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Falmouth Votes To Keep Turbines

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Voters in Falmouth on Cape Cod decided Tuesday to keep the town's two wind turbines, despite complaints about noise and health problems.

Voters were asked to decide on a plan to remove the two, 400-foot-tall turbines. They voted against the plan by a 2-1 margin, according to the Cape Cod Times. The vote was 6,001 against removal and 2,940 in favor of the plan, the newspaper said.

Both turbines are located at the town's wastewater treatment facility. The first turbine began running in 2010.

Since the turbines' installation, about 40 households in the neighborhood have complained about headaches, vertigo, sleep interruption and other problems.

After the initial complaints, the town tried curtailing the operation during extremely strong winds and also tried shutting them off at night. But some residents persisted in a campaign to take them down.

Proponents said support for the turbines and the renewable energy and revenues they produce is silent but strong.

Wind Wise-Massachusetts, which opposed the turbines, said the group was disappointed, but said the vote drew attention to "the negative impact of wind turbines on the lives of families living near them."

Falmouth was among the first towns in Massachusetts to install large turbines so close to homes.

Residents of Fairhaven and Kingston have also complained about noise from turbines.

Falmouth is believed to be the first community in the country to vote on whether to remove existing turbines because of noise complaints. Renewable energy advocates had said a successful vote to remove the turbines would set a terrible precedent.

This program aired on May 22, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.