Turbine Shut Down Order Instantly Restores Victims’ Health: Neighbours Rejoice at 1st Decent Night’s Sleep in Years

falmouth turbines

Falmouth’s pair of insidious health destroyers.

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Falmouth wind turbine to be shut down
Cape Cod Times
Sean F. Driscoll
28 September 2015

FALMOUTH — One of the town’s twin wind turbines will be shut down after the Board of Selectmen voted Monday night to comply with a recent order to temporarily stop its operation.

During a closed-door meeting, the board voted to appeal the Sept. 17 cease-and-desist order issued by the Zoning Board of Appeals while also voting to comply with that order in the meantime, according to a news release sent shortly before 9 p.m. by Town Manager Julian Suso. The ZBA had ordered Wind 1, one of the two turbines, shut down while the town seeks a special permit that would allow it to continue to run.

The action caught opponents of the turbines by surprise. Selectmen were scheduled to meet both Monday and Tuesday in executive session to discuss appealing the ZBA ruling; town officials had previously indicated that the turbines would continue to run during the appeal process.

“I’m surprised they’re going to shut it off. I’m happy they are,” said Todd Drummey, one of several neighbors who has fought the turbines since they were first installed in 2009.

Attorney Christopher Senie, along with attorney J. Alexander Watt, had filed for an independent cease-and-desist order before Barnstable Superior Court Judge Robert Rufo after town officials announced Wind 1 would run despite the ZBA order. Monday night, Senie, who has represented Drummey in several lawsuits against the town regarding the turbines, said the order was valid and he was pleased the town decided to follow it.

“I think it’s the right thing to do and I’m glad they’re doing it,” he said.

The town’s twin, 397-foot-tall turbines were erected at the wastewater treatment plant on Blacksmith Shop Road in 2009 and have been a source of controversy ever since. Neighbors have complained about health effects from their operation and have used a number of avenues to try to shut them down.

This year, the scales have tipped firmly in the neighbors’ favor. In February, the Massachusetts Court of Appeals ruled that Wind 1 was constructed without proper zoning approval. The state’s Supreme Judicial Court later declined to review the case, forcing the town to apply for a special permit for a turbine it’s been running for years.

Until the zoning process ends, which could take months, neighbors wanted Wind 1 turned off. Rufo initially declined to order the turbine shut down, but the ZBA voted 4-1 on Sept. 17 to issue a cease-and-desist order, overruling Zoning Enforcement Officer Eladio Gore’s decision not to stop the turbine’s operation. The town has until Oct. 13 to file its appeal of the ZBA ruling in court.

Senie said Monday he was unsure if the cease-and-desist request filed with Rufo would still be necessary. It is scheduled for a hearing at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Before the Board of Selectmen met in executive session Monday, it met briefly in public and voted 5-0 to hold a special town meeting Nov. 10, the day after the annual meeting, to consider articles related to the turbines. The board voted to keep the warrant open for 24 hours, or until shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday. That’s a narrow window for any citizen’s petition articles, which require 100 signatures from registered voters, but the board will submit two articles prepared by Town Manager Julian Suso related to the turbines, Chairman Doug Jones said.

One article will concern the town’s turbine bylaw, and the other will deal with the loss of revenue stemming from the shut down of one or both turbines, Jones said. The specifics of each article, however, won’t be revealed until Tuesday, when the board meets again to close and approve the warrant.

Tuesday’s meeting will be held at Falmouth Public Library, 300 Main St., but Jones said the town clerk’s office will remain open until the warrant is closed to accept any petition articles that might be submitted.

The town’s twin turbines were erected at the wastewater treatment plant in 2009 and have been a source of controversy ever since. Neighbors have complained about health effects and have used a number of avenues to try to shut them down.
Cape Cod Times

sleeping

Within days, the completely predictable results of an entirely unethical human health ‘experiment’ – involving thoroughly unwilling participants – started to emerge.

Neighbors Express Relief At Temporary Turbine Shutdown
CapeNews
Ryan Bray
2 October 2015

For the last five and a half years, Day O. Mount and his wife, Kathy, have woken up every day promptly at 7 AM. The noise from the turbine situated near their Blacksmith Shop Road home will not allow them the luxury of sleeping later, but that changed abruptly Tuesday morning.

“It was 8 AM when we woke up,” Mr. Mount said. “We thought, ‘How did we sleep through it?’”

Selectmen voted during executive session Monday night to stop operation of the Wind 1 turbine as they appeal a cease and desist order from the zoning board of appeals. The appeals board ordered that the turbine be stopped temporarily while it worked on securing a special permit to keep the turbine in operation.

Mr. Mount said the noise from the turbines, which are only a few thousand feet from his home, forces his wife and him to keep their windows shut during the summer months. Other activities such as gardening have also been problematic because of the noise.

But after only three days of silence, he said he is already noticing the difference that the turbine’s inactivity has had on him.

“It reduces our stress, for sure,” he said.

Other neighbors on Blacksmith Shop Road also say they have noticed the health benefits that have come with the turbine’s temporary shutdown. Kathryn L. Elder said she has been sleeping better and feeling better overall since Tuesday.

“To have it off during the day – it’s an amazing feeling,” Ms. Elder said. “The improvements are so subtle. I don’t think most people could understand it.”

Looking beyond herself, Ms. Elder said that the turbine shutdown has been even more beneficial for those residents who spend more time at home. While she works during the week, other neighbors have often been left to deal with the noise from the turbines all day long. The noise has forced some retired residents to leave their homes during the day as a matter of necessity, she said.

“This is the time that they really want to enjoy their home,” she said. “That they have to leave it, that’s unfair.”

While there have been benefits to the turbine’s temporary operation, both Mr. Mount and Ms. Elder say that it is not enough. They said they hope that the town will work to remove the turbines, not simply for them, but for the good of all Falmouth residents.

“Do I feel like we’re winning? No,” Ms. Elder said. “I feel like we’re dragging town staff and the selectmen toward a solution.”

“It’s just unfair,” said Mr. Mount, arguing that the process that the town took in getting the turbines up and running was flawed. “We’ve rushed ahead here in Falmouth, and now we have to pay the cost of our mistake.”

Some in town have pegged neighbors abutting the turbines as obstructionists, but Mr. Mount said that is not the case. He said that while neighbors are in favor of efforts to address climate change, solutions such as the installation of the turbines should not come at the expense of the town’s own residents.

Other options, such as an proposed Town Meeting article seeking the installation of solar arrays at the site of the former town landfill on Thomas B. Landers Road, would be a more effective and less divisive approach to addressing the climate change issue, he said.

“We are not going to solve climate change with a process that hurts people,” he said.
CapeNews

Well, as they say: “the proof is in the pudding”.

In less than a week of pulling the offender to a halt, stress levels have dropped and the long-suffering have had their first decent night’s sleep in years.

While the wind industry likes to dismiss the adverse health effects caused by incessant low-frequency noise and infrasound with talk about noise ‘annoyance’ – suffered only by climate-change-denying red-necks, of course – that same term has been used by acoustic experts (since their field of expertise began) to include “sleep disturbance” and, over the long-term, “sleep deprivation”.

The routine sleep disturbance suffered by Falmouth’s victims and caused by turbine noise – is, in and of itself, conclusive proof of adverse health effects.

The World Health Organisation has viewed “noise-induced sleep disturbance … as a health problem in itself” for over 60 years – its Night-time Noise Guidelines for Europe – the Executive Summary at XI to XII which covers the point – says:

NOISE, SLEEP AND HEALTH

There is plenty of evidence that sleep is a biological necessity, and disturbed sleep is associated with a number of health problems. Studies of sleep disturbance in children and in shift workers clearly show the adverse effects.

Noise disturbs sleep by a number of direct and indirect pathways. Even at very low levels physiological reactions (increase in heart rate, body movements and arousals) can be reliably measured. Also, it was shown that awakening reactions are relatively rare, occurring at a much higher level than the physiological reactions.

The review of available evidence leads to the following conclusions.

  • Sleep is a biological necessity and disturbed sleep is associated with a number of adverse impacts on health.
  • There is sufficient evidence for biological effects of noise during sleep: increase in heart rate, arousals, sleep stage changes and awakening.
  • There is sufficient evidence that night noise exposure causes self-reported sleep disturbance, increase in medicine use, increase in body movements and (environmental) insomnia.
  • While noise-induced sleep disturbance is viewed as a health problem in itself (environmental insomnia), it also leads to further consequences for health and well-being.
  • There is limited evidence that disturbed sleep causes fatigue, accidents and reduced performance.
  • There is limited evidence that noise at night causes hormone level changes and clinical conditions such as cardiovascular illness, depression and other mental illness. It should be stressed that a plausible biological model is available with sufficient evidence for the elements of the causal chain.

STT tends to think the World Health Organization – after more than 60 years of studying the problem – might just know a thing or two about night-time noise, sleep and health. And, after more than five and a half years of suffering so do Day and Kathy Mount, Kathryn Elder and all their neighbours.

sleeping baby

Sound sleep and solid health go hand-in-glove.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. 4TimesAYear says:

    Reblogged this on 4timesayear's Blog and commented:
    Awesome news –

  2. barbara durkin says:

    The State of Massachusetts should have reasonably known that wind turbines are associated with noise and health complaints, lawsuits,

    Governor Deval Patrick’s Appointed Co-chair of “The Climate Protection Advisory Committee” under the Global Warming Solutions Act is Paul Gaynor CEO of First Wind Gaynor is also appointed co-chair of the Mass Department of Environmental Protection Advisory Committee “Low Carbon Energy Supply Subcommittee”.

    http://www.env.state.ma.us/dpu/docs/siting/13-165/13-165-Comments-9131.pdf

    Clip-from the above link to evidence that demonstrates DEFENDANT Paul Gaynor of First Wind well knew as green policy Advisor to the MA Energy Secretary and MA DEP that wind turbines generate noise and health complaints as well as many lawsuits:

    The Union Leader
    April 6, 2009
    “According to a March 26, 2008 report by the Daily
    News in Bangor, Maine, UPC Wind president and CEO Paul Gaynor said the company would do a better job in the future about letting local residents know what to expect from wind farms.
    “I know there was an expectation (in Mars Hill) about what these were going to sound like,”
    Gaynor told the Daily News. “These are big structures and they do make sound.”
    Shortly after Gaynor spoke to the Maine newspaper,
    the firm changed its name to First Wind. It was formerly known as Global Winds Harvest /UPC.”

    Note: First Wind was bought by SunEdison SUNE. The value of SUNE dropped 70% in value during the following 3 months.

    MA DPU comments re: First Wind noise complaints:
    http://www.env.state.ma.us/dpu/docs/siting/13-165/13-165-Comments-9131.pdf

  3. Marie Tremblay says:

    Here’s hoping they stay OFF!!

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