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Lamenting MA independent wind study  

Credit:  Shelburne Falls & West County Independent, 9 March 2012 ~~

Independent Expert Science Panel releases its report (AP,1/18/128- BOSTON): “Wind turbines do not pose serious health risks to people living nearby … a state-appointed panel of experts says in a report Tuesday. There is no evidence for a set of health effects … that could be characterized as ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome,'” the report concluded.

James F Manwell, Ph.D., a key member of the (so-called) independent, non-industry-related panel, is one of the most recognized pro-wind academicians in the U.S. He is an industry- and state-honored UMass. Wind Energy Center director and is not, I submit, “independent!”

He has, I venture, never seen a wind turbine he did not like. The vast majority of the Wind Center’s total income comes from state funds (our tax dollars). The Center is also the agency that has sited the Hull and Falmouth and several other MA turbines, assuring local residents that there would be no sound or noise impacts from their installaion. The severe on-going health impacts of these turbines have now caused at least one turbine shutdown. These widely reported adverse impacts and noise health studies were not considered in this “health panel” report, despite Dr. Manwell’s being prominent member of the panel.

From the back jacket of his co-authored book Wind Energy Explained, Dr. Manwell states his overriding philosophy: “Recent years have seen a growth in the implementation and viability of wind energy technology. This safe and abundant source of clean energy is now making significant contribution to electricity supplies world wide.”

Louise Barteau of Fairhaven writes for In Your View (1/21/12): “Our state’s wind report is poor excuse for a health impact study. All this report (MA Health Panel) has done has insulted the intelligence of anyone who has done their homework and the integrity of anyone who has reported health symptoms from proximity to wind turbines.”

If there are no problems with wind turbine noise why, I ask, the hundreds of daily stories that say otherwise? To quote from a few:

Acoustic Ecology Institute (1115/12):”The Danish statutory order on wind turbine noise has been revised in order to implement rules for low frequency noise. The new regulation enters into force January 1, 2012. This makes Denmark the first country with compulsory limits for low frequency noise from wind turbines.”

Wendy Todd, Mars Hill Wind Farm (2009 open letter): “Mars Hill was the first project of its kind in our state but there should be no excuse for how little the people of Mars Hill knew about this process. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the developer had a good understanding of what was going to take place but it was never communicated properly to the people of Mars Hill. One can only imagine how different things would be if the truth had been known. The state of Maine has not adopted rules that will protect its residents from this kind of project. At this point in time, individual communities must take action to protect their families because there are no wind industry guidelines that will. The developers hope that they can get in and operational before you understand the facts about wind. They make you feel that you would be a fool not support such a wonderful project. We were naive and believed what the developer told us.”

Citizens’ Task Force on Wind Power, Maine (December 2011): “The vote in Frankfort adds to the election night shutout favoring wind ordinances across the state. Statewide it was 5-0 in favor of protective ordinances and moratoriums on election night and, with a Deer Isle ordinance approved Nov. 17 and Frankfort on Dec. 1, it’s now a 7-0 shutout on the heels of yesterday’s news that Portland is looking at an ordinance that will ban these noisy, flashing behemoths from its skyline. It is laughable that the wind industry’s biased opinion polls conclude that 80 percent of Mainers like wind power, for when the real polls occur, the ones at the ballot box, Mainers overwhelmingly reject wind power time after time. The wind industry itself has admitted that citizens in possession of the facts are a big problem for them.”

The Oregon Health Impact Assessment addresses key, indirect wind farm noise impacts.

The Oregon Health Authority has released a draft of its first Strategic Health Impact Assessment on Wind Energy Development in Oregon (1/5/12): “The approach taken by Oregon health officials marks a subtle but significant departure from previous government reports on the topic. Most fundamentally, rather than being simply a literature review of past studies, this paper is a first attempt to sketch out the parameters by which health impacts of specific projects might later be assessed. The hope is that a final HIA would provide a basic understanding and framework that could allow future specific developments to look at local details, rather than repeating this big-picture overview … the paper is notable for inclusion of several indirect pathways by which annoyance and sleep disruption can lead to physiological impacts, and also for its consideration of the impact of community discord on stress and well-being.”

Something is seriously amiss and we have not been served by this predictable sham report!

Walter Cudnoufsky

Source:  Shelburne Falls & West County Independent, 9 March 2012

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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