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American resident warns of dangers of wind farms

PUGWASH – Opponents of a proposed wind farm on the Gulf Shore got more fuel for the fire Friday night.

Mark Harris, a pastor from Bridgewater, Maine, spoke Friday night at the Ground Search and Rescue in Pugwash about how a wind farm in Mars Hill, Maine has terrorized locals.

He bought property in Mars Hill roughly 1200 feet away from the turbines, but hasn’t done anything with it because of how unbearable the sound and strobing from them is.

“Many of the mills we have, on certain days when the wind comes from a certain direction and the humidity is such and such, it will be all but silent at 1200 feet away where my home site would be. But come back the next day and it’ll pound until you can’t tolerate being there and there’s no predicting when that will happen,” he said.

He said the wind farm has wreaked havoc on the town, with many people now dealing with health complications allegedly caused by the turbines’ sounds and shadows.

“Everyday (residents) deal with the sound. The intolerable levels aren’t everyday, sometimes one or two days a week, sometimes it’ll skip a week but the next week it’ll be there for four or five days in a row, and there’s no knowing until it happens,” he said. “It’s pretty frustrating.”

Harris thinks wind turbines being 500 metres away from property, which is currently the law in Cumberland County, isn’t enough. He said turbines would be safe if placed at least two kilometres away from residences.

“I’m in favour of wind turbines, but they should be appropriately sited,” he said. “This needs to be done in the most responsible way so we keep it in good standing with the public. I think we need it.

“The placing of them seems to be irresponsible far too often.”

By Justin Dickie

The Amherst Daily News

6 August 2007