KINGSTON – The sound study to determine if the Independence wind turbine is in compliance with state noise regulations is scheduled to begin Monday (Dec. 9). It will be conducted by the consultanting firm of Harris Miller Miller & Hanson and the results will be reviewed by the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Board of Health Chairman Joe Casna updated selectmen Tuesday night on the latest iformation surrounding the sound study, noting it should be completed by Feb. 28.
Casna said he doesn’t expect any further delays would be well-received by either the town or the DEP, yet there there have been several delays already. Kingston Wind Independence (KWI) owners wanted to delay the start of the study until January, he said, but DEP officials weren’t willing to wait.
Selectmen Chairman Elaine Fiore took the news as a positive step forward, describing the announcement of the start of the study as progress.
Selectman Sandy MacFarlane said she has faith that, with the DEP’s support, the study will go forward without further delay.
But Casna finds it hard to just sit back and have faith.
While maintenance issues have contributed to the delays, he said, the Independence has still been operating on a fairly regular basis and he thinks the turbine’s owners are dragging their feet.
“We should be able to expect a little cooperation,” he said.
Fiore explained that she has been studying the town’s contract with KWI for the lease of town-owned land and suggested her board needs to remain neutral and be careful to avoid any action that could violate the contract before the study is completed.
Monday night, Casna asked the Board of Health to request – through a letter sent by town counsel – that Kingston Wind Independence and No Fossil Fuel shut down their four turbines from Monday, Dec. 23, through Saturday, Dec. 28, so neighbors of the turbines could enjoy an undisturbed holiday.
It would show good faith on the part of the turbine owners, he added.
While Board of Health member Toni Cushman supported this proposal, members Jack Breen and Bill Kavol were opposed, and Bill Watson was not present. For the meeting. Breen cited his concern about taking any action until after the sound study is completed and the data is analyzed.
“What we’re saying is we don’t care about the scientific information,” he said.
Tuesday, Copper Beech Drive resident David Kennedy also proposed a holiday shutdown. He asked selectmen to consider asking the owners to shut down the turbines from Tuesday, Dec. 24, through Wednesday, Jan. 1. His request was made during open forum and selectmen did not respond specifically to his request.
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