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Town and state officials meet with Fairhaven Wind LLC to seek resolution

FAIRHAVEN – Town and state officials met with Fairhaven Wind LLC Wednesday to discuss a compromise on the two industrial wind turbines.

Select Board Chairman Charles Murphy said Thursday they were seeking “a compromise to reach a resolution that will meet the health needs of our community and not be a financial burden.”

He said the compromise would bring the two industrial wind turbines on town land into compliance with state noise regulations while avoiding a costly lawsuit.

Mr. Murphy said it is now likely the July 15 public meeting the Board of Health scheduled with Fairhaven Wind will be postponed. He said selectmen and the Board of Health are trying to arrange a meeting with the developer Monday in executive session.

Board of Health agent Patricia Fowle said Thursday they were waiting for notice in writing from Fairhaven Wind about postponing next Monday’s hearing before notifying the public.

The wind developer was forced to shut the turbines down from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. by the Board of Health in a vote June 10 and a formal notice issued June 17. The order came after testing by the state Department of Environmental Protection showed the turbines exceeded state noise limits in tests conducted late at night in November 2012 and March and April 2013. The state sets a 10 decibel limit for how much noise levels may be increased in a given area.

On June 10, selectmen gave Fairhaven Wind 30 days to come into compliance with its lease, which includes the 10 decibel limit.

At a meeting with selectmen July 1, Sumul Shah of Fairhaven Wind proposed shutting one turbine down at night to bring the turbines into compliance within the 30-day limit. He asked to meet with town officials, however, to reach a more permanent solution.

Besides Mr. Murphy, at the meeting yesterday were Town Counsel Thomas Crotty, Board of Health member Barbara Acksen, Executive Secretary Jeffrey Osuch, three representatives of Fairhaven Wind, Martin Suuberg and Laurel Carlson of the DEP and representatives of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.