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Dear Dr. Harkness and Health Board Members,
I’ve recorded a total of 56 pressure headache events since April 2010. 87.5% of the headache events were during the hours between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm.
Wind 1 has been a neighborhood health issue since April of 2010. My last lodged noise com- plaint was August 29, 2012. Accounting for Wind 1’s suspension of operation (Fall Town Meet- ing 2011 until Spring Town Meeting 2012, and the DEP noise violation testing suspension this past spring), I’ve been potentially exposed to Wind 1 day time operations roughly 580 days. This means that during 8.4% of Wind 1’s potential day time operations, I’ve suffered pressure headaches (one bout of vertigo), at my property. I have never experienced these type head- aches, nor any vertigo, before April of 2010. A noteworthy fact is that on numerous occasions, indicated on submitted complaint forms, I’ve left my property (exiting the wake effect of Wind 1) and gained relief. I’ve also noted, that upon returning to my property, all wind direction and velocities being constant, the same symptomatic pressure headache returned. The only change – my spatial relationship to the wind turbine – Wind 1.
Associate Commissioner of the state’s Department of Public Health, Suzanne Condon’s August 28th letter to the board stated, regarding interim mitigation measures for the turbines, “I believe you are aware that mitigation strategies were included in the Mass DEP expert panel report on wind turbine and health impacts”. She explained that “Mass DEP is currently delib- erating… to determine the measures and standards in the siting and operation of wind tur- bines in Massachusetts.” In other words, with suggested Mass DEP mitigative strategies in place in Falmouth, Mass DEP deliberations continuing, and the apparent refusal of Mass DPH to protect the health of citizens of the Commonwealth, it’s likely I will have to endure an aver- age of 30 pressure headaches a year while at my private property between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm. One month a year I’ll be forced to endure headaches (maybe vertigo) and sacrifice the enjoy- ment of my own property. Is this insignificant? How many others suffer day time adverse im- pacts like me? Is an emergency action “turbine shutdown” necessary if only 1 resident is af- fected, 10, 50? Where does the board draw the line? Such questions need immediate considera- tion. Am I not worthy? The Planning Board is nearing the final stage of revising the Town’s wind turbine bylaw. Has there been any further collaboration on such a controversial issue involving the community’s health? I strongly urge the board to set an absolute sound level similar to what any industrial facility must meet (i.e. INDUSTRIAL wind energy generators) in proximity to residential areas. The state’s expert panel, as a reminder, recommended limit’s for residential areas (i.e. 39dB(A)-8 m/s wind & 37dB(A)-6 m/s wind). Many of the board’s questions however, go unanswered regarding guidance concerning spectral analysis of low fre- quency and amplitude modulated noise. The Mass Clean Energy Center has recently taken a pro- active step and posted an RFP for a major turbine noise study for the state. Yet, you members of Falmouth’s Board of Health are the regulatory and enforcement body responsible for the com- munity’s health today. A Board of Health Regulation on wind turbine noise, fashioned with recommendations from the state’s expert panel, is a start. It’s necessary to begin the pro- cess. And it’s certainly better than waiting, and doing nothing at all. Ms. Condon, in her letter, recognizes the board’s hope to address residents concerns in a timely manner. I men- tion this because emphasis must focus on the phrase “timely manner”! Impacted neighbors are on record having had their lives turned upside down nearly 2 1/2 years now. Please re-read the testimonials presented at the Board’s emergency public hearing. It’s time to “do some- thing”! People continue to be prevented from enjoying their health and their property during the day. Questions need answers, but until that time, perform you basic fundamental charge.
Please consider an emergency shut down for the immediate future (the seasonal wind is soon up- on us, and if the complaint log illustrates only one thing – conditions worsen with the advent of fall). At this point, my pride aside, I’m begging the board for relief! Please!
Mark J. Cool
Fire Tower Rd.