Board Of Health To Take Public Testimony On Health Impacts Of Wind Turbines
The Falmouth Board of Health decided on the spur of the moment last night to hold an emergency hearing about the health effects of the wind turbines later this month, which could result in shutting down the three large turbines in town until there is more evidence about these effects.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at Falmouth Enterprise.
#1 May 9, 2012
Falmouth turbine compromise OK'd
var isoPubDate ='May 09, 2012'By sean teehan
May 09, 2012
FALMOUTH Wind turbines loomed heavily in town Monday night as selectmen and board of health members at separate meetings voted on measures meant to address residents' health concerns.
Selectmen voted in favor of shutting down Wind 1, one of the town's two 1.65-megawatt turbines off Blacksmith Shop Road, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. each day.
Stopping Wind 1's operation for 12 hours each day represents a compromise between the town and some people who live near the turbines and for more than a year have complained of nausea, vertigo and other health problems, said Mary Pat Flynn, chairman of the board of selectmen.
Mitigation efforts began last month when the Cambridge-based Consensus Building Institute, the firm hired by selectmen, began working with stakeholders abutters, anti- and pro-turbine people and town officials to gauge opinions of possible solutions. Residents opposed to the turbines wanted them turned off completely, Flynn said.
Next week, the firm will start the process of nominating people to serve on a committee responsible for making recommendations to selectmen. Shutting off Wind 1 for half of each day could begin as early as two weeks from now, Flynn said.
However, this action will further affect the turbines' revenue stream, which already dropped when selectmen ordered they shut off when they reach 23 mph or more, said Falmouth Wastewater Superintendent Gerald Potamis, who oversees the turbines.
"If they run half the time, they only produce ... half the power and only produce half the revenue," Potamis said.
The action does not go far enough, said Falmouth resident Malcolm Donald, a Wind 2 abutter.
"It escapes me why they're not shutting down Wind 2 from 7 (p.m.) to 7 (a.m.)" too, Donald said on Tuesday. "It's a start for entering into the consensus building,(but) the consensus building can drag on for months if not years."
Rather than attend Monday's selectmen's meeting, Donald went to the board of health's meeting, where members scheduled a public hearing for 7 p.m. May 24 to hear comments about the turbines' alleged health effects.
"We made a decision last night that we would set up a hearing "» to allow folks who believe they're being affected by the turbines to submit written testimony," said board member Stephen Rafferty on Tuesday.
Some people who attended the board of health meeting asserted that an abutter to the turbines recently attempted suicide because of ailments caused by the turbines, but board members cut off that discussion when those making the claim could not authenticate it, Rafferty said.
Board of health members will use testimony submitted to them as guidelines in deciding whether they should order an emergency shutdown of the turbines, said board member Jared Goldstone..
"I think it's something that's been building for a while," said Goldstone, who added that state officials at the Department of Environmental Protection have been largely mute in responding to town requests for guidance. "We have written letters to the state that haven't received direct replies."
Residents who submit written testimony before the hearing specifically about negative health effects resulting from exposure to turbines may summarize their points in front of the board, Goldstone said.
The board of health will accept written testimony until May 31
#2 May 9, 2012
Governor Deval Patrick set a goal of creating commercial wind turbines capable of producing a total of at least 2,000 megawatts by 2020.
Voters should be outraged that officials from the Patrick administration have left their jobs to go to work for wind turbine contractors.
First they make the rules -then work for the people they make the rules for ...
The NOISE and the strobe-like light effect that blades generate while they spin in daylight make a lot of people sick.
The news stories documenting the nuisance are piling up.
There are quite a few medical reports that claim wind turbines actually increase depression and may cause a serious health risk for people suffering from anxiety and epileptic seizures.
Letter from Vestas worried about regulation of low-frequency noise :
#3 May 13, 2012
Small,'unfiltered' protest held against Falmouth turbines
By sean teehan
May 13, 2012
FALMOUTH Led by selectman candidate David Moriarty, 12 people gathered at the wastewater treatment facility Saturday to speak out against wind turbines.
"This is real people speaking the truth - unfiltered," Moriarty said.
Signs with slogans such as "silence the turbines now" and "health matters" outnumbered the people in attendance and a life-sized decorative skeleton wearing a T-shirt that read "Falmouth victim wind turbines" sat in a chair with its back to "Wind 1" and "Wind 2," which were both spinning at about 10:30 a.m.
Falmouth's two 1.65-megawatt turbines have been the source of controversy for about two years. Some abutters say noise, infrasound and light flicker from the spinning blades cause headaches, vertigo and even suicidal tendencies.
"All we've been doing is begging for help," said Elizabeth Andersen, 55, who said the police have responded to her home twice when she said she would harm herself.
Andersen balked at the selectmen's recent decision to shut the turbines off 12 hours per day, saying the deal is insufficient. But she applauded the board of health's scheduling of a public hearing later this month to decide whether the turbines pose health risks serious enough to order them shut off.
A contingent of people from Fairhaven wearing T-shirts with pictures of turbines inside a circle with a slash through them attended the protest as well. The town recently installed turbines there.
"Yesterday I got a call from a woman and she was getting vertigo from the (light) flicker in the morning," said Ken Pottel, a Fairhaven resident.
Louise Barteau, 53, of Fairhaven said she recently broke the lease on a condominium out of which she planned to teach classes on making paper out of concern for the well-being of her possible future customers.
"Once the turbines became an issue, I wondered if it would be safe to have people there," Barteau said. Her landlord let her out of the lease about three months early, she said.
One attendee brought a video camera and 10 of the protesters gathered in front of it around the sitting skeleton and several signs.
"I have with me today some of the victims of wind turbine syndrome," Moriarty said when the camera began recording. "Gov. Patrick, you need to stop this policy"» we're not going to take it anymore."
#4 May 25, 2012
Falmouth Board of Health held its public hearing on adverse health effects from Falmouth wind turbines (all turbines) last night. Approximately 27 people testified and many others submitted written testimony to the Board.
Neighbors who live and/or people who work around Falmouth's wind turbines and have experienced adverse health impacts from ANY wind turbine in Falmouth (Wind-1, Wind-2, Webb/Notus, Wood Hole Research Center, any other) have until May 31st to submit written firsthand testimony. Testimony should be delivered to the Health Department at Town Hall or mailed to:
Board of Health
Falmouth Town Hall
59 Town Hall Square
Falmouth, MA 02540
or eMail: [email protected]
More details regarding testimony are below.
Click here for television coverage by WBZ TV of last night's hearing
Information regarding the hearing:
Details on testimony submissions
Written testimony will be accepted until May 31st.
Testimony is to be considered as public records and although the BoH is not going to publish it, it is subject to a MA Public Records Request (freedom of information) and may very well be requested by the media. You should consider your testimony public.
Information gathered by the BoH will be analyzed by the Board and subsequently bundled together and submitted to the MA Department of Public Health [MA DPH] for its review and hopefully further investigation.
Protecting your identity and any information you wish to remain confidential
As previously stated, information submitted to the BoH is not confidential but information submitted directly to the MA DPH is confidential. Therefore there are several ways to protect your information:
To remain completely anonymous, one may have his/her doctor write a letter to the BoH stating that one of his/her patients is adversely affected by the wind turbines and request that the MA DPH contact the doctor directly for your information. That way both your identity is protected and any information gathered directly by the MA DPH is as well. The downside here would be that the BoH would not have your information to consider in entertaining any emergency decision.
Also, an attorney, we would imagine, could do likewise.
You may protect as little or as much of your medical information as you want by withholding that information from the BoH but submitting a statement to the BoH that you have adverse health effects from the wind turbines and request the MA DPH to contact you for your information directly. That way, although your identity is not protected, any information gathered directly by the MA DPH would be.
One individual said that he would be including an invitation to the MA DPH in addition to all his testimony because he wants to make sure that the MA DPH gets all his information that it needs.
Adverse Health Effects
Those include stress. Also, the Chairman of the Falmouth BoH, Gail Harkness, announced at the last meeting that "The World Health Organization has found lack of sleep to cause cancer".
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