This week, Kingstonians within the shadow-flicker zone of the town’s largest turbine might be one-step closer to enacting regulations on the strobing effect caused by the turbine’s interaction with sunlight at certain times of day, both in the morning and the evening.
It was late in last week’s BOH meeting when Joseph Casna, the Chairman of the Kingston Board of Health (BOH), proposed that the BOH request the Board of Selectmen (BOS) to authorize town counsel to enter into negotiations with the owners of the KWI Turbine for the mitigation of shadow flicker.
Casna’s proposal drew immediate criticism from longtime BOH-member Dan Sapir.
“Well intentioned but there’s a major flaw,” Sapir interjected. “A regulation on flicker should not be one that addresses any one component.”
Casna responded to Sapir, “I wasn’t saying for Town Counsel to formulate a regulation. I’m saying Town Counsel could start an imitative to get a dialogue going.”
“I think if the BOS sent [Town Counsel] into that forum, there’s a potential that something may come of it,” Casna said.
Sapir followed-up by calling Casna’s proposal “pie in the sky.”
“Flicker is a BOH issue and it belongs here,” Sapir said.
Casna needed a second to continue discussion on his proposal and received it from Bill Watson.
Sapir continued his objections. “I oppose it because it’s taking the responsibility of the BOH and it’s placing it in the hands of the people who entered into the contractual arrangements with the owner [of the KWI Turbine].”
“Correct,” Casna responded.
“So it’s like buddies having a meeting,” Sapir said.
Casna voiced his disagreement with Sapir’s position when Doreen Reilly interjected from the audience. “But ya know what Dan [Sapir], we’re not getting anywhere here so what the heck?”
“I don’t see the downside to the negotiation process that would be laid out,” Casna said before calling the question to a vote.
Casna, Watson and William Kavol voted in favor of asking the BOS to authorize Town Counsel to enter into direct negotiations with the KWI Turbine co-managers to mitigate flicker.
Sapir and Jack Breen opposed Casna’s motion.
Reilly then asked Casna who could authorize a shutdown of the KWI Turbine until mitigation was reached on shadow flicker. Casna responded to Reilly, saying he didn’t know the answer.
“You can go to the top of Mount Herman and shout it out, and it won’t work,” Sapir said.
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