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Windwise files for extension in turbine lawsuit  

Credit:  By Ariel Wittenberg | October 19, 2013 | www.southcoasttoday.com ~~

FAIRHAVEN – Members of Windwise have asked a Superior Court judge for more time to admit evidence in their latest lawsuit aimed at combating the town’s two wind turbines. They say more time is needed to review the state’s noise sampling of the machines, calling it “new information only recently discovered” in a September motion.

In May, the state Department of Environmental Protection released data showing the turbines had violated state noise regulations four times. That release occurred 20 days after the end of the “discovery” period for the lawsuit when new evidence could have been submitted.

Windwise attorney Ann DeNardis did not respond to two phone calls requesting comment. In her motion, she wrote that an extension would be “in the interest of justice.”

The action put Fairhaven Wind turbine developer Gordon Deane on the offensive. He called the motion “ridiculous” given the close attention paid by Windwise and DeNardis to the town’s turbines and related state testing.

DeNardis and plaintiffs in the lawsuit have attended numerous meetings with the DEP leading up to and following the release of the sound study results. Members of Windwise also shadowed DEP technicians while they conducted testing, as did Fairhaven Wind employees.

“She is basically saying (the DEP testing) is new information she didn’t know was out there,” Deane said. “They’ve known that the DEP has been collecting data since it started in August 2012, and the deadline expired in May 2013. Why are they waiting until September 2013 to ask for an extension?”

Both the Town of Fairhaven and Fairhaven Wind have objected to DeNardis’ motion in court. The judge has not yet issued a ruling. Fairhaven Town Counsel Thomas Crotty was unavailable for comment.

Deane also argued that the DEP’s findings are “irrelevant to this suit,” which asks the town to dismantle the north turbine because it was built on a different lot than the one listed on its building permit.

“Whatever data was collected post-construction has nothing to do with what was permitted preconstruction,” he said.

Source:  By Ariel Wittenberg | October 19, 2013 | www.southcoasttoday.com

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