FAIRHAVEN – Board of Health candidates made their case for election at a forum March 20 at Hastings Middle School, with challenger John Wethington saying the board should be more receptive to complaints about the wind turbines.
Chairman Peter DeTerra said Lisa Carlson of the Department of Environmental Protection had just completed the sound study to determine if the turbines exceed the 10 decibel limit for increasing noise levels in an area.
The Board of Health set up a complaint form online and asked for the DEP to conduct a sound study. More than 50 households have submitted complaints on the town website.
Mr. DeTerra said the Board of Health deals with many other issues besides the turbines, including dealing with the county on mosquito control to determine if mosquitoes carry EEE or West Nile virus, a needle exchange program and inspections of more than 100 food establishments. The board also oversees flu shots.
His challenger, Mr. Wethington, a registered nurse, said addressing complaints about the wind turbines and the “working waterfront” should be priorities for the Board of Health. More than 20 households abutting Fairhaven Shipyard recently brought their complaints to the Board of Selectmen after seeking action by the Board of Health more than a year ago.
“I am not a member of Windwise,” Mr. Wethington said, adding, “Windwise is a group of people that are hurting and they’re being shunned by the community they live in.”
He said health board members should “go out and listen” on streets where the complaints are coming from to see if the turbines are so loud they are making it difficult for people to sleep.
He denied that he is a one-issue candidate, however. “To say that I’m a one-issue candidate is ignorant at best,” he said.
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