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Letters – Falmouth Enterprise

Only One House?

During our recent Town Meeting, a senior town official stated that the noise testing for the wind turbines only failed at one location. To me, it sounded as though a single test was done, at one location, one time, and it failed. This is disingenuous at best, and perhaps shows a complete disregard for how science and engineering is done.

It’s true that a number of locations were tested, and only one failed. But there is more than one house at that location, some of which are actually closer to Wind 1 than the property that failed. By intention, the areas tested were geographically well separated. Why would one test locations right next to each other? If it’s raining in my yard, am I going to walk over to my neighbor’s yard to see if it’s raining there as well?

If more testing was done, it seems likely that about six nearby houses in that area would also fail. The idea that only one test was done is also somewhat misleading. The location that failed was tested numerous times and at numerous wind speeds, and on numerous nights. This “failure” is not based on a single test as many seem to think. There is no doubt at all that the one location failed, and it failed by a respectable margin.

It’s worth noting that no night-time testing has been done in the Craggy Ridge area west of Wind 2. It was the nighttime testing that failed in the Blacksmith Shop Road area. The properties in Craggy Ridge are actually closer to Wind 2 than the properties on Blacksmith Shop are to Wind 1.

Also, modeling of the sound levels for this area indicated that properties in this area would fail sound level tests. This was known long before Wind 2 was completed. “With both Wind-1 and Wind-2 operating, modeling predicts that the DEP’s 10 dBA increase criterion will be exceeded at the closest homes….During early morning hours when background is quietest.” This is from the revised modeling in “Noise Study Update and Findings Harris,
Miller, Miller, and Hanson, Inc.” on the town website, April 1, 2011.

And yet, even this revision of the sound study still underestimates the actual sound levels found during actual sound measurements. My suspicion is that there are dozens of properties in this area that will fail the state criteria for sound testing.

Robert S. Laird
Blacksmith Shop Road
West Falmouth

Most Want Turbines Removed

Visiting with friends after the results of the Wind Turbine Options survey, they appear to be misled by the Enterprise head- line – “Survey shows most prefer town to purchase their home.” Particulars about the actual survey were necessary for them, and are equally essential for the community as a whole.

After explaining that I had completed the survey, I told friends that the questionnaire offered no choice regarding remaining in my home. This choice is especially relevant, since one of the options considered by the Wind Turbine Option Process group has been turbine removal. If such a question had appeared in the survey, an accurate gauge of the “pulse” of the neighborhoods would have been gained.

As I assured my inquiring friends, most neighbors don’t want to sell, in fact, most prefer to remain and have the turbines removed. The survey missed the mark by not surveying “all” options on the table. The conclusions drawn, as sampled, mischaracterize the true desire of most neighbors.

Mark J. Cool
Fire Tower Road
West Falmouth