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Facts should guide Fairhaven officials  

Credit:  By Grant Menard, www.southcoasttoday.com 15 December 2011 ~~

As a concerned family that just found out about the two industrialized turbines going up in Fairhaven, we would like to dispute Selectman Dr. Brian Bowcock’s claims regarding the studies done on how the shadow flicker and noise would affect our family.

Donna McKenna and a group of more than 160 concerned residents (and growing) were recently denied an opportunity to speak at the forthcoming Dec. 12 selectman’s meeting. At that meeting, I had planned on giving Selectman Bowcock and the board copies of five case studies done by respected doctors such as Dr. Nina Pierpont, Dr. Daniel Shepherd, Dr. Michael Nissenbaum and many others regarding the health effects of shadow flicker and the noise. There was also a 10-page article published in the July/August issue of Audiology Today that described the negative effect of the turbine on children with autism.

All five studies conclude that commercialized wind turbines should be placed a minimum of 1.5 miles from residential neighborhoods, school, parks and public places such as our beloved bike path. Selectman Bowcock, who was recently quoted in his Dec. 8 letter to the Fairhaven Neighborhood News, “The health issues that you raise are unsubstantiated, not based in science and not reproducible. Headaches, vertigo, seizures and other health issues that you cite exist now. How do you blame these issues on wind turbines?” and “The turbines pose absolutely no health hazard to you or your wife. You should be honest and tell the people that you just do not want to see them. Not in my back yard (NIMBY).”

With all due respect to Dr. Bowcock, I do not blame the illnesses on the turbines, the respected doctors that have completed extensive studies do, and yes it is “in my backyard” so my family is gravely concerned. Who will protect my family and our neighbors? Some of them are as close as 900 feet. More than 400 children will attend the new Wood School. I will proudly stand behind those who will be affected the most that were not notified personally by the town and the children too young to speak for themselves.

More troubling are the studies that were actually used by the town of Fairhaven to substantiate their claims that the two 400-foot commercialized turbines will be “OK” next to our homes. The studies were funded by The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. At first glance, the studies look legitimate, until you look into the companies themselves. Just a quick search on the Internet and you can see that The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative actually purchased the two turbines used in their funded studies back in 2004.

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is the state’s economic development agency for renewable energy. The MTC at the time of this study for Fairhaven had two Vestas V 82 commercial wind turbines in storage in Texas at $3,500 per month until they were installed. The time frame runs from 2004 to 2010 in a warehouse until the politically embarrassing turbines were sold to the town of Falmouth. At the very least, studies done on commercialized turbines should not be funded by parties financially involved in the placement of wind turbines.

Thanks should go to our local Board of Health, which has welcomed the information with open arms for their review. I believe they were never provided information explaining the negative effect of these turbines and only now are reviewing the documents, which of course takes time. On Aug. 10, the Bourne Board of Health adopted a Wind Turbine Health Regulation. It is believed that this is one of a few local boards of health to recognize that wind turbines pose a health hazard requiring regulations to protect the public. Hopefully, our Board of Health will follow in their footsteps.

I would welcome the opportunity to have Selectman Bowcock propose an open forum to listen to cries of the people he represents and not those who stand to gain financially from their placement. Please take the time to read the studies of the negative effect of having these so close to residential homes, schools and bike paths.

The Menard family lives in Fairhaven.

Source:  By Grant Menard, www.southcoasttoday.com 15 December 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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