KINGSTON – It’s looking more likely that the Board of Health will have a vote in July or August to decide whether to place further restrictions on operation of the the Independence wind turbine.
The board may vote to amend an abatement order approved last fall restricting the hours of operation under certain wind conditions when the turbine is deemed to be out of compliance with state noise regulations.
Board of Health Chairman Bill Watson said last night that the order could be amended by lowering the threshold that needs to be met for the turbine to be shut down or by extending the hours when it must be shut down.
The date of that meeting will be determined by the release of a final report from Harris Miller Miller and Hanson, the consultants that conducted the noise study that found violations of the state noise regulation and policy.
Board of Health member David Kennedy, who had believed he would be able to vote on turbine matters based on previous discussions with the state Ethics Commission, won’t be able to vote. He recent recently heard from the state that they needed more information from him first.
Kennedy lives on Copper Beech Drive, one of the roads affected by turbine noise. After recusing himself from the discussion, he was successful in pushing for HMMH to agree to release previously unreleased data from two different dates when sound was measured.
Representatives from the consultant and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center argued that the date was contaminated and unreliable, but agreed to share the raw data. Kennedy cited the need for transparency when making his request.
The state Department of Environmental Protection was challenged by Duxbury resident Joanne Levesque to explain why if state noise regulations and policy have been violated the state isn’t taking action against the turbine owner. Assistant Commissioner Douglas Fine said it is practice for the state to defer to local boards of health in cases like this.
The final report on the sound study won’t be released until after a group called the Consensus Building Institute has prepared a written summary based on comments received through Tuesday, June 30.
Written comments can be submitted to Griffin Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org. MassCEC will make the summary available on its website at www.masscec.com. The study will then be updated and re-issued.
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