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Dartmouth group wants tougher standards for regulating turbines  

Credit:  By Curt Brown, www.southcoasttoday.com 18 October 2011 ~~

DARTMOUTH – Opponents of the town’s plan to construct two 262-foot wind turbines will appear before the Board of Health, asking it to adopt strict noise standards regulating all wind-generating facilities.

Christopher Senie, a Westboro attorney, said he and two sound engineers will ask the Board of Health at its meeting Wednesday at 7:45 a.m. to adopt a stricter measuring stick for evaluating noise pollution from wind turbines.

If the regulations are adopted, he said, the town would have to reduce the size of the turbines to 164 feet if it wants to build them on the same town-owned site off Chase Road.

He said the town would also have the choice to retain the 262-foot turbines and move them to another location farther from neighbors if the standard was adopted.

Senie said his clients want the health board to adopt an acceptable background noise level that is 10 decibels lower than the state Department of Environmental Protection’s current standard.

They will also ask health officials to require additional tests to measure noise pollution, including a test for determining lower frequency sounds.

He said the regulations are important in the protection of neighbors affected by a wind facility. There are 150 homes within 3,000 feet of the two turbines, he said.

Senie said he, on behalf of his clients, will ask the health board Wednesday to consider adopting tougher standards and hold a public hearing on it.

If those standards are adopted, he said, it would also provide the Board of Health with a way to mitigate noise complaints after construction.

Currently, the only way neighbors can address noise problems is in the courts under the common law theory of a nuisance, which is difficult to win, Senie said.

Health board member Thomas W. Hardman, stressing he was speaking for himself, said he wants to gather as much information as possible on the issue beginning at Wednesday’s meeting.

Jeanne Nesto, a Chase Road resident and one of the opponents of the project, said she has spoken to and received emails from people who live near turbines and complain about headaches, nausea, increased irritability and a lack of concentration.

“That’s our complaint. There are serious problems with them,” she said.

Executive Administrator David G. Cressman said he plans to attend the meeting to hear the presentation.

He said the town is considering forming a partnership with a private developer on the project. He said officials have requested proposals and received three of them.

Source:  By Curt Brown, www.southcoasttoday.com 18 October 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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