KINGSTON – Once the results of a flicker study of the five wind turbines in town are released –on schedule for Monday – the town will have extra help reviewing the results.
Tuesday night, selectmen approved a request from the Board of Health to hire an engineer to act as an outside consultant and review the results of the study commissioned by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.
Selectmen Dennis Randall said the results of any study, no matter how scientific, can be brought into question, so the town needs to make sure the professional engineer hired to review the results of the flicker study is a neutral party. The Board of Health will seek cost estimates for review by the selectmen.
“If this goes to litigation, the first thing called into question will be the validity of the (flicker) study,” Randall said.
The Board of Health also requested that selectmen approve the hiring of special counsel after July 15 if there is no agreement on how to go forward with a sound study at that point. Vice Chairman Bill Kavol said the health board also wants it in writing that its members would be protected legally.
Selectmen Chairman Elaine Fiore said the state Department of Environmental Protection and Kingston Wind Independence are making progress in discussions about how an acoustical study of the Independence turbine can go forward, after the developer objected to the planned methodology.
The methodology for the sound study has repeatedly been called into question. It was brought into question again Monday and Tuesday nights.
Green Energy Committee Chairman Mark Beaton met with the Board of Health Monday night to present a letter to the board outlining its position on the methodology it feels should be used for the testing of wind turbines.
At Tuesday night’s selectmen’s meeting, Leland Road resident Conner Reilly disputed claims in what he described as a biased letter. Among other things, he said, it’s inaccurate to write that it has been proved the turbines are in compliance with state regulations. He said the testing of the Kingston turbines should employ the same methodology of the testing of the Falmouth and Fairhaven turbines.
Fiore, who attended the Board of Health meeting, said the methodology that should be used for the sound study will depend on the DEP’s meetings with the developer.
“We’re taking our guidance from DEP on what methodology should be used,” she said.
At its next meeting, June 18, selectmen will meet with Country Club Way resident Tim Dwyer to review what he describes as evidence that Mary O’Donnell’s three wind turbines on Marion Drive are out of compliance with state noise regulations.
Fiore said officials have sought advice from DEP in reviewing the results of the sound study by Noise Control Engineering Inc. of Billerica that is the basis for his claim.
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