KINGSTON – Co-owner Kially Ruiz writes in a letter to Town Planner Tom Bott that Kingston Wind Independence relied on the town’s “careful and professional review of all the noise and visual impacts associated with installation of the wind turbine.”
In the letter – copied to the Board of Health, health agent, zoning enforcement officer and others – Ruiz supports Bott’s assertion in a memo to Health Agent Henny Walters and Zoning Enforcement Officer Paul Armstrong that KWI was not required to conduct a flicker study.
Ruiz is critical of opponents of the wind project he says are desperately attempting to retroactively rewrite history and who, at the request of outside agitators like attorney Christopher Senie, “continue to peddle these types of conspiracy theories that the town did not review shadow flicker.”
He also accuses “a board of health member” of collaborating with Senie, who represents a group of residents who have filed suit in Land Court against Mary O’Donnell’s wind turbines, not the Independence, to “rewrite” a flicker standard.
Board of Health member Dan Sapir said he believes Ruiz is clearly accusing him of collaborating with Senie, and that is untrue. He said it’s the board that is considering flicker regulations, he knows the regulations wouldn’t be grandfathered to apply to the Independence, and he has no deal with Senie.
“I have to laugh, because it’s so far off base,” he said.
In the letter, Ruiz writes, “Furthermore, we are concerned with information we have received that a Board of Health member has been collaborating with the opponent’s attorney, Mr. Senie, to “rewrite” a flicker standard which would retroactively apply to the Independence wind turbine.”
Ruiz declined to comment on the letter other than to say that the complaints before the Board of Health have been lodged by the same people who attempted to challenge the zoning permits the town obtained for a project on town-owned land.
He said these complaints are really against a decision made by the town, not against KWI, a contractor under a long-term contract with the town. In his memo, Bott writes that KWI was not the site plan applicant and as such was not required to produce a flicker study. He said the same at last week’s Board of Health meeting.
Leland Road resident Doreen Reilly believes that Bott has been spreading misinformation, including in the memo, to justify the position that the town reviewed the health impacts of wind turbines when no flicker study was ever done.
Reilly said Bott proves her point when he writes in the memo that “there was relatively little discussion about the issue due to its transitory nature and the lack of any known health effects from shadow flicker” from turbines of its kind.
When notified of the letter, Senie declined to respond to any personal comments about him, saying his interest is in ensuring that any acoustical analysis of KWI – and/or the three Mary O’Donnell turbines, although she has said she won’t be part of the study – be done in a full and fair manner.
Board of Selectmen Chairman Joe Casna acknowledged receiving Ruiz’s letter, saying it was unexpected considering that Ruiz had told him the board needed to communicate with him through his attorney. He said he makes no excuses, but Ruiz is clearly angry and frustrated by all that’s going on.
Speaking to Ruiz’s accusation of collaboration with a Board of Health member, Casna said the board is acting independently and like anyone else will listen to what Senie has to say.
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