Letter: Time to wake up when it comes to wind turbines

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letters_flatTo the editor,

It’s time for the residents of Connecticut, elected town officials, the Council of Small Towns, and regional Councils of Government to wake up. On Tuesday, May 28 the state legislative Regulations Review Committee will address the resubmitted industrial wind turbine regulations as modified by the state Siting Council.

When it comes to the giant noisemakers, only one thing really matters and that is the setback, or distance from the turbine to a neighboring property line. Yet, in its initial submission to the committee, the Siting Council chose to ignore the evidence submitted by residents from both Prospect and Colebrook, where one wind project was defeated and the other approved. At a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars, groups from both towns presented evidence that noise impacts lead to a degradation of the quality of life for neighbors living in close proximity to industrial sized turbines. Yet now the Siting Council has modified its original and ridiculously proposed “1.1 times the height” setback standard (550 feet) to 1.5 times the height or 750 feet from a residential home.

The Siting Council ignores not only local input but global as well. In the past five years both the World Health Organization and the Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council in separate research projects came to the same conclusion, that these projects should never be sited less than a half-mile or 2,640 feet from a residential area. If you want evidence to back up these two renowned scientific bodies, simply take a two hour ride to Falmouth, Mass. where the town leaders are about to turn off two industrial turbines that have caused chaos and led to health issues for far too many residents to mention. These folks were witnesses in Prospect’s fight against proposed turbines, so you can take it from me that their issues were real. Just as real as the man who flew in from Wisconsin to tell the same story to the Siting Council.

After 35 years of wind energy development in the U.S. and England, which represents one of the windiest spots on the planet, the energy generated from wind only accounts for about 3% of electricity. Take away the generous government investments and tax breaks and you have an industry that can’t stand on its own. It’s time to protect your homes. Call your state legislators now. Nobody wants a 500-foot tall wind turbine within a half-mile of their home.

Timothy C. Reilly

Former President of Save Prospect Corp.

Prospect

1 COMMENT

  1. I would refer you to pay attention to what is happening in Massachusetts so that you avoid the costly mistakes made by communities that have agreed to wind projects only to have them blow up in their faces due to very un-protective setbacks.

    Falmouth – 3 years of neighbor complaints about a variety of health impacts. Their town owned turbines trespass on the private property of those residents living adjacent to the project. 1 family abandoned their home in order to heal from the impacts to their health. The Mass DEP found a violation with Mass Noise reg at a distance of 1,300 feet (1.65 MW turbine). The selectmen have decided the best option for the town is to take down their turbines. Voters just last week refused to over-ride prop 2 1/2 to spend the money to do so. Our Governor is not reacting to requests by town officials to help finance the removal…the state pushed these boondoggles on our towns but is now leaving towns holding the financial bag…all so they do not have to admit to the lunacy of the push wind prior to understanding impacts.
    Fairhaven, Ma – The DEP issued a long awaited test report that proves that the hundreds of complaints in that town are valid. The turbines are not in compliance with Mass Noise regulations. Testing was done at between 1,000 and 2,000 feet. The DEP, much like agencies at the federal level (think IRS) is not ordering a shut down because the Mass DEP at their highest levels is too politically invested in the Governors wind platform. The Mass DEP is not protecting public health from the noise pollution that wind turbines DO create up until certain distances. Well in excess of 3,000 feet!
    Kingston, Ma – turbines began operating just over 1 year ago and complaints were immediate. The DEP has stonewalled testing. BUT a group of residents paid an independent testing firm who released their results this week. 3 Privately owened turbines are way out of compliance with Mass Noise regs and the other turbine owner has just pulled out of cooperating with testing of his 2MW turbine that is sited just 600 feet to homes! Residents have been suffering from sleep deprivation for over 1 year, young children are going to school having no healthy sleep for days on end at a time. Parents and pets are stressed yet our state agencies are not wanting to tell the emperor he has no clothes!
    Scituate, Ma – Resident complaints of health issues are occurring for those that live up to and over 3,000 feet from their single turbine. The acoustical testing by the turbine owner refuses to include low frequency testing.

    It is a fact that larger turbines emit higher levels of low frequency sound pressures, in the state of Ma our DEP admits it does not regulate this source of pollution and admits that the testing of turbines needs to be revised since they are a unique noise source in our communities given the impulsive type of noise and the higher low frequency emissions YET, FOR POLITICAL REASONS NO ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN TO PROTECT THE RESIDENTS…

    Mr. Reilly has it exactly right! Take Heed Connecticut…energy efficiency measures and conservation along with more benign renewable sources are the way to go…the Massachusetts energy policy is a boondoggle and has degraded the lives and properties on thousands of Mass residents. Collateral Damage should not be part of our energy plan!