KINGSTON – Even though they are neighbors, the Board of Health supports acoustic sound monitoring at the homes of two of the biggest critics of the placement of the Independence wind turbine.
Following the board’s unanimous vote Monday night to have both homes included in the study, Leland Road residents Doreen and Sean Reilly were waiting to hear whether the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center would place sound monitors at their home as well as at their neighbor Dan Alves’ home.
They did not like the answer they got Tuesday and find it unacceptable that their property was not included as a home to be monitored as part of the acoustical sound study.
“We have filed noise complaints with the Board of Health since May of 2012, we have been at every meeting and have led most of the discussions regarding noise issues related to the Independence turbine and the negative impact to our lives,” Doreen Reilly said. “It is crucial that our home be included as part of the acoustical sound study.”
CEC project manager Peter McPhee responded Tuesday in a letter to officials, the Reillys and the Alves why the Reilly property was not selected to represent the location of the complaints that have been lodged from Leland Road. McPhee referenced a letter from the consultants conducting the monitoring.
The consultants, Harris Miller Miller and Hanson, determined that the most appropriate monitoring site would be the large, open space in the side yard next to the Alves’ house, in part because it’s in direct view of the turbine, away from reflecting surfaces and areas of trees, and because buildings on Schofield Road block the line-of-sight to the turbine.
Also Monday night, Alves presented a letter signed by residents of Leland Road, Schofield Road, Prospect Street and Prospect Court to the board requesting other changes to the testing protocol.
In the letter, the neighbors advocate for use of the “fast meter reading” method of testing instead of taking slow meter readings “to capture the true impulsive nature of wind turbine emissions” and ensure the testing has integrity.
“You need a fast meter reading to get a true high (maximum) reading, which is what we’re after, to be fair to us,” Alves said.
While Board of Health member Dan Sapir initially suggested that the board should support the premise of the letter and ask CEC to take fast meter readings, he changed course after other board members questioned parts of the letter.
Sapir said the letter warrants further review, however, and proposed that the board send it to the CEC asking that it be given “full consideration.” The decision to submit the letter was unanimous.
In the letter, the neighbors also demand that the sound study consultants justify the rationale for the sound meter testing locations, which they did, and that CEC make all data acquisition available to the public.
While the DEP has committed to evaluating the results of the acoustic monitoring study, board member Bill Watson said the door is still open to the board hiring an acoustical expert of its own to review the results.
A public information session on flicker effect is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, April 22.
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