KINGSTON – If it’s determined that Kingston Wind Independence turbine operators have breached their contract with the town, the Board of Selectmen could weigh in and not just leave it to the Board of Health.
Next week’s discussion by the Board of Health, with advice from the state Department of Environmental Protection about possible mitigation measures due to violations of the state’s noise regulation, will be closely watched by selectmen. They are in a tricky position.
The Board of Health as an agent of DEP will decide mitigation measures, but the Board of Selectmen was responsible for approving the contractual agreements with Kingston Wind Independence.
An interim report released by DEP last week identified two nights that the Independence was in violation of acceptable sound limits during sound sampling. A final report to be released in the coming weeks isn’t expected to reveal further violations when sound samples were taken.
The Board of Health will meet with the state Department of Environmental Protection, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and consultants Harris, Miller, Miller, and Hanson at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 24, in Room 200 at the Kingston Town House to discuss the violations.
Tuesday night selectmen briefly weighed in on the turbine sound volations. They will be represented at the meeting July 24, as will the members of various other boards and committees, including the Planning Board and Green Energy Committee.
Selectman Susan Munford said she thinks Kingston Wind Independence is in violation of its agreements with the town, not just DEP sound regulations.
“In my opinion, this is a breach of contract,” she said. “We have the science now, and I hope that this is addressed appropriately if it has to come up to us. I just hope the Board of Health addresses this appropriately.”
Selectmen Chairman Elaine Fiore said town counsel will attend the meeting to be able to best direct the Board of Selectmen on any action it may take. Fiore said the science is in the town’s hands, and aside from action the Board of Health may take, the selectmen may intervene if it’s appropriate.
“If it’s something that’s in our court, then we’ll get involved as well, if we have the authority to do anything,” she said.
Board of Health Chairman Joe Casna said the potential mitigation measures will be based on the available science the Board of Health sought out and has been waiting for while following the advice of town counsel to make the most responsible decisions.
“This has been a long, difficult process,” he said. “Yes, there have been frustrations at the process, but we needed this scientific information. We are closer to the end than the beginning.”
Winter Street resident Bradford Randall, a Republican candidate for state representative, took the opportunity during open forum to incite selectmen to take action. He said the results of the study clearly validate the concerns of residents and asked that selectmen to do everything in their power to remedy the situation.
“If we cannot bring the turbine into compliance, the board needs to be ready to shut it down,” he said.
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