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DeTerra rejoins Board of Health as chairman, sets public hearing on turbines with DEP

FAIRHAVEN – Members of the Board of Health unanimously re-elected Peter DeTerra as chairman Wednesday night, restoring a familiar order to a board whose makeup has been uncertain since Fairhaven’s April 1 election.

“I’m glad to be back conducting business and serving the public,” DeTerra said after the one-hour meeting Wednesday.

DeTerra was declared the winner of a recount in the Board of Health race two weeks ago, edging challenger John Wethington by a single vote. The town’s two industrial-sized wind turbines were a topic of heated discussion throughout DeTerra’s campaign, with Wethington arguing they should be shut off at night.

The turbines will be back on the board’s agenda on May 21, when there will be a public hearing with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

That meeting comes at the request of the DEP and was described by DeTerra as “a question-and-answer session with them about the turbine sound study.”

The results of that study have not been released.

The board spent most of the hour-long meeting catching up on setting public hearing dates for everything from septic systems to a request to keep chickens.

“This meeting is really cleanup for the board because it’s been so long,” Health Agent Patricia Fowle told the board, which last met on March 14.

Fowle also updated the board on two potential rabies incidents. A raccoon and a pet cat were sent to the state lab for testing after Animal Control was called about the animals in separate incidents over the weekend.

Only four people attended the meeting, all of whom left after a public hearing date was set for a failed septic system on Winsegansett Avenue.

Afterward, board member Jeanine Lopes noted the meeting had been “nice and peaceful.”