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Misleading content and use of Mass. DEP wind turbine health impact report  

Credit:  Joanne Levesque - Feb 6, 2015 ~~

Congratulations! Professor Terry, you have proven to be a valuable surrogate for the very intention of the politically motivated 2012 Massachusetts DEP & DPH Wind Turbine Health Impact “report”.

It has long been known, here in Massachusetts, that the intent of the “report” you based your January 20, 2015 testimony to the Brown County Board of Health on was to mislead the public and to calm the rising tide of evidence of harm in communities that had forged ahead based on false assurances of no harm to come. The Massachusetts report you repeatedly cited was written for the singular purpose of providing sound bites that could be used, and construed, as conclusive evidence of no harm from operational wind turbines. The intent of this shoddy, but successful, literature review was to stonewall efforts at gathering the facts as has been playing out in over 21 Massachusetts communities that put the cart before the horse in accepting industrial wind projects based on now known to be deeply flawed pre-construction reporting. Yes, Professor Terry, we have many, many, Massachusetts residents that have endured disastrous consequences as a result of living too close to wind turbine power plants. Perhaps the facts, as they have been collected over the past few years in many of those communities, would have made for more honest testimony to the Brown County Board of Health?

Why do I say the Massachusetts DEP & DPH Health Impact “report” was successful? Your (and others’) use of this report, and your cherry-picking of certain phrases contained within the report, means that the misleading content is still being used to defy the TRUTH – that alone is considered a success for those who so desperately want to deny the reality that has been documented both in Wisconsin, here in Massachusetts, and elsewhere around the globe.

A little history might be of some value in understanding the “politics” that prompted this very misleading effort by the Massachusetts DEP & DPH – an effort that has now resulted, as desired, in having a University professor such as yourself use this report in an attempt to push back on the reality of industrial wind’s adverse operational impacts as testified to by those whose direct testimony – along with real science – should matter most!

Our Governor at the time, Deval Patrick, ordered this report as a tool to promote his ambitious wind agenda in the face of direct evidence of harm from one of the first of Massachusetts’ wind experiments which was proving troublesome – that being Falmouth, Ma.[1] Other Massachusetts communities’, such as my own, were heeding the calls for concern and caution and as a result many town officials were not yet willing to expose their residents to the various problems we were hearing about from those communities that were promised no adverse impacts.

Question:  What to do about the hesitancy and concern?
Answer:  Commission a “report” of course! One that could be used to deny the harm and help pave the way for an ambitious wind platform! One note of particular interest is that a town official who was involved in the siting of Falmouth’s wind turbines has since admitted that, here in Massachusetts, the early days of wind promotion, and siting, was akin to the “Wild West” – no rules, no laws.[2] I imagine the world of science would normally frown on such an approach. Throughout this wind journey I have witnessed an Alice in Wonderland approach – everything is upside down and inside out. Speaking Truth to Power is non-existent and that, Professor Terry, is a darned shame! I digress.

In spite of Massachusetts’ residents who were reporting various health impacts from wind turbines due to both the invasive and excessive noise levels along with strobing impacts that are clearly, due to their intensity level, nothing short of an environmental pollutant – the so-called “experts” were not allowed to perform any study of, or hold any discussions with, those who were experiencing degraded living conditions. Not one impacted Massachusetts resident was contacted or studied in any way by the “experts” you cited. Experts who, it is important to note, were provided cherry-picked material to review and on which to base their “opinions”. Not one acoustic test was performed as part of this study – there was no study at all you see…only a selected literature review of old and moldy reports. The scientific method was not part of this process – I imagine that would have been inconvenient to the desired result.

You see, Professor Terry, the end game for this report all along was for folks like you to use it as a social manipulation tool. This “report” was intended to be waved around far and wide (and it has) as if the content and conclusions have merit – when the science, especially since that time, clearly shows that the conclusions (which contained several times the word “may” which essentially is meaningless banter as “may” surely infers “may not”!) The reality is the “report”, and the associated headlines, do NOT have either integrity or merit!

Perhaps you’d be interested in the acoustic test results gathered by the Mass DEP and other acoustical engineering firms since this report was released? They prove to show the harm by way of excessive and invasive noise YET here in Massachusetts the powers that be continue to refuse to engage in any testing of low frequencies or infrasound levels – our former Commissioner of the DEP, Ken Kimmel, informed our Wind and Noise Technical Advisory Group that the DEP would not be dealing with, or looking into, Low Frequency or Infrasound as, according to him, “we need to work on that which we can do something about” … a most disingenuous statement spoken like a true lawyer and political appointee who was , in my view, specifically assigned to the DEP to support and further the “agenda” – in this case the “agenda” was the proliferation of wind energy in a state with population density that does not support appropriately protective setbacks. No Matter – laws must be and have been broken and lives altered and degraded all for the “agenda” … I digress again, my apologies.

Yes, our very own typically protective Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection was co-opted at its highest levels by politicians with an agenda, shocker, I know! Yet this department’s non-political employees did their jobs and performed acoustic monitoring of both Falmouth and Fairhaven wind turbines and found them to be out of compliance with Massachusetts Air Pollution Regulations by way of excessive noise levels. Air Pollution is NOT the emission of a clean energy project now is it? Additional acoustic testing in Kingston, Ma further supports the truth of the matter – wind turbine emissions are not clean in that they violate Air Pollution Regulations intended to protect public health and safety.

It may be of interest for you to know that, here in Massachusetts, EVERY pre-construction acoustic report I have reviewed I found to be based on flawed acoustic modeling programs and protocols. Each and every report, prior to operation, understated the NOISE issues that have been documented in communities who rushed to approve and construct industrial wind turbine power plant projects. Every report flawed – much like the “report” you used to testify to the Brown County Health Commissioners.

In fact, it has now been proven via acoustic testing results that wind turbine Manufacturer’s Warranty of Sound Power Levels (SPL) are also understated. Science has since proven that the NOISE levels in at least one community are at LEAST twice as loud as predicted by wind industry acoustic consultants prior to construction. This acoustic testing has yet to release worst-case scenario NOISE level data… so that number is sure to increase.

I read an article recently where the author reminded the readers of the seemingly long lost academic approach of yesteryear – that is the desire to fully embrace and encourage “Speaking Truth To Power”. Please know, Professor Terry, your use of the Mass DEP & DPH report falls far short of that worthy goal – in fact the use of that “report” only suffices to chill or subvert the truth as we have come to know and document it.

I am sorry to inform you, as you may be unaware, that your use of the 2012 Massachusetts DEP & DPH Health Impact “report” is akin to using propaganda under the guise of a “study” when the fact is there was no study performed at all merely a literature review of selected pieces. As a result, this has you in the position of “guarding the palace” – meaning you are guarding the false narrative that the Massachusetts DEP & DPH were, no doubt, instructed to put out in the public realm as a media manipulation tool to help push forth former Governor Patrick’s wind “agenda”.

In fact, at a January 2014 New England Society for Risk Analysis meeting two Boston University Professors who were selected as “experts” on the “report” panel – made some stunning comments as part of their presentation on the DEP/DPH “report”. They informed the audience that: “the media got the headlines all wrong as to the conclusions of our “report”. You see, Professor Terry, when Boston Magazine’s headline, which announced the release of the “draft” DEP/DPH report, accused Massachusetts’ residents who had “complained” of adverse impacts to their health and wellbeing as “Hypochondriacs” the headline was wrong and offensive. One of these professors also commented that: “unlike in Europe – we here in the states are not expected to take one for the home team”. Amazing words! It is true, Professor Terry, we here in the US have constitutional protections for our private property – we should all be free to enjoy the safety and comfort of our homes and property – THAT is not happening either in Massachusetts or, it appears, in Wisconsin as a result of a lack of proper understanding of the operational impacts of industrial wind power plants.

Your use of the Massachusetts “report”, especially in light of so many more recently released PEER reviewed studies, is telling to me – you essentially used “Junk Science” (see footnoted below a review of the “report” by Dr. Raymond Hartman [3]) rather than facts available and known today which resulted in spinning a false narrative to the Brown County Board of Health – academia sure has suffered since the days of “Speaking Truth to Power”!

If you would like any background material on the REAL facts here in Massachusetts I would by happy to provide material to you. I also urge you to be very careful what Massachusetts government or quasi- governmental agency’s “reports” you use in public testimony (example: The Mass Clean Energy Center funded 2014 Real Estate Report). There is a good deal of science out there that has integrity as it’s basis – sadly as a Massachusetts taxpayer – I report to you that the Patrick Administration did not allow facts to get in the way of their fatally flawed “wind agenda” and reporting – and as a result Massachusetts residents I know personally continue to suffer and people across the globe, including you, perpetuate the myth of either no harm or inconclusive connections – when the facts have proven those positions inaccurate and misleading.

I would respectfully urge you to re-evaluate both your position of claiming “no harm” as well as your use of flawed materials for the sole purpose of pushing back on the good people of Wisconsin relative to the very real and degrading impacts resulting from operational wind turbine power plant operations – the residents of Wisconsin deserve better than having propaganda used against them.

File this communication under: Speaking Truth to Power!


Joanne Levesque
Duxbury, Ma

Feb 6, 2015

TO: Patricia Terry, Professor, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay: terryp@uwgb.edu

CC: Gary Miller, Chancellor, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay: millerg@uwgb.edu


1. November 2013, Barnstable Superior Court Judge Muse ruled: “a substantial risk (that they) will suffer irreparable physical and psychological harm if the injunction is not granted.”

Falmouth, Ma neighbor Mark Cool’s 2013 timeline which includes links to important details relative to the Massachusetts Department of Health’s refusal to conduct epidemiological studies. The same DPH that allowed their name to be attached to the “junk science” 2012 “report” used by Professor Terry during her January 20, 2015 testimony.

2. Former Falmouth, Ma official’s claim that land based wind turbine siting was akin to “the Wild West”:

3. Dr. Raymond Hartman’s 2013 critique of the 2012 Mass DEP DPH “report”.

Source:  Joanne Levesque - Feb 6, 2015

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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