Fairhaven’s Board of Selectmen and Executive Secretary Jeffrey Osuch have used the argument that the turbine project in Fairhaven will make money for the town. I will let you decide if the financial benefits support their argument.
Wind Wise has documented numerous studies done by scientists, researchers and engineers showing the harmful health effects of industrial wind turbines. Wind Wise has documentation that the school board, the Board of Selectmen and the health board have been alerted to the dangers and risks from having two 400-foot industrial wind turbines located close to neighborhoods and an elementary school.
The town has been provided an avalanche of research as well as testimony from those living near similar size turbines. If you knew the town had been informed on the risks and you were living in the areas surrounding the industrial wind turbines and you or a member of your family became ill, what would you do?
The case against the town for causing harm will be compelling because the town knew beforehand that there was a potential for harm if the developer and the town went forward. The town could be faced with a massive class action lawsuit as well as individual lawsuits, which could push the town into insolvency. Whatever money that the town may gain from the project would be miniscule compared to that loss to the town.
Property values will go down and it will be even more difficult to sell homes in the affected area. Would you want to purchase a home near one of these two turbines? The resulting loss in tax revenue will have to be made up by the rest of the town’s residents. This will only further add to the financial plight of the town.
Another matter that the town must consider is the legal costs of taking on a legal battle with its own residents. Personal injury and class action lawsuits will certainly be filed and the cost to the town could mount up to well over a half a million dollars in legal fees.
An additional cost is the loss of support to the environmental movement. The Falmouth health crisis caused by the one industrial wind turbine in Falmouth has halted all land-based industrial wind turbine projects on the Cape. The Fairhaven project with two industrial wind turbines affecting a much larger population has the potential to be much more devastating then the Falmouth project.
Fairhaven is ground zero in the wind wars and is headed for the perfect storm, which has the potential to devastate the community and shut down land-based industrial wind projects statewide.
Kenneth W. Pottel lives in Fairhaven
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