FAIRHAVEN – Karen Isherwood of Teal Circle made an appeal to selectmen June 18 about the disruption caused by the town’s new industrial wind turbines on the tranquility of her family’s life.
As she did recently before the Board of Health, Ms. Isherwood said the noise has so disturbed her, it warrants some kind of compensation from the town or developer. She told board members she may have to move.
Selectmen listened sympathetically, but Chairman Brian K. Bowcock said the board shouldn’t take any action until the state Department of Environmental Protection finishes conducting tests. The DEP was contacted by the Board of Health after it received a large number of complaints.
“I know that it wasn’t easy for you,” Mr. Bowcock said of her appearance at the board meeting. But he said they had just received correspondence from the DEP earlier that day. Mr. Bowcock said the DEP has offered to work with the town to “measure the sound levels in the vicinity of the wind turbines.”
Mr. Bowcock has been a strong proponent of the turbines in the past.
Newly elected Selectman Robert Espindola didn’t say much. Mr. Espindola was involved in a lawsuit against the town over the turbines, but dropped out prior to the election in April.
He has been seeking an opinion from the state Ethics Commission about his participation in discussions and decisions involving the wind turbines.
Ms. Isherwood is one of the parties involved in the lawsuit. When she went before the health board, Ms. Isherwood said she has a health condition that is exacerbated by the turbines.
Mr. Bowcock said the DEP will determine if developer Fairhaven Wind LLC is in compliance with noise limits. If not, he said, it will develop a plan to make sure the company complies.
Ms. Isherwood suggested shutting the turbines down from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. She said a representative from the DEP has been to her house and will be returning to conduct tests.
Ms. Isherwood said the DEP representative agreed the noise is “louder in her house than outside.” She added, “He’s coming back.”
When Ms. Isherwood asked what the town would do if the DEP says the noise is not beyond the level the state allows, Mr. Bowcock said, “I think we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves.”
He told Ms. Isherwood if the DEP went to her house, “I’m sure it will set up monitoring instruments.” If there is still no resolution after the DEP conducts tests, he said, the board will “entertain having her back.”
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