A month has passed since the Falmouth Board of Health wrote a letter to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health asking for guidance about the reported health effects of wind turbines in Falmouth. After no response from the state officials, one resident is calling for an emergency shutdown of the large turbines in Falmouth. “Please invoke the emergency power entrusted to your Board and shut all the Falmouth industrial turbines down,” wrote Mark J. Cool of Fire Tower Road in a letter to the Falmouth Board of Health and Chairman Gail A. Harkness. The letter was also sent to state legislative representatives and the media.
Mr. Cool wrote that he is still experiencing headaches caused by the turbines, despite the shutdown by the Falmouth Board of Selectmen of the two town-owned wind turbines from 7 PM to 7 AM every day. “I strongly point out, my headaches have not been mitigated by the selectmen’s twelve hour night curfew,” he wrote. “To be perfectly clear, I am your proof that, during some days, the torture continues.”
Falmouth Board of Health held a public hearing in May to collect data about the health effects of wind turbines in Falmouth. Dr. Harkness, who is an epidemiologist, compiled the written testimony of 47 residents who said they have experienced various health effects related to wind turbines. That testimony was sent to the Department of Public Health in June, but there has been no official response to date. Department of Public Health spokesman Anne Roach wrote yesterday in an e-mail to the Enterprise, “DPH is still preparing a response,” but there is no time frame.
Mr. Cool also touched on the state politics of wind turbines. He wrote that Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick, state agencies and some Falmouth officials believe that wind turbines are practical despite growing evidence that they come at a cost to the closest neighbors. Since more communities, including Hull, Princeton, Fairhaven, Kingston, Charlestown and Portsmouth have installed the turbines, “there has been a corresponding growth of related physical ailments,” he wrote. “What the Governor should—must—do now is to appoint an academic panel to use reliable means of academic inquiry to pursue the growing number of health complaints from those forced to live close to industrial wind turbines.” Until the state provides the study and guidance, the Falmouth Board of Health should shut the large wind turbines down, he wrote.
The next meeting of the Falmouth Board of Health is Monday at 7 PM. A discussion about wind turbines is not on the agenda, but the board often has an open discussion during the correspondence portion of the meeting. In addition to the two town-owned 1.65-megawatt Vestas wind turbines at the Falmouth waste-water treatment plant, there is also the privately owned Notus Clean Energy wind turbine at Falmouth Technology Park, and a smaller turbine on Woods Hole Road owned by the Woods Hole Research Center.