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Friends of Maine’s Mountains applauds new rule on noise emissions

Today the Maine Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) adopted an amendment to the state’s noise regulations specifically addressing the unique noise emissions from large-scale industrial wind projects.

The BEP ruling was in response to a citizen’s petition that was brought after residents in Freedom, Mars Hill, and Vinalhaven discovered that the low frequency noise emissions from nearby wind plants were causing sleep disturbance, hypertension, and other ailments.

“The fact is, every time these machines have been erected too close to people, there has been trouble. The wind industry does not have the right to violate people’s homes and damage their health and quality of life with the excessive noise emissions,” said Friends of Maine’s Mountains President Chris O’Neil.

“While the Board watered down our request for true protection, we are gratified that a deliberative rulemaking body like BEP took the time to weigh all the facts and the science, while attempting to ignore the politics,” added O’Neil, who noted the proceeding’s hundreds of hours of expert testimony, preparation of evidence, cross examination, and deliberation.

In 2008 the Maine Legislature enacted laws that removed environmental and econommic protections so that wind power could proliferate in Maine. “We are using science and common sense to solve a problem that was caused by politics and ideology,” said O’Neil. “Thankfully, Maine is starting to realize that land based wind power has huge impacts and tiny benefits.”

Because the rules are considered “major substantive” they will be subject to Legislative review. That could inject politics back into the rulemaking process, O’Neil lamented: “You can’t walk through the State House without tripping over a dozen wind lobbyists, so we will be working to protect the integrity of this rule. It’s time to put people over politics.”

Friends of Maine’s Mountains is an environmental membership organization dedicated to protecting Maine’s unique environment and quality of Life. The Voice for Maine’s Mountains!

Contact us by mail at 284 Main Street, Ste. 200, Wilton, Maine 04294 or by tel. (207-645-3699 or cell (207) 491-2509.

Contact: Chris O’Neil, President

Friends of Maine’s Mountains

Tel.: 207-590-3842

www.friendsofmainesmountains.org