KINGSTON – The fight against continued operation of the wind turbine Independence and developer Mary O’Donnell’s three wind turbines continues on two fronts.
Monday night, the Board of Health voted to send a letter to Kially Ruiz, the manager of Kingston Wind Independence, operator of the turbine on the town’s capped landfill, demanding he appear at a special meeting of the board next Monday night.
He will be asked to answer to concerns from the board and residents about noise and flicker. The board is considering taking action to address these concerns.
Leland Road resident Doreen Reilly, at times in tears, delivered an impassioned plea to the board to ask that the Independence be shut down from midnight to 5 a.m., when the noise is at its worst, and 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., when the flicker effect affects her family.
“I don’t know what to do, but we can’t live like this,” she said.
Reilly was not alone at the meeting as several of her Leland Road and Schofield Street neighbors pleaded for action. Board of Health member Dan Sapir said it can be easy to dismiss their complaints, but a visit to Leland Road opened his eyes.
“It can be easy for someone to pooh-pooh your complaints,” he said. “I can feel your pain.”
Ruiz responded to a request for comment with a copy of a letter to the Board of Health dated Monday (Oct. 22) providing a brief executive summary of a Kingston Wind Independence investigation into sound and flicker complaints.
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has agreed to conduct a sound study, at its own expense, in response to complaints about the Independence turbine.
“We respectfully submit to the Board of Health that the sound level of the Independence and shadow flicker effects are of a mild nature and are not a health concern for nearby residences,” Ruiz wrote. “While we have requested that MassCEC conduct a post-construction sound study, we are confident that the study will find that sound levels are well within compliance with Massachusetts regulations.”
Reilly said O’Donnell’s turbines don’t affect her, but other Kingston residents who say they are affected by the turbine have filed a lawsuit against O’Donnell and the Zoning Board of Appeals. O’Donnell attended the Board of Health meeting.
O’Donnell’s attorney, John Yunits Jr., has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The motion to dismiss challenges complaints by the plaintiffs that they are aggrieved parties and alleges they don’t have standing. An abuse of process is also claimed.
“The defendant further avers that the appellants’ motive for appeal was intended to cause the defendant delays and result ultimately in the financial demise of the project,” Yunits writes.
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