KINGSTON – The developer of the Kingston wind turbine Indendence will be conducting a sound study of the impacts of the wind turbine, acording to the state Department of Environmental Protection.
However, Mass DEP Director of Public Affairs Edmund Coletta says the state has not commissioned a sound study, as was previously reported by the town and discussed during a recent School Committee meeting.
Instead, he said, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, a quasi-public agency, is working with the wind turbine developer to find the resources so that the developer can conduct the sound assessment. Kingston Wind Independence co-manager Kially Ruiz could not be reached immediately for comment on whether he has agreed to do so.
“In this particular issue, MassDEP would be an interested party only at this time,” Coletta said. “The MassCEC is a quasi-public agency, but there is no direct connection to MassDEP, except that we do work on similar issues and, at times, collaborate on those issues.”
And Coletta refers to the Independence turbine only, without mentioning wind developer Mary O’Donnell’s three nearby wind turbines.
Town Planner Tom Bott said the DEP informed him and Health Agent Henny Walters in a letter that the Clean Energy Center would find the resources for the developer to conduct a sound assessment in the Leland Road area from which neighbors have complained.
In that letter, DEP Acting Regional Director Martin Suuberg writes that the DEP will continue to monitor the situation and be ready to follow up with the town on the results of the developer’s sound assessment.
“We believe that this is an appropriate first step to addressing the complaints,” he said. “Accordingly, MassDEP will await the results of that assessment before determining whether further action is required.”
Bott, however, is advocating for a broader study using new data from all the baseline locations from original sound studies and including the school property as well. The study would take into account other sound producers as well. He said the funding would come from the town’s green energy fund.
Country Club Way resident Tim Dwyer said it’s absurd, under the circumstances, that the developer would be relied upon to conduct a study of its own wind turbine, because in no way could it be an independent assessment. He said there must be some way to get an unbiased report.
“It’s important to get people with economic interest away from the process and see what’s there,” he said.
Dwyer isn’t consistently kept awake or similarly affected by the noise or vibrations from the wind turbine, like some of his neighbors claim. He doesn’t believe the town or O’Donnell intentionally set out to cause potential harm by threatening health and safety. However, he said, he believes in getting at the truth based on the present.
Tim and Martie Dwyer are among the 15 families that have appealed the denial of cease and desist orders for the four wind turbines. The appeal was heard at the June 20 meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals. That hearing has been continued to Aug. 1.
The Kingston School Committee has been fact-finding about the “what ifs” related to the health and safety of schoolchildren. At a meeting earlier this month, Chairman Joe Chaves said the committee is also interested in seeing the results of a study.
For the complete story, read the Kingston Reporter and check back online at www.wickedlocalkingston.com.
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