual and special town meetings on April 8 and 9. Three of the articles would collectively order the decommissioning and removal of the turbines.
Town Manager Julian Suso has estimated it will cost $5 million to $15 million to remove them, partly depending on whether money received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or so-called stimulus funds, have to be repaid.
But even as the town discusses dismantling them, it is still in the process of finalizing contracts and payments with contractors who worked on the Wind 2 project, said wastewater Superintendent Gerald Potamis, who oversees the two turbines.
"We want the project to be closed out," said Potamis, who said he hopes to file paperwork with the DEP next week. "It's my hope that we have that closed out by town meeting."
At a closed-door meeting between state and town officials last month, town officials were told Falmouth may be responsible for paying back the stimulus money, said officials who attended.
That uneasy feeling
The state's seemingly lukewarm reaction toward town officials' request for loan forgiveness and financial support to take down the turbines left an uneasy feeling with Selectman Kevin Murphy, board chairman.
"The state appears to be very guarded and kind of, not as enthusiastic as some folks had said the state would be," said Murphy. "We have to realize we might not get as much financial assistance from the state as we thought."
In an email statement, state Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia, who attended the meeting, said it was part of an ongoing dialogue and that his department will continue to engage with Falmouth.
Suso, who also attended, said state officials have not committed to a timeline in determining when they will decide how much assistance they will provide Falmouth and if Falmouth will be charged for the stimulus money.
No comps available
Without any comparable examples to Falmouth's situation, how much state assistance the town should receive in taking the turbines down is a question without an easy answer, Suso said. The possibility of the town removing the turbines also complicates the question of whether the stimulus funds should be repaid.
"Bottom line, this seems to be a different set of circumstances than what was expected," Suso said.
Unless state officials announce details by Monday, the selectmen likely will indefinitely postpone issuing recommendations, Murphy said. In that case, selectmen will make their official decision on whether to endorse the articles on the town meeting floor.
Suso said Wednesday that he hopes to have more information soon from state officials, but there is no guarantee.
"We certainly all are equally anxious about this."
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