Falmouth’s wind turbine noise violation represents only the next community, globally, to be subjected to a systemic failure in the prediction of noise levels and sound characteristics emanating from wind turbine installations. The Mass DEP’s noise level criterion is woefully inadequate. This fact was admitted by the state agency in a June 30, 2011 letter to Falmouth selectmen.
Last night, the Falmouth Board of Health reviewed the recent DEP noise study that unexpectedly shut down Wind 1 operations for noise violations and further study. The study does nothing to address the urgent concerns/questions posed in the board’s March 12 letter to the DEP. Specifically, the “study” does not provide the Board of Health with specific noise nuisance guidance or measurement techniques to address impulsive and low frequency sound, with spectral quality sound guidance specific to amplitude modulated and low frequency sound, or a regulatory measure addressing the comparison between ‘A’ and ‘C’ weighted sound level increases over ambient conditions.
The noise elements emitted by a wind turbine too close to residents are those same ‘Enhanced Interrogation Techniques’ passively employed on terrorist detainees in GITMO. Symptomatic health complaints made by residents are similar to detainees enduring prolonged exposure to these type of elements. Yet the Mass DEP ignores questions warranting an immediate answer.
Salus aegroti suprema lex is Latin for ‘the well being of the patient is the most important law.’ The Falmouth Board of Health understands this. Without attention to the accurately defined and pronounced urgent concerns, the Board has no other option but to carry out its charge to protect the community’s residents.
Regardless of who owns or operates a turbine in Falmouth, if any turbine should subject residents to real, and scientifically valid, risks of health harm, the Board’s sworn duty is to prevent such conditions until scientifically appropriate and reliable wind turbine sound survey protocol dictates otherwise. Please attend the emergency public hearing on Thursday, May 24 and support the Board of Health’s execution of its mission.