Fairhaven Wind and their supporters have managed to convince many people in the area that if you question anything about their wind turbine project you are a bad person – a turbine foe, an anti-wind activist, a climate change denier.
All of this labeling is meant to discourage us from asking important questions and supporting our neighbors publicly.
So what are these questions we have asked?
We have asked why Fairhaven Wind would not post a bond to guarantee the neighbors protection from potential health impacts and property value loss.
We have asked how many homes are located within 3,000 feet of these turbines. (701!)
We have asked to go out at night with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection when they performed their compliance testing so that we could witness the process and hear how loud the turbines are in the quiet hours of the night.
We have asked why the power to the turbines was turned off by the operator during the testing hours on Oct. 15, and why the DEP was unaware of that.
We have asked why the town and its citizens were not informed for six months after the turbines were first found out of compliance in November 2012.
We have asked why the DEP refuses to enforce its own noise regulations, despite their promise that the turbines would be shut down if they were found to be out of compliance.
We have asked why we should continue to support a project that uses our tax dollars to support a Chinese company using stolen software that cost Americans their jobs.
It seems very strange to me that we are being called names for asking questions like this.
We are also being criticized for standing up for those of our neighbors who have been impacted by the turbine noise, the pressure waves and the inaudible low-frequency sound that the turbines emit.
I am quite proud to stand up for my neighbors – even when that makes other people call me names.
Lately some of us have been asking another question – what has it been like for you to live next door to the turbines?
We have been told over and over again that we are the only ones who have asked that question. Are we really the only ones who care?
Louise Barteau lives in Fairhaven.
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