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Falmouth awaits word on turbine study funding  

Credit:  By Sean Teehan, Cape Cod Times, www.capecodonline.com 5 September 2011 ~~

FALMOUTH – The town could get some financial assistance toward a study that would address continuing noise issues at the Wind 1 turbine.

Selectmen voted last week to move forward with a study of several options to lessen issues such as low-frequency sound and shadow flicker, which turbine neighbors have complained about during several public meetings.

Now town officials await an offer from the state Department of Environmental Protection to provide funds for a study of noise caused by turbines, Selectman Kevin Murphy said in a phone interview.

He said the town hopes to get formal confirmation before the selectmen’s next meeting Sept. 12.

Data gathered from the noise study could eventually inform DEP decisions for future turbine regulations, said acting Town Manager Heather Harper.

Some abutters of the Wind 1 turbine have reported suffering from headaches, dizziness and other symptoms since the 1.65-megawatt turbine began operating, according to several nearby residents.

Town officials expect Wind 2 to begin operating next month.

In July, project consultants Weston and Sampson handed selectmen an analysis of costs associated with various mitigation options.

Weston and Sampson’s report looked at the cost of running the turbines with no curtailment, moving them, decommissioning them, and even altering abutters’ homes to insulate them from the noise.

Selectmen voted to pursue studies of all suggestions, except for the sound study, Harper said. She noted that town officials expect to fund the sound study entirely with town money if the DEP decides against offering financial assistance.

If DEP officials formally offer funding before the board’s next meeting, selectmen will likely vote on whether or not to approve the study, Murphy said.

Source:  By Sean Teehan, Cape Cod Times, www.capecodonline.com 5 September 2011

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