March 12, 2015
Letters, Massachusetts

Turbine relief sought

Shelburne Falls & West County Independent | March 12, 2015 |

You may have heard news in January about the Administrative Consent Order (ACO)for Iberdrola’s Hoosac Wind Project by MassDEP for noncompliance. One of the conditions of the ACO is a hotline for neighbors to call about complaints of noise from the project.

One the neighbors, Michael Fairneny, did have cause to make a complaint on 2/5/15,underlined in a report by Stephen E. Ambrose, ASA, INCE, board-certified acoustician. He has considerable criticism of the protocol used to take sound measurements and the report by RSG, acoustical consultant for Iberdrola.

He says, “My professional opinion is that this wind-turbine compliance noise test is not credible and does not show that the turbines meet the Mass DEP noise limits.”

Additionally, the person refused to make the measurements at the complainant’s home and instead took measurements on the road, where the turbines are more obscured by topography and trees. During ambient sound measurement two of the nine turbines were not shut down. This measurement is made to establish sound levels without the turbines generating power, and yet turbines were left on, tainting the ambient sound levels. All these maneuvers and still only .8 dBa less than state regulations allow.

RSG has used inappropriate methods and not followed MassDEP protocol in past sound tests done for Hoosac Wind. Ploys include of equipment in the woods and behind trees and no testing at the most impacted properties. The intent being lower sound levels with turbines on and raised ambient sound levels in an attempt to insure Hoosac Wind is not found out of compliance. I might add this has been with MassDEP’s approval.

None of the neighbors in Florida, MA have received notice from either the town or Iberdrola. It was in a chance meeting with Gail Cariddi that I became aware of the ACO. The neighbors have been impacted by Hoosac Wind for well over two years and testing at the same inappropriate places will not take place until fall or winter/spring of 2016, leaving the neighbors stuck with noise from the project.

When will the neighbors get relief?

Larry Lorusso


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