KINGSTON – Leland Road resident Doreen Reilly flicked the lights off and on, off and on at intervals to give board members an idea of what it’s like to live with the flicker effect.
Though she was told to stop, the Board of Health was listening to her and others negatively impacted by the noise and flicker from the wind turbine Independence.
Board of Health members want town counsel to advise them on what can be done to mitigate the affects of the wind turbines on people’s lives.
Kially Ruiz, the co-manager and co-owner of Kingston Wind Independence, the company that owns the turbine, claims it isn’t affecting their lives. He denied there’s a problem.
“They are hearing a lot of things, but it’s not the wind turbine,” he said, identifying the nearby wastewater treatment plant as one likely suspect.
Board member Dan Sapir said he takes issue with Ruiz’s attitude and quick dismissal of these complaints, particularly because he has experienced the affects himself. He was at the Reillys on Leland Road one night at 15 minutes past midnight, he said, and was disturbed by the rhythmic “whoosh, whoosh” he heard. He also visited one of her neighbor’s homes to judge the flicker effect.
“The proof is in the pudding,” he said. “It’s happening. It’s real.”
Ruiz said it’s shameful that Sapir would spread lies about the turbine. He countered that there’s no scientific evidence to make a valid case that the wind turbine has a negative impact on people’s health, and, with criticism raining down on him, said he knew entering the meeting that he wouldn’t be believed.
Sapir proposed meeting with town counsel as soon as possible to review the options available to the board by law. The board unanimously agreed it’s the right approach to take.
Not so for Reilly. She said she’s disappointed the board didn’t take immediate action to force Ruiz to cease operation of the turbine at night when people are trying to sleep and for the hour flicker is invading their homes. More and more neighbors, she said, are having the same experience.
Board of Health Chairman Joe Casna said the noise and flicker are clearly disrupting people’s lives. While Ruiz says it’s only a matter of perception, Casna said he doesn’t think that’s a reasonable position to take.
“I think we need to find some way to help them,” he said.
Casna also wants to meet with the town’s Green Energy Committee for background on the wind turbine approval process. He said it would be helpful to get a better idea of what kinds of studies were performed to determine negative impacts.
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