BUZZARDS BAY —
The Bourne Board of Health conducted a 30-minute public hearing Wednesday night, inviting citizen input into the draft turbine regulation that members may approve June 29. The figurative elephant in the room remained the controversial New Generation Wind turbine plan off Scenic Highway and Route 25.
“We will take no new evidence tonight,” board chairman Kathy Peterson said. “We won’t listen to people’s experience with turbines. We’re only here to listen to input about the regulation, and that’s it. We’ll take all comments under advisement.
Consultant John Lipman of Brewster, representing New Generation, went first; saying “there is uncertainty with some aspects of the regulation” and requesting more time for re-writing, public comment and a 21-day review period prior to board approval.
“This is uncharted territory for any board of health,” Lipman said. “We’d like time to bring in some experts to answer technical questions.”
He questioned whether any turbine waiver should remain in the purview of the health board, which under the regulation would be required to review all wind-energy conversion system applications.
John Brennan of Bournedale credited the board “with a very good start” on its regulation, which was drafted in reaction to New Generation’s wind-farm proposal now in review by the Cape Cod Commission. He said the ‘reg’ needs a distinction, however, between a single structure application and a wind-farm.
Peterson said the regulation was written to focus on a single turbine. If multiple structures are planned, multiple permits would be needed, she said.
There was comment about noise, amplitude modulation, setbacks and environmental safety issues.
The regulation was largely drafted by board member Stanley Andrews with assistance by Associate Town Counsel Brian Wall.
There is varying interpretation of state law as to whether the health board turbine regulation, should it be adopted, would be applied to the New Generation Wind plan; if and when that plan proceeds from Cape commission scrutiny. The wind-farm proposal was filed long before the health board decided to write its regulation.
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