1 Last week, the Kingston Board of Health changed the rules for the Independence wind turbine, located on leased town land overlooking Route 3. The original “abatement order,” enacted more than 24 months ago, required the turbine be shut down during specific times, but it also included restrictions based on the direction the wind was blowing.
We think board member David Kennedy pretty much summed up the absurdity of that when he noted, “I don’t know how a turbine developer can turn it off and then turn it back on when the wind changes.”
Eliminating wind direction as a consideration was an excellent move on the part of the board.
2 But the amount of time it has taken for residents who say the turbine negatively impacts their lives to get even this level of resolution is ridiculous.
Yes, the studies needed to be done, but the length of time it took to conduct them and respond to them was disrespectful to those claiming injury and sets a bad precedent for what is an appropriate response from the town to the concerns of its residents. Whatever the final decision of the board, the time it took to make it was unacceptable.
3 The real problem here, as we’ve written before, goes back to the foundation of turbine projects in Kingston and other communities across the state.
While the desire to address the very real need for alternative, renewable, green energy is praiseworthy, there was – and continues to be – a shortage of verifiable scientific information about the potential negative impact of wind turbines on those living near them.
That does not mean we should not embrace wind energy. It just means we owe residents (and property owners whose land values could be impacted by such development) a more informed and compassionate set of standards for where turbines can and should be located.
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