My letter to the Falmouth Board of Selectmen:
Can we agree that it’s reasonable a noise policy should protect the public. Further, a policy’s specific address of night-time noise should protect the public’s normal sleep period. Apparently, with present considerations being given to save Wind Turbine mistake money, such practical standards don't easily translate to politics.
Falmouth’s Board of Selectmen (BoS) are considering reductions to current wind turbine non-operational time periods. Policy making in the local political process is often only partly scientifically based, due largely to fiduciary responsibility pressures. Yet, axioms of health quality, above those of politics, should be the pillars that hold up good community policy action.
In the context of my message (to Selectmen), science and medicine agree, adequate sleep is important for human functioning. The rule of thumb is that a fixed period of 8 hours is the minimal duration for night-time protection.
Falmouth’s Board of Health has affirmed that sleep disturbance complaints from town turbines, after the 12 hour on/off protocol implementation, have nearly been eliminated.
That statistic alone, (given no resources to comprehensively investigate) makes for a clear and compelling argument that Falmouth’s wind turbines do negatively impact the neighbors ability to sleep if turbines operate during normal night-time sleep periods.
My questions to the BoS:
1. Wouldn’t it be prudent to assume that evidenced sleep disturbance (Public Hearing testimonials at the Board of Health May 24, 2012 & the town’s wind turbine noise complaint log) will again be expected if a turbine operation plan is adopted having anything less than the standard 8 hour sleep period?
2. Wouldn’t it be prudent to assume the BoS should take exception, on behalf of citizens, as well as basic health principle, with any such political plan or policy?
3. Wouldn't it be prudent that the Board of Selectmen uphold the principles of the opening line of it’s own mission statement – “To provide strong community leadership to ensure a high quality of life…”?
4. Wouldn't it be prudent that the Board of Selectmen should affirm deficit avoidance, due to a mistake, cannot (will not) be at the expense of those citizens already having been robbed of sleep?
Simple questions for community leaders.
Thanks in advance for your reply.
Cordially - M.C.