FALMOUTH – Slowly but surely.
That’s the message the Falmouth Board of Health delivered Monday to residents regarding the progress of the board’s efforts to study the health effects of wind turbines.
“This does concern us, and we’re trying to do our best. … But it’s easier said than done to get these scientific studies done,” board chairwoman Gail Harkness told the nearly 20 residents gathered at the board’s meeting.
The health board promised it would look into the residents’ concerns that noise and vibrations from the 1.65-megawatt town-owned Wind I turbine and other privately owned turbines in the area have caused everything from sleep deprivation to increased blood pressure.
At the end of March, the board sent a letter to the state Department of Environmental Protection and the town’s board of selectmen asking for guidance on how to begin a study of those health effects, Harkness said.
The town’s consultants on the turbines have in turn started working with the DEP, Harkness said, reading from a letter from acting Town Manager Heather Harper. Harper also proposed a joint meeting between the board of health and selectmen in late May or early June to discuss the DEP’s recommendations, Harkness said.
The board of health also plans to ask the state Department of Public Health for guidance, health board member George Heufelder said.
Another effort to learn more about the turbine’s repercussions, a web-based questionnaire that residents could fill out when they experience adverse effects from the turbine, is also under way, board members said.
The questions for the complaint questionnaire are currently being written, Falmouth Health Agent David Carignan said.
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