The Associated Press

Falmouth Votes Against Dismantling 2 Wind Turbines

BOSTON — A Cape Cod town that once considered its first wind turbine the crowning achievement of its climate protection plan came close to becoming the first community in the country to decide to tear its turbines down.

Falmouth’s Town Meeting voted down a measure Tuesday night that would have authorized borrowing $14 million to dismantle two turbines.

The measure failed by a vote of 125-72. Town Clerk Michael Palmer said it needed a two-thirds majority to pass. If it had been approved, the borrowing question would have been put before voters in a May referendum.

It’s the first time any town in the country has considered taking down its turbines.

The Falmouth selectmen’s board chair, Kevin Murphy, flatly calls the turbine project a failure. The board is backing efforts to dismantle the original turbine, which began spinning in 2010, and a newer one.

From the start, neighbors have complained about noise from the turbines. They also attribute a range of physical and mental health problems to them.

But other residents report no problems. Some in town say it’s far too soon to tear down a critical renewable energy project they estimate could produce $450,000 in annual revenue through energy production and renewable energy certificates.

“It’s pit neighbor against neighbor,” Murphy said.

The American Wind Energy Association, which says it promotes wind energy as a clean source of electricity, said it’s the first time any town has considered taking down its turbines. That’s because such projects have such clear financial and environmental rewards, spokeswoman Ellen Carey said.

“People across the country are supportive of wind energy and are benefiting economically,” she said.

Both turbines are built at the town’s waste water treatment plant and provide power for it. The original turbine was the first municipal utility-scale turbine in Massachusetts.

Falmouth resident Mark Cool, who lives near the turbine site, said persistent headaches started as soon as it began running. He described some so penetrating he felt he needed “to drill a hole in my head to get some sort of relief.”

The 54-year-old air traffic controller didn’t link the turbines to his headaches until his neighbors began talking about similar symptoms.

Cool began a journal, recording variables such as wind direction and headache duration, eventually concluding the headaches occurred only when the wind put him in a turbine’s wake.

In May 2012, 47 people told a board of health hearing about various problems they blamed on the turbines, including sleep deprivation, vertigo and memory loss. But 15 others said there were no problems.

Cool said he doesn’t think there’s science to substantiate negative effects from turbines.

In pushing for their removal, he points to what he said is indisputable, such as noise problems that led the town in May 2012 to shut the turbines down for 12 hours each night. A state study later concluded the turbines’ decibel level was too high at one of its testing sites.

Murphy said the reduced hours mean the turbines now lose $100,000 a year.

Worse, Murphy said, is the corrosive town-wide division caused by the turbines, which he said taints any renewable energy plans. It’s worth it, he said, to borrow the $14 million to get rid of what he calls symbols of failure.

“Any time (residents) ride by those wind turbines they’re reminded of how divided this community is,” he said. “We need to get rid of the division and move forward.”

But Falmouth resident Megan Amsler said the debate has not split the town.

Amsler, who served on a town committee that devised ways to mitigate the turbines’ impact, said a silent majority in Falmouth wants to keep the turbines. But a vocal minority has made it something Falmouth can’t even agree to disagree about, she said.

There are far cheaper ways to deal with concerns about the turbines and keep them running, Amsler said. Options include scheduling their operation more precisely to minimize any effects on neighborhoods and buying out adjacent properties.

Amsler added that tearing down the turbines will set a horrible national precedent. Banks will get skittish about financing renewables if a project with the broad local support, like Falmouth’s, can be quickly dismantled by a small group, she said.

“This will reverberate throughout the United States,” Amsler said.

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  • dust truck

    I’m curious as to what the turbines sound like. Is there some way WBUR can record the sound and play it on the air?

    • Eric Shanabrook
      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Thank you for sharing this! That is much quieter than the background.

        If you go down to Hull,you can stand right underneath the turbine near the high school. It is audible but very quiet. The wind is very often louder than the turbine.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

          It’s not the wind that’s audibly louder than the turbines in Hull, the audible bombardment Hull receives is from being directly under one of the main flight path routes into Boston Logan Int’l Airport.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Good point – the airplanes flying in and out of any airport are often the loudest thing in nearby towns. Maybe the folks in Falmouth have gotten so used to jets flying in and out of Otis AFB that they don’t hear them anymore?

            But, I know from personal experience that the wind is louder than the older Hull turbine when I was standing right at the base of the tower.

            Neil

          • Regula

            How many get sick from this constant rumble? I live under such a flight path myself and at the beginning I thought it was really loud. Over time it becomes a reassuring background rumble.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

            At this point, there are 41 officially acknowledged households experiencing some sort of illness believed to have been as a result of turbine operations.

          • Regula

            Check the turbine, if it is installed properly. Most turbines don’t make any noise, vibrations etc. more than the wind itself. These illnesses appear to be fear of loss of property value. If people would start to see the turbines for their beauty and sustainability, they would become desirable and increase the property values. I live close to a turbine, I never heard or felt anything. The traffic is much more of a nuisance, on ground and in the air. Planes are low here. The electricity work is next door: pollution with airplane exhaust, ozone and soot from the conventionally fired electricity work is way worse: both humans and animals get sick from the pollution. The wind turbine to the contrary has none of these drawbacks.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

            I’m glad you’ve acclimated. Not all are like you, nor should we expect personal sensitivities to be exactly alike. Logan AP has altered flight patterns (over Hull for example) termed “quiet hours* during night-time operations. Same is true in east boston. These modifications were due to noise complaints from residents. But, probably not you right?

          • Regula

            Logan changes flight approach and departure patterns periodically – no I never complained I wouldn’t even know where, to whom. But notice, yes there are complaints about the noise, but they didn’t take the airport down, did they? And that despite confirmed and repeated complaints that are way more substantiated than the noise of a turbine.

            Take that noisy airport down!

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

            The question needing explanation “why haven’t they taken down Logan air port.” Who can envision a modern society without municipal airports close to city centers? The economic benefits of Logan has been astronomically high. The benefits to the many trumped the concerns of the few. By comparison, what is the benefit of the 2 Falmouth turbines? If the turbines continue to operate with curtailment, at the end of the remaining 18 year contract obligations, the town will have lost $3.2 million. The turbines, with curtailment, eliminate an estimated 1660 metric tons of CO2 annually. That’s 0.00194% of the estimated annual CO2 emissions in the state. In this Falmouth case the cost of the turbines (affects on neighbors, taxpayers) trumps their very very questionable benefits.

          • Regula

            You certainly make it clear that it all turns around the buck, not those who presumably suffer from modern technology. For once in Falmouth it’s the rich who are inconvenienced and it creates a big stunk. Which community in the near future can afford not to produce its energy with renewable resources? Oil may not get scarce, but clean air, water, almost all of Cape Cod will disappear from increasing sea levels due to global warming, there won’t be any plants and animals anymore – so pick and choose: renewable energy and a livable world or the buck.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            There were no airplanes overhead when I was there.

            Neil

      • Regula

        The way this is filmed, it suggests that the turbine is quite noisy. I drive by the wind turbine in Everett almost every day. It is located about a half mile from my place. I never heard any sound driving or walking by it. When wind is strong, it may make a sound, but not really that much more than the wind itself. Meanwhile I love the sight of the turbine. To me it is a monument way more worth than all the towers, obelisks and statues which otherwise mark place.

  • John H

    The town could waive property taxes for people in the affected area. If that’s not good enough, maybe they could help them move. But $14m to dismantle the turbine… for that, the town could just buy all of them a nice houses somewhere nearby AND keep the turbine operational.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Samuel-Sitar/100001444731897 Samuel Sitar

      exactly. you should tell them (falmoth town meeting) that.

    • dust truck

      Yeah, except that never works because “home is a castle” and all that jazz. People never want to give up their home to eminent domain, EVEN WHEN the price is good.

  • Class No More

    When did anyone get the idea that fossil fuel is less sickening than wind? Bet some of these folks are getting free oil on the side…

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Excellent! Sanity prevails in Falmouth.

    Neil

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Abe-Drayton/100000557953007 Abe Drayton

    Good. “Wind Turbine Syndrome” is the result of people being told that they’re being made sick – it’s complete baloney.

    http://climatecrocks.com/2013/03/18/wind-turbine-syndrome-is-bullshit/

  • Regula

    Is there anything which doesn’t make at least some Americans sick? Are they getting headaches of the noise of waves too? Are they getting vertigo of skyscrapers, light towers or high mountains as well? Meanwhile, the turbines are the most beautiful landmark in most US towns, way more beautiful than the old obelisques.

    • heatherGirl

      I do not think there are turbines “in most US towns”.

      • Regula

        There is one in Everett, Ma. and one in Malden, Ma. I haven’t heard any complaints about them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

      I get sick when a member of the community (Ms. Amsler) becomes so obsessed with a national precedence that she would sacrifice her own neighbors health and welfare, and that of the greater community’s fiscal well being. Wind energy is good in the right location, but Agenda driven selfishness makes everyone sick.

      • Regula

        Some of us believe that the health issues with wind turbines are much much smaller than the health issues with fracking will be. Wind turbines don’t pollute. They can be located so they are not right in someone’s backyard. The turbine in Everett, is magnificent. I never heard any noise from it. It turns silently and is genuinely beautiful to look at and as a sculpture to mark the begin of the city.

        How many complain about headaches from cars, diesel trucks, ozone from electricity works? All of those pollutants are much more severe than the “noise” from wind turbines. The turbines are pretty high up. Unless there are high buildngs nearby where any sound reverberates, the sound will likely dissipate before it reaches down to the land.

  • crescentfang

    Eventually they will get taken down. Those “renewable energy certificates” are other people’s taxes being wasted and people will get tired of being taxed to pay for corrupt politicians that sell us out to every lobby looking to get rich the old fashioned way: by taxing the poor to benefit the rich.

    • Regula

      As to taxing the poor to benefit the rich: that applies to petroleum way more than to wind turbines.

      • crescentfang

        Nonsense, Even Cape Wind, which is in a location with much better winds, has to charge more than twice as much to the electric companies as other suppliers. That doesn’t count the cost of reserve capacity to feed the grid when the winds aren’t blowing. The increases in price for “green energy” are enormous compared with the taxes on gas. Besides, the taxes on gas go to building and maintaining roads. The extra cost for wind and solar energy is pure waste. The economy will never improve if we keep flushing capital resources down the drain.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fjohara Frank O’Hara

    The noise on wind turbines are very real. Pinnacle Wind Project (Mineral County, WV) has disturbed 26+ families. The noise is still present, despite the fact that civil action was taken. Edison Mission Energy settled with the families and created a gag order on future discussion. http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Green-Energy-Has-Residents-Seeing-Red-139138269.html

  • heatherGirl

    Isn’t this at all troubling to anyone? First, $14 million to tear down just two turbines? What if this was a wind farm with twenty five, fifty or even one hundred turbines?
    They think buying up the land around them is a solution? Again what if there were a much larger wind farm project spanning many acres of land? Someone is going to have to buy all the land around that wind farm also?
    How can anyone call all this affordable?

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Ask the folks who live in Hull how much their electric bills are. Once turbines are built, they produce power without burning any fuel – so they get less and less expensive over time. No smoke, no smokestacks, no pollution, no leaks, no radiation, no ash, no fuel, no explosions, no radiation, no poisons, no contaminated ground water, no waste – what’s not to like?

      Neil

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

        neil – in the right locations, wind energy/ turbines work. This isn’t the issue. In Falmouth, where they presently are, has become a single siting mistake. That’s the long and short of it.

        • Mark

          So the people near them are stressed, and the stress causes all the symtoms, all because ‘they just don’t like them!!

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

            or because the stresses are REAL

      • Chris Hart

        I think we should Get Maury Povich to Give Lie Detector Test to find out What the Meaning of REAL IS..this totally appears to be Political— Anti Alternative,Anti Obama, Anti Deval and totatally lacks COMMON SENSE……

    • Regula

      In the short run it isn’t, over time it is. If you take into account how many people get sick and die from environmental pollution from gasoline, ozone and soot from coal fired electricity plants, then you will see that wind turbines are really quite cost effective.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

        Regula – The Falmouth issue shouldn’t have to take into account all those other things you’ve listed. They do prove to be good general questions, however distract from, and have no bearing on the issue at hand. In Falmouth the turbines are anything but cost effective. Operating as they do for the next 18 yrs, the town MGR said would lose the town $3.2 million.

        • Regula

          It is possible that the turbine in Falmouth wasn’t installed properly, because wind turbines don’t really make any noise – it’s too far up. First it should have been checked if the noise is from the wind or from improperly balanced gear. Once that is cleared, the turbine can run day and night and will stop losing money. As to the higher price of renewable energy – yes, the price for the time being is higher because health problems from petrol, coal, nuclear leaks, fracking pollution of water and earthquakes, aren’t taken into account. If all those costs were factored into traditional energy, its price would be drastically much higher than renewable energy. With all the arguments given, it seems to me that Republicans get sick from wind turbines, whereas Democrats don’t, because Republicans have a large stake in the petrol industry, whereas Democrats hoped to do the same with renewables.

          The debate as to whether to take down that turbine should be a bit more honest as to what the real issues are, not who got a headache, insomnia and whatever other ills people attribute to the turbine. Most of these ills are not really diagnosable quite so well and there is no way of knowing if what these people say is actually true or if they use pseudo health issues to underpin the Republican agenda.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

            the vesta engineers gave it their thumbs up. And by the way, wind turbines do make noise. Each model has been tested and has been given a dBA signature rating (Like cars and the MPG). I, the falmouth town officials would disagree with your assertion that sleep disturbance, headaches, etc must be taken out of the equation. Those are the very reasons this whole tabulation started after all. Why do you distract with so many non-relevant issues … Republican agenda??? Give me a break…

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

        So you’re argument is that it’s OK to impose adverse conditions on one segment of the population because a greater extent of adverse conditions are imposed upon a great number of the population? That’s cold!

        • Regula

          In the US corporate profit is usually given the first priority and the people the last. The result is that now there are very few if any places left where there are no adverse conditions mixed in the bag. Pick and choose which adverse conditions you can live with. The people in Falmouth are predominantly affluent or they wouldn’t own a vacation house there, so they feel entitled to complain about every slight inconvenience. When did anybody make any changes for all those who get killed by Monsanto’s inventions? Or those who live under highway overpasses? They are the poor, so they don’t matter. The turbine just gives some rich kids a taste what it is like when you don’t matter. It’s the rich people’s own potion. Enjoy it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

            Is it too early to ask when you might overthrow our form of government? Sounds like you’re hung-up on disliking capitalism? It is what it is, but rights and protections are afforded equally, in the eyes of our constitution. More $ can and does allow more influence… the wind industry lobby vs. a band of neighbors in Falmouth… for example. You may consider re-examining your outrage

          • Regula

            The eyes of the US constitution and the eyes of the government are not the same eyes, if you haven’t noticed yet. Neo-liberalism as practiced by the US and capitalism are not the same. Yes, money is power. And those who have the money will use the power it gives them ruthlessly – the rich in Falmouth as much as the wind industry and the oil industry and any other industry who pays the government’s ease of living. Again, it’s your own potion: the supremacy of the buck, just that this time the rich of Falmouth are the underdog. What a shame if the rich get slighted!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

    The reporter, innocently or otherwise, MISS QUOTED me here. After enduring this 3 year battle, having headaches imposed upon me like a guinea rat, investigating as much as I have, it’s unfathomable that I would make such a statement believing no science exists supporting adverse health effects from wind turbines. There indeed are case studies supporting this premise. And even the Massachusetts state Expert Panel investigating literature on the subject, recommended to the MassDEP/DPH more study was necessary. AND to Abe ~ the report (as well as my documentation) indicates I was sick (feeling the symptoms) BEFORE visiting with neighbors or any knowledge of Wind Turbine Syndrome. Chronological order debunks the NOCEBO effect in my case anyway & independent experts agree more research is necessary

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Coincidences do happen, Mark.

      The most frequently reported problem was stress – and stress alone can come from many things, including a concern about some new thing like wind turbines. And stress alone can lead to almost all the other symptoms that people are reporting.

      There are a lot of things happening in this world that are very stressful, not the least of which is climate change that we humans are causing by burning fossil fuels. Did you see Chronicle last night, about the rising ocean level?

      Neil

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

        Understood. Yet, the volume and similar symptomatic issues suddenly (spring 2010) coming from neighbors was viewed by the Falmouth Health Board as urgently requiring further investigation. The state (DEP/DPH) was asked to aid in this task. They refused any assistance involving a comprehensive health survey of Falmouth. Strange, since that’s their job and the request had been made by the local board responsible to initiate such processes. It’s is crystal clear that public mitigation steps need to be taken against climate change.. this we can agree! Yet, not at a cost of selective harm upon those that share this same concern.

  • arthur123

    Get them down!
    World Health Organization says total safe distance from 400 plus foot turbines for negative impact is almost 3 miles. The closer you are the more the impacts from infra-sound (low herz) noise generation. Numerous , (squelched) legal settlements occur everywhere they go. Illegal taking , and these projects affect property vales, heath and peace of neighbors. They are also, from a cost benefit analysisi, near useless. It is the scam to generate green credits that keeps the subsidy money flowing into the owners pockets. It is not about energy production.

    It is a scam of epic proportion.
    There is never a developer who lives near any of them. They should move east 3000 feet of them and enjoy the “clean environment”.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      How is it that all the folks in the dozens of other locations around New England, and the hundreds and hundreds of wind farms all over the USA and the thousands of wind farms around the world do not have these problems?

      Are the folks in Texas and Oklahoma and Nebraska and Iowa and Montana and Colorado and California and Kansas and South Dakota and Maine, etc. – just tougher than some of the folks in Falmouth?

      Would you rather live next to a coal burning or a nuclear power plant?

      Neil

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

        The answer: because the siting of these turbines in the areas you mention have no where near the population density than does Falmouth, Scituate, Kingston, Fairhaven etc. It’s absolutely not about being tougher, it’s ABOUT PROPER PLACEMENT and SCALE relative adjacent land uses.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          The largest turbine installation in Massachusetts is in Florida & Monroe area, and I know people who are quite close to those turbines, and they are barely audible.

          There is no such thing as “wind turbine syndrome” – it is utterly junk, and an invention of those people who have a monied interest to keep us away from renewable energy. In all the many decades we have had wind farms, no one has ever proved otherwise.

          Neil

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

            I know people from Monroe and Florida that are severely impacted. I don’t know anything about wind turbine syndrome but I do know the expert panel has said that wind turbines too close to where people live, work play… will make them ill. By My monied interest, would you mean my interest being my right to defend and protect the health and welfare of my family? Then I agree, we do want to ‘keep farther away from the renewable energy’ source known as Wind 1. I agree with your last statement too. We, in fact, have had wind farms and no one has ever proved otherwise. But, I really don’t think this is a point of contention?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            I know people who live very near to those turbines and they are totally fine.

            The way that people like the Koch’s do this is they Astroturf an issue and they pay people to spread FUD (fear uncertainty and doubt) and this creates controversy where there is none.

            I’ll try to visit Falmouth and see and hear for myself. But, it is quite odd that this is coincident with the Cape Wind objections – while wind turbines have been all around various communities for many decades without problems.

            Where’s the proof of damage? What about a video of the offending Wind1 turbine?

            Neil

          • MyrddinWilt

            We have three turbines within a mile here and I have not heard a single complaint about any of them.

            Two of the three are situated in industrial zones and can’t be heard. The third is situated on a school and can just be heard if you are directly underneath.

            The complaints about wind are really pathetic. The idiot talking about a three mile radius obviously got hit on the head too often as a child. Three miles? Just how much energy does he think the turbine is absorbing?

            The wind itself is vastly more powerful than the turbine or it would not turn. It takes a heck of a wind to move the turbines fast enough to create any noticeable noise at which point the wind itself is a much bigger issue. What this comes down to is a foot stampy little tantrum by some folk who are likely being paid to make trouble by the oil interests.

            The Koch bros spend about $100 million a year trying to avoid carbon trading that would cost them money. They fund three big fake science ‘think tanks’ on K street. Would not cost very much to pay a few people to complain about headaches and other impossible to verify complaints. A hundred votes at a town meeting are easily bought.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dale.osborn.54 Dale Osborn

    I have been watching this awhile, but have’t seen a description of how far the turbines are from the occupied homes. In about 1999 I was asked by the MA Secretary of Environment to look at a small tubine installed at the state park on Cape Ann. It was grossly missited and after consulting with the manufacturer, I recommended removal and that story made the Wall Street Journal. I developed the berkshire Wind facility and the berkshire eagle has not received complaints since it began operations. Does anyone know the distance from the dwellings?

  • Rudy Robinson

    I haven’t been to Falmouth lately, but I’ve been near other large wind turbines and they don’t seem to make much audible noise. Still, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that these huge rotating masses could be generating some sort of low-frequency resonance that could affect living things.

    What I really find remarkable is the $14,000,000 casually mentioned as the cost of removal, and the lack of comment here about that figure. A quick look at the town of Falmouth website turned up a feasibility study from 2005 that projected the total cost of purchasing and installing the turbines to be about $2,800,000 apiece, split about evenly between buying and erecting them.

    If Falmouth does decide that running the turbines represents a health hazard, couldn’t they simply be turned off and locked in place? If they had to be physically removed, and using the construction cost as a guide, I would think that something like $3-$4 million would cover it, and even that could be substantially defrayed by selling a couple of late-model, low-mileage million-dollar turbines to some other town that wants them.

  • Lin Whitehead

    Falmouth is NOT the first town in America to consider taking down the turbines. Several have not only considered doing so but actually have made the request. As an example, the Brown County Board of Health, Green Bay Wisconsin, on January 10, 2012 requested emergency State aid for families suffering around industrial wind turbines; and supported Wisconsin Citizens Safe Wind Siting guidelines (PSC Ref#157326). The request was made by Audrey S. Murphy, BSN, Chairman of the Brown County Board of Health and Vice-Chairman, Jay J. Tibbetts, MD. The board’s statement is, “the Brown County Board of Health formally requests temporary emergency financial relocation assistance from the State of Wisconsin for those Brown County families that are suffering adverse health effects and undue hadships caused by irresponsible placement of industrial wind turbines around homes and property. The State of Wisconsin emergency financial assistance is requested until the conditions that have caused these undue hardships are studied and resolved, allowing these families to once again return to their homes and property,”

  • http://www.facebook.com/JaminSinclair Benj Sinlair

    Funny, Mark Cool is also very loud in his opposition to Cape Wind – could Audra Parker and the Kochs be lining his pockets to be so un-”Cool” ?
    http://windwisema.org/2012/06/21/capewindunderfire/

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

      Actually, my view on Cape Wind, when I was asked, was solidly based upon air traffic professional fact and knowledge. Wind turbines do result in deteriorated air traffic ‘radar’ performance, thereby increasing safety risks to the flying public around the cape and islands. A renewable energy solution is essential. However, The public should know ALL possible consequences concerning project implementation. I do wish I could have received a stipend from the Kochs, but… it’s simply my job to protect and warn the flying public.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Radar doesn’t work low to the horizon anyway. This is more FUD.

        Neil

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

          I don’t know what air traffic radar operation you’re familiar with but… you’re wrong! Framed in terms of 45-60 miles from the radar antenna. Outside of that range.. then yes..you’re correct.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            At ~12 miles out, about half the height of the wind turbines has dropped below the horizon. Planes do not fly any where near that low, and the FAA has cleared the Cape Wind project several times.

            This is more FUD.

            Neil

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

            Wrong again. Planes do fly on VFR routes at 500′ in the Cape and Islands. Radar 101 – radio waves bounce off objects in their path. The returning reflected wave energy is presented to the air traffic controller on his/her scope. Due to the huge spinning blades, the returning pulse is degraded, refracted. The result – false targets, ghost targets, target “ring around”, false weather-like clutter. These events occur due largely to the *movement* of the rotors, NOT because of the height of the tower. The FAA cleared CW based upon PROJECTED conditions that old analogue radar equipment could be replaced with digitized equipment and thereby eliminating the above mentioned problems. The update is partially complete. Digitizing has made a positive difference (my personal opinion). Instead of my scope being filled with 30 false targets, now I only have to contend with 10. The problem remains, the FAA is aware but the agency is challenged by higher authority and a driven wind energy agenda. CW, however, is not the point at issue. But I hope I’ve provided you a better sense of understanding Radar dynamics and wind turbines.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            What does the FAA say?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

            the FAA says – the concerns should be corrected by the digitalization, (that was the premise for their approval). So far front line controllers (myself and others in the Cape Approach facility) have provided managers the same feedback shared with you. As mentioned, the update is only partially complete (so far it’s been a digitized ‘patch’ on the 30 year old ASR-8. If and when the new ASR-11 Radar System is installed, that may further resolve problems. In other words, the FAA is betting on a hunch it’ll work. It may.. or it may not. I’m thinking it will (and hoping it will if the project is to continue.. otherwise you’ll see some pissed off controllers and jeopardized flying public)….

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Can anyone list the specific medical issues that are caused by wind turbines – and how it is that turbines are supposedly causing them, please?

    Because I very much doubt that there are any provable medical issues, and I doubt that wind turbines are doing something to cause health problems.

    And *stress* is not something you can pinpoint to any one cause. If you are stressed out by wind turbines – why is that if they can’t actually cause you harm? In other words, you may well have stress, but it comes from the fact that you *think* that the wind turbines are harming you.

    It’s all in your head, methinks.

    Neil

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

      ‘specific medical issue’ – fatigue
      ‘how caused’ – prolonged noise disturbance during recuperative sleep
      *… it’s not brain surgery… look at the state’s expert panel report

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Noise disturbance? What is the sound pressure level? How does that compare with a highway, or the ocean surf?

        Neil

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

          ‘Noise disturbance’ – inadequately controlled noise adversely affecting people’s health, safety and welfare, property values and the environment. ‘Sound pressure level’ – the noise control criteria utilizing decibel-based standards (dBA) by the MassDEP found the night testing of Wind1 (only turbine tested) to be in violation. Motor vehicle noise standards have their own guidelines. I don’t actually know how they compare, but it wouldn’t be germane in the address of wind turbine noise. Ocean surf noise? How would one control this noise source?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            A highway is much louder than any wind turbine in my experience MUCH louder, and the ocean surf is also louder. Highways have major health effects due to pollution and air quality, and lighting pollution from street lights has known effects.

            Until shown otherwise, this wind turbine issue seems to be psychosomatic, which is also a known problem.

            Neil

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

            Your highway noise experience might be right.. for you. Highway noise, as mentioned earlier, has it’s own noise violation limits. And, I’m not quite clear on your desire to limit ocean surf??? NEXT – Let me show you otherwise. I believe my particular symptom is from inaudible ILFN (infrasound/low frequency noise). I’m not at all bothered by the audible noises experienced by my wife and other neighbors. The effects of ILFN have been known since 1985, when they did a survey on the effects of low-level infrasound from heating/ventilation systems on office workers (Sick Building Syndrome). The symptoms as a result of the effects that ILFN has on the central nervous system, are clearly defined. My experiences fit so says my family doctor. And thes experiences began, coincidentally, immediately after Wind 1 began operating. Which, as it was revealed in my interviewed but not mentioned in the article, I was not aware of it operating. I suffered terrible headaches, went to the doctor, was prescribed and took meds and head aches continued. AND IT WAS ONLY THEN, after trying to mitigate my head aches (like most all folks would do), I became aware the turbine was in operation (I don’t see the turbine from my property). The psychosomatic explanation is only a mere 28 years behind what proper scientists in the field of occupational medicine know today. The psychosomatic explanation, for me anyway, is hogwash. Irrational claims can make a lot of sense to those without a ‘dog in the fight’ AND when wind industry money is involved.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649330277 Mark J Cool

      Sleep disturbance affects the occurrence of cardiovascular disease…

      Sleep duration predicts cardiovascular outcomes:a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies – European Heart Journal
      doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehr007
      That’s a fact, as clear as 1 + 1 = 2. All the rest is public denial!

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    This video cuts through the bull puckey on so-called “wind turbine syndrome”:

    http://vimeo.com/63965931#

    http://climatecrocks.com/2013/05/06/wind-turbine-noise-no-biggie-for-germans-why/

    Neil

  • paulagoldman20

    Absurd! European countries have had wind turbines for years, without complaints or problems. It sounds to me like another NIMBY (not in my back yard) issue.
    Continue with the wind turbines and the whiners will get used to them.

  • http://www.buy-now.ca/ FMMachold

    In Europe, no country places turbines close to habitation or farm operations or industrial installations; in other words, even in the absence of rules for setbacks, they have wisely set them back and away from any “receptor” potentially susceptible to their ill effects.

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