Despite vocal opposition from some town residents, a proposed wind project cleared another hurdle last week when the town’s Conservation Commission issued an order of conditions.
The commission approved the project last month.
Developer James Sweeney of CCI Energy also needs approval from the Planning Board before the project can move forward.
Mr. Sweeney is proposing to erect two, 397-foot wind turbines on town-owned land adjoining the waste treatment plant on Arsene Street.
The Planning Board held a two-night public hearing on the project in April and will address the matter at its meeting tonight.
About 15 people attended the April 29 meeting and raised issues ranging from the noise to the shadow flicker.
“If this doesn’t go right, everybody’s going to hear about it,” resident Ken Pottel said. “These are issues that could really come back to haunt everyone in this town.”
Mr. Sweeney was present at the meeting and tried to allay concerns as much as possible.
“We’re going to try and do our best to be a good neighbor,” he said.
According to Mr. Sweeney, some abutting residences will experience shadow flicker from sunlight passing through the turbine blades a maximum of 47 hours a year.
“The flicker study is based on this being an open plain area, where there’s no trees, no high buildings … a direct line from the turbine to your house,” he said in an interview with The Standard-Times.
In a sound study on the project completed by Tech Environmental in May 2007, the turbines would increase the sound level at 12 Little Bay Road, one of the closest abutting residences, by 9.2 decibels during low power and 8.6 decibels during maximum power.
The overall sound levels – 43.6 and 52.0 decibels, respectively – are roughly equivalent to a suburban area at nighttime and a quiet urban area at nighttime, according to the study, which was conducted before final siting of the turbines.
“If it was up to me, I’d compensate (the abutters) for their loss,” Planning Board member Wayne Hayward said at the April 29 meeting.
But, he said later, “We’re not in a little corner and no one knows what’s going on. … There’s been so much scrutiny by government officials and state officials – it can’t be as bad as you’re making it sound like.”
Some residents, not content with those assurances, are taking their concerns to the next level.
Ann DeNardis, who lives at 8 Mark Drive, wrote a letter, dated April 15, to the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Agency on behalf of 11 other petitioners seeking a fail-safe review of the project.
Additionally, at a meeting with The Standard-Times’ editorial board last week, Ms. DeNardis said she planned to file an appeal with the state’s Department of Environmental Protection if the Conservation Commission issued an order of conditions.
Ms. DeNardis did not return several calls for comment.
By Charis Anderson
Standard-Times staff writer
13 May 2008
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