HAGÅTÑA – At least 70 petitioners are lodging a complaint against a proposal to construct two wind turbines inside the University of Guam Dean’s Circle.
The petitioners stated they support the study of sustainable energy in the future. “However, several technical studies on the human impact of wind power turbines have been reported, including ecological issues,” the petitioners warned.
The two turbines will be reportedly connected to house #19 on Dean’s Circle to supply approximately 30 percent of the building’s power requirements.
According to documents obtained by the Variety, the University of Guam-Center for Island Sustainability, as represented by FC Benavente, applied for a request for zone variance of height to the Guam Land Use Commission so that two wind turbine towers, with heights of 70 and more than 100 feet, respectively, could be constructed on an R-1 lot within the campus in Mangilao.
In the section on surrounding land use information, the document states: “The immediate area consists of mostly office buildings within Dean’s Circle, few single family dwellings on the western edge of the 500-foot radius of the site and more residential dwellings within the 750-foot radius along Jesus Mariano Road, Chalan Avilla and Eba Road on the west and southwest of the proposed site.”
Phillip McCormick, a 25-year resident of the area and the owner of the closest residential home to the proposed site, stated his opposition to the zoning variance request, saying he is concerned about the lack of information about the project and the attending maintenance, health and noise issues that can possibly occur once the turbines are in full operation.
McCormick stated: “Our community has many objections to the proposed location of the wind turbines, the greatest of which is the noise pollution that will be created.”
He said the Beregy company has published acoustical data for the Excel 10 Kw wind turbine, the model for the wind turbine that will be installed in the area. According to the data, he stated, “the level of sound that we would hear would be 46 decibels.”
McCormick also cited several health impacts on populations located near wind turbines and referenced in a report entitled “Wind, Turbines, Noise, and Health,” by Dr. Amanda Harry. The report, he said, lists health complaints such as headaches, stress, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and depression.
He also questioned if there was an environmental impact study performed on the project and, if there was, why was it not presented to the community during the public hearing held at the Mangilao Mayor’s Office last June 7.
Meanwhile, the petition, which was addressed to University of Guam President Robert Underwood, the chairman of the Guam Land Use Commission, the mayor of Mangilao, and other officials, put forward a request for UOG “to reconsider their plans for the twin turbine towers and find alternative locations near campus where they could be located without generating a negative impact on human beings.”
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