Faking it in Falmouth? (Mass.)
Sep 15, 2011
—Mark J Cool, Falmouth, MA
The wind turbine issue in Falmouth is pitting community conscience against regulatory compliance. Being “within compliance” obviously doesn’t mean physical harms don’t, or won’t, exist.
The Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) 40-decibel noise guideline, the wind turbine manufacturer’s recommended setback distance, the specific town emergency and fire contingency plan criteria, and the 23-mph turbine shut-off restriction—all have been, with some exceptions, met or exceeded.
Yet complaints by neighbors continue and will indeed be exacerbated as seasonal winds change, and Wind Turbine II comes online. Very revealing of current regulation effectiveness, perhaps?
Is it a conspiracy? Hatched by those anti-wind neighbors to thwart the good intentions of the Energy Committee’s “need for green” or municipal “need for green” energy cost savings? Possibly—that is, if the neighbors hadn’t been supportive of the town’s wind project concept in the first place.
Is it that these scoundrels are feeding off Internet exaggerations and fantasies of “Wind Turbine Syndrome” and are just plain lying about symptoms and lost sleep? Maybe—hat is, if you believe that these neighbors (who were mostly strangers to one another before the turbines) just happened simultaneously to suffer from a range of identical physiological symptoms.
Combine their fabrications with their brazen willingness to spend money on the following:
- sue Falmouth
- sound-proof windows
- pay for hotel rooms to allegedly get a few nights of sleep
- attend wind turbine noise & health seminars and conferences to become more informed
- pay for acoustic consultant testing, to acquire a third-party perspective
- pay for numerous doctor appointments, prescriptions and medical aids offering temporary relief from their fabricated, turbine-caused ailments
The real facts are: The Falmouth town boards (several of them) have been offered numerous reports from credible sources, institutions, acousticians and medical clinicians from around the country and indeed the world, all demonstrating the plausibility that industrial wind turbines negatively affect human wellness if poorly sited. Most importantly, the Falmouth town boards have ready access to us sufferers, as well as the offer of personal experiences and symptoms as examinable evidence from neighbors.
Would these neighbors be willing to be examined to prove their claims? Has anyone asked these human guinea pigs? Why wouldn’t Town Hall join with medical experts and conduct a study of actual health outcomes (epidemiology), using medical science to directly find actual health risks from real-world (Falmouth) turbine exposures?
Instead of practicality and common sense, Town Hall is persuaded by conclusions from a Woods Hole Oceanographic Insitute biologist (health board member charged with a literary review), an acoustics firm (paid by the town), the Mass DEP and the town Energy Committee (minions of Govenor Patrick). These advisors (amongst others), with the applause of local newspaper editors, would have you believe “they” should hold more authority on the subject than the studies and reports by actual medical doctors and medical professionals.
That’s like asking your auto mechanic to diagnose whether that lump on your neck is cancer or not. Absurd?
Honest-to-God medical evaluations, specifically directed at accessing physiological impact from wind turbines, could certainly answer more questions than Town Hall’s craven reliance on regulatory compliance, ill-equipped citizen volunteers, or state agencies marching to the drumbeat of the governor’s “green” agenda.
The Falmouth wind turbine issue is a matter of conscience, not compliance! I implore town members to force a full epidemiological study. The town upheaval demands it, and without it the community fracture is guaranteed to widen. And, for God’s sake, please vote to suspend turbine operations until medical questions are answered—rather than continue this Town Hall buffoonery and slavish attachment to ineffectual regulatory compliance.
Unless, of course, you believe Town Hall—and believe your neighbors are liars.