FALMOUTH – After hearing about two hours of comments Monday night for and against the operation of the Wind 1 and Wind 2 turbines, the Falmouth Board of Health took no action that would attempt to modify the hours of operation for the turbines set by selectmen.
The board heard testimony based on the new hours of operation for the turbines at the town wastewater treatment plant that some neighbors claim affect their health. In the absence of new information, the board approved a motion that future comments on the turbines’ operation must be submitted to the board in writing and the board reserves the right to reopen the matter for pubic discussion if new evidence is presented.
“Clearly theres a lot of passion on both sides of this issue.” Said board member Stephen Rafferty, noting the 20 or so residents who attended.
Last month, selectmen voted to change the hours of operation of the two town-owned turbines from 12 to 16 hours per day. The increase in hours is an effort to recoup the financial loss that resulted in the turbines reduced hours of operation. Currently the turbines are off from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., instead of the previous 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Earlier this year, voters rejected proposals for funding to remove the turbines.
Health concerns have been an ongoing issue for some residents since the 1.65-megawatt turbine known as Wind 1 was installed on Blacksmith Shop Road in 2010 and its counterpart Wind 2 shortly after. Residents that live near the turbines have been complaining of adverse health effects and sleep deprivation they believe have been caused by Wind 1 and Wind 2.
Board of health chairman Jared Goldstone began Monday night’s discussion with a summary of the wind turbine issue and by holding up two folders overflowing with written complaints and literature on the negative health effects of sleep deprivation that had been submitted to the board by town residents.
Colin Murphy of Blacksmith Shop Road took the opportunity at the meeting to express his concerns.
“I hope it doesn’t effect my children later on in life,” Murphy said.
Dick Taylor spoke in favor of the wind turbines and suggested alternatives for the people who believe they are affected by them.
“There have been other solutions that have been suggested. The most effective one of which is to trade your house for one somewhere else,” said Taylor.
As the board of health voted to close discussion, many turbine opponents left the room.
“I wonder if they even read what we send them.” Said Malcolm Donald a longtime critic of the turbines. “It’s pathetic.”
“Put it to bed so everyone in Falmouth can get a good night’s sleep,” said Linda Tobey, an opponent of the turbines’ continued operation.
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