No Wind Turbines Charlestown Rhode Island
Posted in the Westerly Forum
#1 May 24, 2013
Hundreds of Charlestown residents have written letters to the ZBR to protest this proposed installation because of its adverse impacts to the human population and wildlife, upon the scenic landscape and the rural character of the town.
According to press reports, over 300 Charlestown residents wearing buttons proclaiming "No Wind Turbines!" attended the first evening of hearings held by the ZBR this past Tuesday on May 21st.
It should also be noted that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service forcefully rejected a proposal to install wind turbines within the nearby Ninigret Wildlife Refuge (about a mile away) for similar reasons -- particularly the impacts upon wildlife.
I call your attention to the submission by the Mr. Charles Vandemoer, Director of the entire wildlife refuge system in Rhode Island (including Ningret) in which he raises concerns about the potential mortality to migrating birds and bats (which the USFWS judged to be a high risk) for this project, as well. This submission can be found beginning on page 465.
I know that the Director of the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (and wind turbine testing laboratory) has asserted that the proposed Gaia wind turbine will be "quiet" and that it will not kill birds and bats -- or, if it does kill wildlife, it will be removed.
It is a fact that the wind turbine WILL introduce unnatural, man made industrial noise into the 1100 acres of a wildlife preserve -- something that is completely unnecessary and which is directly contrary to the mission of the Sanctuary.
It is also a fact that neither you, nor anyone at MA Audubon, has the slightest idea or evidence of the potential impact on wildlife within the Sanctuary, either through disruption to the habitat from unnatural noise, or as a lethal threat to birds and bats, including raptors.
As you know, one of the chief reasons that Dr. Taber Allison (former Chief Scientist of MA Audubon -- now a wind industry consultant) ruled out the installation of a larger wind turbine that you proposed to build in the Sanctuary some number of years ago is because, as he stated, there is no reliable method for forecasting bird and bat mortality from such installations.
This conclusion is right in the report for the original wind turbine. If you need a copy, please let me know and I will find it in my files.
It is frankly astonishing to me that the director of a Wildlife Sanctuary, or any of your board members, should be so misguided as to believe that the installation of a 120 foot monopole with spinning blades that may be lethal to wildlife, and which produce noise that may be disruptive to the natural function of the innumerable species of wildlife in the preserve whose habitat you are ostensibly dedicated to protecting, is a worthy undertaking.
You can buy all of the renewable electricity you desire through the Cape Light Compact "100% Green" energy program at a 20% premium to the basic rate -- renewable electricity that is produced in MA and on Cape Cod.
You can build an exhibit at the Center at a fraction of the cost to "educate" your members regarding the professed virtues of of wind energy -- and perhaps try to sell them on the merits of the Wind Energy Siting Reform Act which MA Audubon has perennially supported on Beacon Hill, year after year after year.
And as you surely know -- or should know -- the only acceptable rate of bird and bat mortality from such a project must be ZERO.
There is no compelling need for this vain extravagance that you propose and there is no justification for degrading the habitat, or threatening the wildlife, of the Sanctuary from the installation of this nonsensical gizmo that you so enthusiastically support (at a reported cost of $200,000!).
Please try to remember what purpose a WILDLIFE SANCTUARY is supposed to serve --
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