Articles filed under Impact on People from Massachusetts
After years of fighting, Plymouth has declared several massive wind turbines a public health nuisance. “Thank goodness they’re responding,” said Karen McMahon, who has lived for three years in the shadow of several 500-foot tall wind turbines. “It’s horrible and it vibrates. And it vibrates the windows.”
The four 500-foot ConEdison Solutions wind turbines were installed in June 2016. They sit close to the Bourne border, but because they are located in Plymouth, it has been difficult for Bourne residents to fight through their own town government. Since their installation, the Buzzards Bay Action Committee, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserve and protect Buzzards Bay, has collected approximately 360 complaints from residents in the area. Complaints include shadow flicker, nausea, vertigo, sleep disturbance, headaches, anxiety and sound disturbances. “We have 360 complaints and they go unanswered,” Plymouth resident Larry McGrath said before the vote was taken. “Nobody does anything to protect us.”
At fall town meeting Nov. 12, Falmouth will again be asked to fund the town’s wind turbine “white elephants.” This, even after Gov. Charlie Baker admitted to the House Committee on Natural Resources in Washington, D.C., that Falmouth’s project failed due to how and where the turbines were sited.
The National Marine Fisheries Service is refusing to sign off on an environmental impact report originally expected July 7, Reuters said, citing previously unseen federal documents. Fishing industry representatives want proposed wind turbines farther apart than the currently planned 0.75 nautical mile, want the turbines aligned east-west instead of northwest-southeast, and want compensation for any damage to their livelihoods, according to Reuters.
CENTERVILLE — With a final environmental impact decision from the federal government pending, Vineyard Wind representatives met with the community again Thursday to shed light on preliminary construction plans for Covell Beach, where they plan to install high-voltage electricity transmission cables on Barnstable’s southern shoreline.
Falmouth will also spend the next 11 years paying off the remaining $3.6 million in bonds it floated to pay for the first turbine. The stimulus grant covered the cost of the second turbine on condition that it operates as an “energy efficient project.” So unless Falmouth can find someone else to take the turbine, get it running, and persuade regulators that this meets its contractual obligations, the town will be on the hook for another $5 million. That’s a lot of wasted money in a town with fewer than 32,000 residents.
Facing fierce neighborhood opposition and multiple lawsuits, selectmen last week voted to remove the turbines, which had cost the town about $10 million to build, saddling residents with years of debt. “All that’s left now is that we have an albatross to live with,” said Sam Peterson, the one dissenting vote on the five-person board.
The two turbines at the Falmouth wastewater treatment facility have been the subject of nine lawsuits filed by neighbors. The Board of Selectmen voted Monday not to allow the turbines to operate again within town borders.
After years of hearing complaints of noise, headaches and sleep deprivation, the Bourne Board of Health declared Wednesday that the four wind turbines across the town border in Plymouth are negatively affecting public health.
One of the two wind turbines under a court order never to operate at their current spot may spin again on the wastewater treatment plant property, a little less than a half mile north from where it now stands. Accomplishing the move, however, would cost the town just over $3 million and isn’t likely to appease critics of the turbine’s current location.
In reviewing the study, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection found that noise samples were collected at the wrong time of day and that not all the turbines were spinning when the sampling was done. The state also pointed out that some necessary information was missing from the analysis and that the report provided conflicting information relative to the turbines’ exact locations on the site.
Wind 1 and Wind 2, the two 1.65-megawatt turbines the Town of Falmouth installed on industrial-zoned land between 2009 and 2010, no longer turn or generate electricity. However, Falmouth residents Neil P. Andersen and Elizabeth L. Andersen said they still feel the aftereffects from the turbines and from their legal fight against them.
In a plea for help, a small group of residents came in front of the Bourne Board of Health on Aug. 8 after a Superior Court judge ruled that Bourne officials didn’t have the authority to regulate the construction of the turbines because they were outside of the town’s jurisdiction. ...however, the judge had written that a “Board of Health has broad powers to regulate and prevent nuisances that affect the public health,” adding that it remained to be seen whether the operation of the turbines would be a nuisance affecting the health of Bourne residents.
Ms. Gibides added that she and the other residents were appealing to the board for help and guidance as to the steps they need to take for relief from the turbines. “We are a few human beings that are being tortured for the greater good, according to the Town of Plymouth. We don’t know where to turn, so we’re turning to you again,” she said.
Buzzards Bay residents plagued night-and-day by four Future Generation wind turbines operating on Mann cranberry bog in South Plymouth have returned to the Bourne Board of Health seeking intervention and relief. The board, however, says its jurisdiction does not extend across the town line. The board has been legally advised not to consider out-of-town matters already adjudicated by the Barnstable Superior Court.
A plan by offshore power company Vineyard Wind to bring a high-wattage cable through Lewis Bay and onshore in West Yarmouth is energizing residents, who say that no amount of compensation is worth the damage the project could potentially inflict. “This is not about money,” West Yarmouth resident David Bernstein said at Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, which was devoted primarily to public comment on the project. “I don’t care if Vineyard Wind gives $10 million a year to the town of Yarmouth. If the bay is killed, it is killed.”
Scituate selectmen voted unanimously Tuesday night to award a contract for conducting an acoustical study of the Scituate Wind turbine to Epsilon Associates as an independent consultant. The Maynard-based company has performed similar testing in Massachusetts, and other states, and has worked with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), according to Al Bangert, special projects director.
But three of the turbines have come at a cost. Residents living near the wind turbines in Scituate and Kingston have complained from the beginning about noise and the flicker of light and shadow when the sun is behind the turbine. A wind turbine in Hanover has had costly maintenance issues that have forced it to shut down frequently.
Several residents living near the turbine continued to report disturbances from the turbine, however, and asked town officials to agree to an independent noise compliance investigation of the turbine in an effort to collect the evidence necessary to take protective action under both the Nuisance Law and under the state’s Noise Pollution Regulation.
David Dardi, who lives near the turbine and who had been keeping track of the turbine noise, said the turbine continued to “disrupt the sleep and adversely impact the lives and health of both my neighbors and myself.” ...Selectman Karen Canfield said she would support to curtail the use of the turbine from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the summer.