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Wind Turbine Mediation David and Goliath 2013

Wind Turbine Mediation David and Goliath

What options are left for the Wind Turbine Options Analysis Process in Falmouth ?  

The town has no agreements about property rights with the abutters of the turbines or any agreements based on the advice of qualified legal counsel. The residents living near the turbines lost their quality of life three years ago over noise issues. The mediators have to look at the government’s power to take private property for public purposes.

The wind industry has long known about wind turbines noise. The WTG, wind turbine generator, have direct physiological impacts like rapid heart beat, nausea and blurred vision caused by the ultra-low-frequency sound and vibrations from the turbines. The CEO of the largest wind company in the world acknowledges low frequency noise and setbacks to residential homes.

Thousands of noise complaints and lawsuits about turbine noise and vibrations have cropped up in Fairhaven, Scituate and Kingston. Our elected officials and mediators need to listen to the thousands of complaints.

The residential home owners face large legal expenses to protect their property rights. The State of Massachusetts on the other had  has a renewable energy goal of 2000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020. The state created several semi- quasi state agencies to promote renewable energy projects within the state. These well oiled agencies provide millions of dollars in resources to site commercial wind projects. In fact one semi-quasi agency sold the Town of Falmouth a turbine.

The Falmouth home owners only want the American Dream. The right to their health and home ownership which they achieved through hard work.

The Town of Falmouth looks to the short term financial benefit of commercial wind. The State of Massachusetts has renewable energy mandates by 2020 and semi quasi state agencies whose goal is dedicated to accelerating the success of megawatt commercial wind turbines .

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Blowin Smoke January 07, 2013 at 12:22 PM
Repetition doesn't add credibility to Carson's claims that wind turbines cause harm. There is no scientific or medical basis for his allegations. Many of the folks who live nearest to Falmouth's turbines have no complaint, but we rarely hear from them. Instead we hear the same wild accusations, promoted by a small handful, over and over. Here's what a professor of public health wrote - "Panics about wind farms are the latest example of technophobia, although those convinced that wifi emits death-rays have recently joined the queue.  I’ve been closely following the claims that wind turbines cause illness for about two years. Many aspects of this unfolding and increasingly hysterical saga point to large psychogenic factors. ". http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/wind-turbine-syndrome-mass-hysteria-21st-century
Bill Carson January 07, 2013 at 12:37 PM
You be the judge. Massachusetts has thousands of noise complaints over commercial wind turbines. Thousands of complaints are being heard by the media. The state is stalling while the complaints and court actions continue to mount with no end in sight. The Falmouth mediation has gone on for 22 meetings and eight months with more talks scheduled.This is longer than it took to resolve the peace negotiations at the end of the Korean War at the Panmunjom Peace Talks in 1953. A town official appointed by the Select Board was recently quoted in the newspaper his thoughts of the abutters when the turbine operated out of control. The town claims the turbine operated out of control breaking a promise to the turbine abutters Four towns ,Falmouth, Fairhaven, Scituate, and Kingston have one thing in common the towns are stalling the people making noise complaints. Fairhaven has 350 noise complaints from 50 families.
Bill Carson January 07, 2013 at 01:20 PM
Memo to CBI from Mass Clean Energy Center: July 10, 2012 To: Falmouth Wind Turbine Options Process -From: Nils Bolgen Re: Falmouth Wind Project ‐ Wind Turbine Sale and REC Contract Summary Described here are the parties, agreements and key terms associated with (I) purchase of two Vestas V82 wind turbines by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC – then administrator of the Mass. Renewable Energy Trust Fund), (II) sale by MTC of one turbine for the Town of Falmouth wind project (becoming Wind 1) and (III) a separate MTC agreement to purchase RECs from Wind 1 (since assigned to MassCEC when it assumed management of the Trust Fund in January 2010). x:\commonwealth wind\5 management\08 special projects\falmouth board of selectmen\correspondence\memo 2012‐0710 falmouth wind turbine sale and rec contract summary.docx http://www.cbuilding.org/sites/cbi.drupalconnect.com/files/Memo%202012-0710%20Falmouth%20Wind%20Turbine%20Sale%20and%20REC%20Contract%20Summary.pdf
David Moriarty January 07, 2013 at 03:00 PM
THIS IS GOVERNOR DEVAL PATRICKS PROBLEM AND HE NEEDS TO MAN UP AND STOP HIDDING BEHIND ALL THE FAILED TRUMPED UP STATE AGENCIES . The department of enviroment and energy REMEBER HE IS THE ONE WHO INVENTED THESE FAILED AGENCIES aka (MTC) WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THAT ONE? THE SAME THING WILL HAPPEN TO THE CEC HE WILL FIRE MR, SULLIVAN JUST LIKE HE DID WITH MR. BOWLES AND NEXT YEAR IT WILL HAVE A NEW NAME AND DIRECTOR AND THE TAX PAYERS WILL BE ON THE HOOK PAYING FOR THIS FIASCO TOO. WAKE UP PEOPLE . IF HE THINKS HE IS GOING TO WASHINGTON AND LEAVING FALMOUTH HOLDING THE BAG HES GOT ANOTHER THING COMING HIS WIND FANTASY IS ALMOST OVER. NOW MAN UP GOV YOU LOOK RIDICULOUS DON'T YOU THINK IT'S ABOUT TIME WE STARTED PROTECTING HARD WORKING FAMILIES OF THE COMMONWEALTH? HOW MANY MORE GOVERNOR HOW MANY MORE CHILDREN MUST BE SACIFICED ,HOW MANY MORE FAMILIES ARE YOU GOING TO KICK OUT INTO THE STREETS ? IT IS TIME FOR THE GOV TO COME IN FROM THE COLD AND START ACTING LIKE A COMPASSIONATE HUMAN BEING .
Bill Carson January 07, 2013 at 05:49 PM
How about a poll on the CBI ? It looks more like they help stakeholders install wind turbine than help local residents ? I"d like to see a case where they resolved set back issues to turbines and residents anywhere in the world. The Consensus Building Institute (CBI), the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, and Raab Associates, Ltd. offer Facilitating Wind Energy Siting to state and local government officials, community members, wind developers, and other stakeholders. This three-day workshop focuses on developing the capacity to collaborate effectively on wind development policy, facility siting, and related is­sues including visual impacts, noise, credible data, local benefits and more. http://cbuilding.org/courses/facilitating-wind-energy-siting
David Kent January 08, 2013 at 11:15 PM
I suppose that it's tough for politicians to admit their mistakes, especially if they're running for reelection. But Deval Patrick has run his last election for Governor. As Mssrs. Carson and Moriarty say, it's time for Deval to bite the bullet and acknowledge that putting industrial-sized turbines in suburban neighborhoods has failed. I see no reason to question the original motives of Patrick and his state agencies that tried to install turbines throughout the Bay State in an effort to reach a laudable renewable energy goal. I have also seen no evidence that Falmouth Town officials acted in anything other than good faith when they installed the turbines. I believe that all of these people were working for the common good. I also believe that experience has proven them wrong: People ARE suffering. Life won’t end if the State announces that its land-based turbine plans have failed. Also, the State budget will survive if State funds are allocated to make whole the towns affected by flawed state policy. These towns are few. It is said: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”. In other words, we shouldn’t be timid in advancing toward the future. But if we’re not timid, we’re going to fail from time to time. And when that happens, we (here the State) should face facts, make restitution, and move on.
Bill Carson January 09, 2013 at 12:02 AM
Dave here's the deal in a nut shell .The state decided to get 2000 megawatts of renewable power by 2020. The state created semi quasi state agencies (Technology Collaborative, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center). People were appointed to six figure jobs at these agencies .Studies were turned out and produced like comic books so that local towns would support renewable energy aka commercial wind .The reports only contain positive information. The towns that received the reports believed the reports. Millions and millions of taxpayer funds have been spent in the last ten years .The state won't admit the mistake of placing turbines too close. I read one turbine siting report out by the MTC that was 14 pages long .There was a mistake on at least every page and some pages had up to three major flaws .I confronted a MTC spokesperson at apublic meeting and the answer was that they paid the engineering students at U Mass 5 thousand to build the report and it wasn't their fault - The town never installed the turbine ! These studies always start out with small 660KW turbines and after the town accepts the MTC the MTC talks the towns into ramping up to 1.5 Turbines. This is true time and time -town and town - When and if the AG looks into all this mess I'll be there to help point out how each report was changed to match each town. The MTC was the state's economic development agency for renewable energy . They didn't care about residential property rights !
David Kent January 09, 2013 at 12:51 AM
Bill, What other towns were shifted up fro 660 Kw to 1.5 Mw?
Bill Carson January 09, 2013 at 01:15 AM
Many towns on the SouthCoast around the New Bedford area. The MTC had a game plan to go into the community quick with positive reports to site wind turbines. They would convince the local select people with greed how much money they could make. The plans would show a Veatas V 47 for example. Here's an example of what happened at a public meeting .In one report by the MTC it said IBA ? So if you read the report you wonder what does it mean . It means Important Bird Area with a question mark after it . Now I started to look for what was not in the reports not what was in the reports . I found that a commercial wind turbine was going to be sited one half mile from Ram Island in Mattapoisett. Ram Island is the chief nesting area of all the Roseate Terns in North America . Keep in mind the MTC report only said IBA ? If you go town by town since 2005 you'll see the MTC reports changed from town to town to fit the turbines .There was no boiler plate form to install the turbines.. I think in the very near future people will start pointing fingers just like the Big Dig . Check out convicted Massachusetts House Speaker Sal Dimasi who met with wind turbine contractors and former state Rep. Mark Howland, owner of a Freetown-based wind turbine company that was shut down for misleading consumers It goes forward from 2005 on in state government
Blowin Smoke January 09, 2013 at 03:39 AM
David, the notion that there was some surprise switch from 660kW to a larger turbine is (like many aspects of the complaints) complete fiction. Falmouth's feasibility study from Nov 2005 considered wind turbines up to 2.5 MW. That report is still on the Town's web page at: http://www.falmouthmass.us/energy/falmouth%20feasibility%20study_111505.pdf In section 2.0, the report recommends a 1.5 MW turbine with 80m hub height, which is almost identical to what was installed five years later, after being approved in SEVEN town meeting votes. (and about Carson's nonsense on "important bird areas"... Every large turbine location must be approved by US Fish & Wildlife, a federal agency, so the notion of state-level misbehavior regarding birds is yet another fiction)
Bill Carson January 09, 2013 at 04:13 AM
"Planning for the first municipally owned turbine in the state began in Falmouth roughly seven years ago as a recommendation by the Falmouth Energy Committee. Early plans called for a 660-kilowatt turbine to be sited at the treatment facility, but that size increased to 1.65-megawatt in the fall of 2006 after Orleans shelved its plans to install two Vestas turbines in that Lower Cape town. That made the Orleans’ turbines, which had already been ordered, available to Falmouth." By: Christopher Kazarian Published: 05/14/10 http://www.capenews.net/communities/falmouth/news/383
Bill Carson January 09, 2013 at 04:22 AM
The report for Mattapoisett had a section that asked: are there any areas designated by the Audubon Society as Important Bird Areas (IBA)? The report said NO. The fact is that Ram Island in Mattapoisett is the chief nesting area of all the Roseate Terns in North America. The island is less than 3/4 of a mile from the proposed wind turbine site on the town owned land.Mattapoisett borders Buzzards Bay. The state at the time was also considering the Massachusetts Oceans Act. Wind turbine contractors were looking to build some 120 wind turbines in Buzzards Bay and understood that any mention of Ram Island and the Roseate Terns would have quickly ended the wind ocean turbine project. Disgraced and convicted Massachusetts House Speaker Sal Dimasi met with wind turbine contractors on Beacon Hill on Oct 18.2007 and then on November 15, 2007, minutes before the gavel fell a final time and the Oceans Act bill was sent to the Senate, paper work was slipped in an 11-page single-spaced amendment, one paragraph of which allowed for wind turbines on Buzzards Bay. http://saveourseashore.org/?p=1681
mark cool January 09, 2013 at 12:17 PM
TIMELINE IN QUESTION Nov. 2005 - Kema, Inc. & Ecology & Environment, Inc. - Feasibility Study for 1 turbine  Feb 26 2007 - Energy Committee proposed a 1.5MW wind turbine at the Falmouth Wastewater Treatment Facility and Board of Selectmen unanimously approved the notice of intent to proceed.  April 2007 - Special Town Meeting Article # 12 - Unanimous approval to authorize Board of Selectmen to petition General Court to authorize Town of Falmouth to install, finance and operate wind energy facilities at Wastewater Treatment Facility. TRANSITION FROM 660 to 1.5 HERE (Eng Comm. eying MTC's 1.65MW)   Nov. 2007 - Town Meeting Article # 14 - 2/3 majority approval to appropriate funds; Authorize borrowing of $4,000,000.  Nov 29 2007 - Governor approves act to authorize the Town of Falmouth to install, finance and operate wind facilities (Attachment B, Chapter 200 of the Acts of 2007)  Apr 29 2008 - Letter to Senator Therese Murray requesting assistance in working with the Mass Technology Collaborative to release one of its Vestas 1.65 MW turbines to the Town of Falmouth.  April 2008 - Fisheries and Wildlife permit completed  Spring 2008 - Mass Historical permit completed  July 2 2008 - Governor Patrick signs Green Communities Act allowing net metering  Nov. 2008 - Town Meeting Article # 16 - Unanimous approval to appropriate and/or borrow additional $992,000 for the installation of a wind energy facility at Wastewater Treatment Facility 
mark cool January 09, 2013 at 12:28 PM
it wasn't so much a surprise switch from a 660kW (community size) to an industrial turbine, rather a switch having significant & enormous impact in terms of the difference in scale. A community sized turbine may or might still be viable at the WWTF iF the initial intent were returned (only to energize the WWTF). But the bigger turbine was pitched to Selectmen/town meeting as being a money maker, in addition to energizing the WWTF. The intent was good. I even bought it. BUT, NO ONE asked questions about the extent of increased impact with the jump to community sized to industrial. OR IF they did... concerns were dismissed. It's all been such a shame (on many levels) NOW is the time to make it right.
Bill Carson January 09, 2013 at 01:45 PM
June 17,2009 Massachusetts DCR Commissioner Rick Sullivan, DOER Commissioner Philip Giudice and members of panel hosted a wind turbine listening session held at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. MMA is located at 101 Academy Drive, Buzzards Bay, MA 02532 next to the Town of Falmouth. The 2009 meeting was held to solicit comments from the public about wind turbine siting. Three public comments warned about setbacks from residential homes.The state of Massachusetts officials and politicians were well aware of the dangers of siting a commercial wind turbine in residential areas prior to the 2010 Falmouth installation. Since the installation of commercial wind turbines in Falmouth these remarks warning against poor siting have been removed from the state website beause the remarks warned against poor siting in residential areas Comment # 1 - 2009 remarks http://www.mass.gov/Eoeea/docs/doer/renewables/wind/Public%20Comments_Listening%20Session%201_Bridget%20Earle.pdf Comment # 2 - 2009 remarks http://www.mass.gov/Eoeea/docs/doer/renewables/wind/Public%20Comments_Wind%20On%20State%20Owned%20Lands_Listening%20Session%201_Frank%20Haggerty%20%20Joe%20DeLeo.pdf Comment # 3 -2009 remarks http://www.mass.gov/Eoeea/docs/doer/renewables/wind/Public%20Comments_Listening%20Session%202_Mackenzie%20Waggaman.pdf
mark cool January 09, 2013 at 01:57 PM
Bill - Since these link only provide error messages... do you know what these public comments warned of?
Bill Carson January 09, 2013 at 02:12 PM
The public comments were related to the Wind Energy Siting Reform Act. This act was defeated . The act more or less gave very liberal rules to site commercial wind turbines. The public testimony/ comments was on previous poor attempts around the New Bedford area towns to site commercial wind turbines in residential neighborhoods. The testimony talks about siting commercial wind turbines under 900 feet from homes in Massachusetts Technology Colaborative wind reports and showed how poorly the reports were put together . The testimony points out in one 14 page report delivered to one town that the report had a mistake on every page and some pages there were up to three major mistakes . The MTC spokesman ( you know who he is) told the meeting that they paid UMass engineering students 5 thousand to build the report and it wasn't their fault . The comments warned of poor siting of commercial wind to residential homes ! My thought are these URLS and public testimony were deleted because the Vestas V82 wind turbines sited in Falmouth had been proposed in the same areas around New Bedford and the comments needed to be removed after the tradgedy and political embarrassment of the Falmouth wind turbine. The comments came from people who had already gone through a battle in 2005-2006 against placing the two Vestas V 82 turbines that went to Falmouth The comments
Bill Carson January 12, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Massachusetts study health issues with wind turbines : Brown County Board of Health , Wisconsin based on a Massachusetts wind report determines commercial wind turbines cause health problems : The Brown County Board of Health issued a resolution stating that wind turbines cause negative health effects o Studies cited by the Massachusetts Study and by Senator Lasee contain evidence that wind turbines cause negative health effects o With the PSC in possession of these studies (nearly a 12 inch stack total), they are aware that there is peer-reviewed information stating that wind turbines cause negative health effects o With Wisconsin citizens feeling negative health effects by wind turbines, PSC 128 is not compliant with state law and the PSC should promulgate an emergency rule to protect the health and safety of the citizenry. http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen01/Massachusetts%20Wind%20Turbine%20Health%20Impact%20Study%20Talking%20Points.pdf
Blowin Smoke January 14, 2013 at 01:30 AM
"The junk science of wind turbine syndrome" Climate Spectator, 11/9/12 http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/junk-science-wind-turbine-syndrome
Bill Carson January 14, 2013 at 01:54 AM
The horse is out of the barn.The liberal news media can't ignore the complaints any longer or they'll look foolish .The tide has turned on the wind turbine bunco scheme. Negotiations are going on between the international wind turbine company that sold the turbines to Falmouth. The are working to "curtail the operation of the turbines". The Massachusetts panel that looked into the Falmouth wind turbine noise merely reviewed literature and public media sources and met only three times. Two of the members are extreme pro-wind advocates: One of them oversaw the first utility scale wind turbine and the largest wind turbine constructed in Massachusetts Another member of the board has won several awards from American Wind Association and U.S. Department of Energy. Five of the panel members “did not have any direct experience with wind turbines.” While the other members had backgrounds in epidemiology, toxicology , neurology, and sleep medicine, they had no past direct experience with wind turbines
Bill Carson January 14, 2013 at 02:52 AM
There are four court actions this week between Scituate and Dennis . How much longer before the court system gets tied up with thousands of complaints - Class action will be demanded by the courts !

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