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How much noise do windmills make? That’s a good question

In a letter dated Sept. 9 and addressed to the Department of Environmental Protection, the state’s consultant on wind turbine noise writes, ” there exists a significant body of consistent meteorological and sound data indicating sound levels greater than applicable limits. Substantial changes are recommended for Fox Island Wind’s nighttime operations, limiting sound levels to 45 (decibels).”

This was posted on FIW’s website in response: “A preliminary report released recently by a sound consultant engaged by MDEP has raised questions about measured nighttime sound levels around the project. An initial review of this report performed by (FIW) has revealed an apparent discrepancy between data analysis methodologies employed by the sound consultants. The discrepancy appears to be in the way that naturally occurring ambient noise around the site has been accounted for.

“(FIW) looks forward to engaging in further discussion with the Maine DEP on the appropriate interpretation of the recent data analysis and the degree to which existing ambient sound levels are taken into consideration.”

FIW has been in non-compliance with state regulations. The inhabitants living in the shadow of these turbines have been complaining about health and “quality of life” issues for months. They’ve been suffering – spending their own money, time and resources to try to find some relief and an advocate to address their concerns. But, vindicated by these findings, what response do they get?

An apologetic “We’re sorry! We’ll correct this immediately”?

Nope. Instead, FIW prevaricates. CEO George Baker even had the nerve to bring neighborhood controversy into play by telling the Bangor Daily News that turning down the turbines at night “might not sit well with some islanders who have benefited from a 15 percent to 20 percent reduction in their electricity costs since the turbines starting moving.”

So, let’s blame the victims. That sounds about right. FIW can be heard “loud and clear,” even over existing ambient sound levels.

Karen Bessey Pease
Lexington Township