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Time to wake up when it comes to wind turbines

It’s time for the residents of Connecticut, elected town officials, the Council of Small Towns, and regional Councils of Government to wake up. On Tuesday, May 28 the state legislative Regulations Review Committee will address the resubmitted industrial wind turbine regulations as modified by the state Siting Council.

When it comes to the giant noisemakers, only one thing really matters and that is the setback, or distance from the turbine to a neighboring property line. Yet, in its initial submission to the committee, the Siting Council chose to ignore the evidence submitted by residents from both Prospect and Colebrook, where one wind project was defeated and the other approved. At a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars, groups from both towns presented evidence that noise impacts lead to a degradation of the quality of life for neighbors living in close proximity to industrial sized turbines. Yet now the Siting Council has modified its original and ridiculously proposed “1.1 times the height” setback standard (550 feet) to 1.5 times the height or 750 feet from a residential home.

The Siting Council ignores not only local input but global as well. In the past five years both the World Health Organization and the Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council in separate research projects came to the same conclusion, that these projects should never be sited less than a half-mile or 2,640 feet from a residential area. If you want evidence to back up these two renowned scientific bodies, simply take a two hour ride to Falmouth, Mass. where the town leaders are about to turn off two industrial turbines that have caused chaos and led to health issues for far too many residents to mention. These folks were witnesses in Prospect’s fight against proposed turbines, so you can take it from me that their issues were real. Just as real as the man who flew in from Wisconsin to tell the same story to the Siting Council.

After 35 years of wind energy development in the U.S. and England, which represents one of the windiest spots on the planet, the energy generated from wind only accounts for about 3% of electricity. Take away the generous government investments and tax breaks and you have an industry that can’t stand on its own. It’s time to protect your homes. Call your state legislators now. Nobody wants a 500-foot tall wind turbine within a half-mile of their home.

Timothy C. Reilly

Former President of Save Prospect Corp.