Falmouth Board of Health Meeting Oct 7 2013
Posted in the West Tisbury Forum
#1 Oct 1, 2013
Public Comment – Falmouth’s Board of Health Oct 7th meeting
Dear Chairman Goldstone and Board Members,
I and my wife thank you for your time and consideration. Please enter our comment into the public record.
The Board should consider only two issues as sleep requirements relate to 9pm to 5am turbine operations.
A. Defining a Healthy Sleep Period
B. Defining Only the Facts Impacting Sleep
Healthy Sleep Period
“The lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) of night noise,… can be considered a health-based limit value of the night noise guidelines (NNG) necessary to protect the public, including most of the vulnerable groups such as children, the chronically ill and the elderly, from the adverse health effects of night noise.”~ World Health Organization’s Guidelines for community noise (WHO, 1999)
A healthy sleep period, therefore, must include the neighborhood children, those present and those that potentially may be in the future.
The best way to figure out if the Falmouth resident’s sleep needs are being met is to evaluate (5) data points.
1. The comparison between sleep complaints when the turbines were operated during the time most families were in bed (commencing April 2010), and the rate of complaints after the 12/12 operating protocol implementation (April 2012). The Health Board Chairman has seemingly done this, and has stated publicly that the rate difference is significant.
2. The Massachusetts DEP/DPH “Wind Turbine Health Impact Report”(Jan. 2012) Executive Summary Pg. 6 –“… it is possible that noise from some wind turbines can cause sleep disruption.“
3. The evidenced MassDEP Wind 1 night time noise level violations.
4. May 24, 2012 public testimony statistics indicating an 85% sleep disruption rate of those providing comment.
5. The WTOP Final Report (Pg. 10) Acentech’s model prediction that operation of both turbines combined would result in exceedances at multiple properties, as well as raising the possibility of exceedances at hours earlier and later in the night than when such exceedances had been measured by DEP testing.
The Board has raised concern regarding the legal tenability of a decision. Upholding an appropriate night time period for sleep, as applied to Falmouth, has as it’s three principle findings, the MassDEP/DPH Expert Report, and medically accepted healthy sleep intervals inclusive of children, and the complaint rate decrease evidenced after the 12/12 protocol implementation.
The Board need only presume, based upon supportive findings, that injurious conditions may result if not appropriately conditioned/restricted. If any doubt exists that 9pm to 5am may not protect sleep periods for all residents, the Board has the authority to provision more restrictive hours of operation.
Reasonable and Legal Sleep Policy
Although extraneous topics will be attempted (i.e. Town budget, climate concerns), the Board’s concern should only be whether ALL residents are, as a matter of policy, assured an opportunity for a healthy sleep period.
Annie and I believe the Board of Selectmen’s offering of (8) hours of night sleep, in weighing the sum of evidence, is not conducive to sustaining a healthy sleep environment while assuring healthy development of our neighborhood’s youngest residents. We strongly urge the Board of Health to order the Board of Selectmen to re-instate the 12/12 turbine operating protocol.
Thank you for your focused efforts establishing a fundamental and essential piece of our community’s health policy.
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