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Bourne Board of Health turbine regulation is headed to public hearing

The Bourne Board of Health on Wednesday night released for public consumption its draft wind turbine regulation that will be the topic of a public hearing on June 15 and a committee vote of approval June 22.

The regulation is reactionary in the sense the board opted to write the regulation with the assistance of Associate Bourne Town Counsel Brian Wall after New Generation Wind submitted its controversial seven-turbine wind farm for town and Cape Cod Commission review.

The draft health regulation focuses on turbine shadow flicker, limiting it to the tract on which a structure is located, and noise levels.

“We’re not in the business of telling people what they can do with their property,” board chairman Kathy Peterson said. “But we’re trying to protect the public health. We believe flicker should not come off the property on to neighboring property. Some of the board members see this as a health effect.”

New Generation turbine opponents praised the health board Wednesday night, saying the regulation-writing project would protect the public health of everyone in town.

Peterson and board member Stanley Andrews will meet with Wall early next week to finalize regulation verbiage. Health Agent Cynthia Coffin said the regulation – once it is approved – would take effect after it is legally posted in a newspaper.

There is uncertainty, however, about the regulation applying to New Generation Wind, which formally submitted its wind-farm plan long before the ‘reg’ was undertaken by the health board.

The regulation forces all turbine plans to be permitted by the health board before construction. Applicants will pay a $50 fee for review and also pay “reasonable costs and expenses borne by the board to specific expert engineering and other consultant services” members think are necessary to arrive at a final decision.