Sept 28, 2010
I am an abutter to what the Town of Falmouth, Massachusetts calls their WIND 1, their first wind turbine, a 1.65MW Vestas 400 foot tall goliath. Since it went into operation in early 2010, I and quite a number of other abutters have suffered serious medical detriments and a gigantic loss of quality of our lives from the noise impact of this machine. My own home is 1662 feet from the turbine and the effects of the sound on me have caused anxiety, stress, nervousness, sleep deprivation, hypertension, migraines, dizziness, blurred vision, palpitations, irritability, anger, upset stomach, and depression. These ailments are well documented by my medical providers.
After writing letters and speaking with many many town and state government officials, including the local health agent, state health commissioner, and Massachusetts department of environmental protection (wrecking agency), several times each over many months, my State Representative Tim Madden recently secured the information that a first step is for the town to complete a noise study of the turbine’s impact on the surrounding area and furnish that to the State DEP. If someone had told me this in the beginning it would have saved me a tremendous amount of frustration in attempting to communicate with my local and state officials.
The noise study is now complete, and wouldn’t you know it but the turbine passed by a squeak the 10 db increase in ambient Mass. noise regulation, and except for a couple of locations under certain modeled conditions the town’s windmill bylaw of 40 db. The Massachusetts noise regulation is from Sept 1, 1972 and the town’s windmill bylaw is even older.
Giant wind turbines such as Falmouth’s were not even close to being invented then. The noise these turbines make is unlike regular noise. It is not the loudness of the noise but a characteristic to it that gets in your head and becomes entrenched. The sound can go on for days, it can be absent, or it can be intermittent. When it is not there one listens for it and is fearful of its return.
The garden that was a sanctuary to me for 30 years is now more like a torture chamber. Some of the abutters have started using the term “turbine torture”. When the turbine first went into operation in March 2010, and then through April, I tried to acclimate myself to live with this thing.
After dropping into a three month depression I finally avoided my own home for the month of August, pulled out of the depression, returned on Labor Day weekend to find that after ten minutes of hearing the turbine my anxiety and panic condition was returning. At least two persons have thought of suicide while this issue drags on through the creep of political process.
At the end of the sound study presentation meeting today Assistant Town Manager and leader/chair/whatever, Heather Harper of the wind turbine project suggested we have a follow up meeting in 45 days. One abutter asked what we are to do to cope with the turbine noise from one delay with the town to another, no answer for that, but the abutters attorney did counter suggest 30 days.
It all comes down to setbacks. Proper setbacks of at least one mile to homes. As the turbines get bigger the setbacks will need to grow.
Anyone out there whose town or neighbor is proposing a wind turbine I recommend for you to do your homework now before the machine is up and running and you begin to plan to sell your home. I have been told by the way that if you are trying to sell and a turbine is visible from your home your potential buyer list will drop by 50%.
One last comment , and I had no intention of plugging her book here, but Dr.Nina Peirpont’s book
“WIND TURBINE SYNDROME” is a good place to start your research. She has taken a lot of flack from the BIG WIND industry, but where are their studies of we abutter’s turbine induced maladies. Even worse, our own government has not studied the problem while they continue to subsidize Bid Wind to the hilt. It is like they are in bed together under the sheets of green mania.
It is past my bedtime. BARRY FUNFAR
Comment by BARRY FUNFAR on 09/28/2010 at 9:00 pm
I continue……. my ramblings of earlier were ended at 5AM this morning, the previous day having been the day of the Town’s noise study presentation to those abutters with legal representation at 10:30 AM followed by a public meeting at 1:00PM. One abutter brought up the fact that the town continues to have separate meetings for the two groups which furthers the gap of understanding between those bothered by the turbine and those GREEN folks who don’t know any better. I have as of yet not joined with those who have hired a lawyer so the town notifies me of nothing. I depend on someone from their group to inform me. The town I feel has treated me terribly. My advice–get an attorney. I live across the highway from the bothersome turbine (1662 feet) and those residents most annoyed, though their set backs are close to what mine is. Up till now I had thought that most of them dealt primarily with sleep deprivation problems while I, retired since 2003 am bothered in the daylight hours when I wish to spend time in my garden. My bedroom is on the opposite side of the house and we use air conditioning so the windows are generally closed. My thinking was that they would manage to shut the turbine down from say 10PM to 6AM to facilitate their sleep, which would be of no benefit to me. Their attorney is now presenting different ideas to minimize the noise such as smaller blades and a lower wattage smaller turbine which could also help at my house, so I may soon be joining their group. These are speculative ideas he has thrown out as possibilities. His approach is very gentle with allowing the town to keep their turbine but having a trade off of lower generating output along with less noise. If I were going after the town myself I would go for the jugular and a complete takedown and removal of something that should never have been built this close to homes in the first place. The town officials great urge to designate Falmouth as a “GREEN COMMUNITY” in Massachusetts and to heap praise upon themselves is the reason we abutters are now suffering with a 1.65MW 400 foot tall industrial noise machine. A smaller quieter 600kW or even two would have supplied the WWTP (waste water treatment plant) with its energy needs without the greed of returning power to the grid and causing pain and problems that has been the result of this mega machine. These monstrosities simply do not belong in residential areas. Assistant Town Manager Heather Harper stated in the very beginning that this project was a risk. It is beginning to look like another of this town’s BIG MISTAKEs.
Citizens’ health, well being, and rights to enjoy their own property should certainly come before churring out some surplus watts of electricity.
I wonder when the town will look at and discuss the results of we abutter’s late June and early July two week personal noise logs. These will go a long way in expressing the real impact the turbine is having on its neighbors. The db level numbers, sound wave charts and graphs, we do not have to understand them, they are essentially meaningless to we abutters whose lives have been turned upside down by this turbine. The study mentions noise levels, noise modeling, audible sound, noise standards, noise measurements, noise emissions, and noise guidelines with the word compliance stated frequently
I really wonder whose side the town is on regarding our health issues in relation to the profit picture of their wind turbine. To date I am very unimpressed. The
Selectmen, Town Manager, Health, Planning , and Zoning Boards all seem to have their heads under the sand hiding from the wind turbine noise issue. Why is it that with years of complaints on the table over wind turbine noise from around the world
our own US government has let we citizens burn in the fringes of inadequate set backs? We move from our homes or are bought out and gag ordered by Big Wind. Unfortunately government is under the GREEN sheets of mania and in bed with BIG WIND. Providing huge subsidies for a technology that at best is very questionable about lowering CO2 emissions or replacing conventional power plants while destroying huge acreages of land. We should call it the Environmental Wrecking Agency.
And I have not yet even mentioned WIND 2, which is another mega turbine the Town of Falmouth
plans to have in place by the end of the year. We have questioned them on “why go ahead with the second turbine when turbine #1 may have to come down?” They reply that it is because of “contractual obligations” when in fact what it really is would be the loss of their total subsidy if they fail the time line. Politics Foulatics. We little guys must hold our bats high to have a chance in this world. I certainly did not envision spending my valuable retirement time fighting my own town with my own retirement savings. My grandsons still come first, and perhaps my being vocal will someday benefit them.
Comment by Anonymous on 03/25/2011 at 2:36 pm
Why do we let the environmental wackos get away with this? The town/state authorities are corrupt and beholden to the “greens” and their misguided agenda.
Get rid of them all!
Comment by BARRY FUNFAR on 04/13/2011 at 9:56 pm
April 13, 2011
Controversy, turmoil, waste of people’s time, serious health detriments, suicidal inclinations, and litigation are a few of the results we have seen from Falmouth’s wind turbines. From similar situations all around the world it is obvious that we are not experiencing some weird phenomenon here in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
This “Falmouth Experience” is simply the consequences of placing industrial wind turbines too close to human beings and their homes.
I feel extremely fortunate to have some neighbors with pride and fortitude who are willing to stand up and fight for their rights and what is right. This ship is not going down anytime soon. We have all heard the famous line of John Paul Jones who said ” We have just begun to fight”. My sentiments exactly toward the town and its bastions of a disheveled energy policy.
Life can be very good. We abutters are only attempting to return to that place.
27 Ridgeview Drive
Falmouth, MA 02540
NewsHour Connect: Effects of Wind Turbines on One Massachusetts Town
NewsHour Connect: Mass. Community Reacts to Living Near Wind Turbines
… Heather Goldstone and Sean Corcoran about their series on the Falmouth wind turbine: … PBS’ Art21 ; Health; Politico Pulse ; The New York Times: Prescriptions ; Kaiser Health …www.pbs.org/…/03/one-massachusetts-community-reacts-to-living-near-wind-turbines.html