KINGSTON – A long-awaited public hearing on a proposed Board of Health wind turbine shadow flicker regulation has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 24.
The stated purpose of the legislation is to “protect the public from adverse health effects and nuisances that can be associated with shadow flicker emanating from the wind turbines.” Emotional stress, fatique and high blood pressure are listed as being among the ailments flicker could potentially cause.
If the Board of Health signs off on the proposed regulation in an effort to “avoid and abate such risks,” the regulation would apply to all utility-scale turbines. No one would be able to install a new turbine in town without approval of the Board of Health, and existing turbine owners must, within 60 days of its adoption, obtain approval from the board, both in accordance with the terms of the regulation.
Board of Health member Jack Breen said town counsel Jay Talerman, who drafted the regulation for the board, will be at the hearing. The public and owners of the existing turbines are invited to state their opinions, and he said he expects a board vote.
The proposed regulation states that unless proven otherwise flicker in excess of 30 minutes per day or 30 hours per year “will cause an adverse health impact or regulable nuisance.”
Kially Ruiz, co-manager of Kingston Wind Independence, owner of the Independence wind turbine on town land, has weighed in with a letter to the board. Breen said the letter in effect argues that the state does not consider flicker to be a health hazard.
“He was making his best case for no flicker regulation,” Breen said.
The proposed regulation spells out the basic information an existing or prospective wind turbine owner must submit to the board. This include a comprehensive study on flicker impacts. It also lays out the public hearing process following the submission of an application and how the board will enforce the regulation.
Copies of the proposed regulation are available in the Board of Health office at the Kingston Town House.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding