I am a Fairhaven resident and I would like to set the record straight concerning developer James Sweeney’s interview entitled “Blowing in the Wind” (Old Colony Memorial).
Regarding the two 400-foot industrial turbines (which are larger than the Statue of Liberty), Mr. Sweeney states that “once this is installed, they’re going to find it’s not bad to look at” implying that the visual was our main issue opposing them. When in fact, based on our research, the main concerns involved intolerable noise pollution and shadow flicker for the nearby residential areas. Other problems also discussed were harm to birds, the mass killing of bats, which help control the mosquito population, fire, hurricanes, and the lowering of residents’ property values.
With this information, you are probably wondering how this could possibly have passed a Town Meeting vote. Unfortunately, there were a combination of factors, such as town officials promoting the project, little time to fully educate the town meeting voters, fear of global warming, and too lenient Fairhaven noise restrictions and setbacks. A savings to the residents of a mere $10 per person per year is also offered. Our town has not fully recovered from this vote as many hard feelings still exist when residents directly affected were not allowed to speak at town meeting. Litigation is now being discussed.
In conclusion, I offer words of caution to Plymouth, Cohasset and New Bedford where Mr. Sweeney is eyeing sites. Mr. Sweeney will come to you with an impressive power point presentation and gloss over the problems. The main negative he will say is adjusting to “change.” MTC (Massachusetts Technology Collaborative) will follow him and offer to pay for studies, tests, and consultants and claim they will be unbiased. They will tell you that the opposition is just using “scare tactics.”
Our position is steadfast that the locations of wind turbines need careful study, especially in New England with our heavily populated cities and towns. The inherent quality of life and the rights and privileges of the many residents negatively affected by these turbines cannot be ignored in our pursuit of alternative energy. Please visit Windwisefairhaven.com and listen to the Hull residents we visited and you will see that they do not all think their turbines are a great thing as Mr. Sweeney leads you to believe.
I advise everyone concerned to please do the research.
7 August 2007