The Antrim Select Board agreed to address the state’s Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) on behalf of residents’ concerns about noise and light issues associated with the Antrim Wind project at their Monday night meeting. Concerned citizens might get some answers by the end of the month, according to an update the SEC sent recently.
On Friday, the SEC issued an update naming the three members of the investigative subcommittee tasked with recommending a methodology for measuring and analyzing sound and noise complaints, investigating complaints filed through the end of 2021 to ensure the wind facility meets the terms and conditions of its certificate, and making recommendations based on the results. The subcommittee is scheduled to recommend a method for evaluating noise levels on site by April 23, according to the update, and to deliver a quarterly report by June 1.
The Antrim Select Board will be sending a letter to the SEC this week listing the questions they and citizens want answers to, Chair John Robertson said, after a number of concerned residents encouraged them to act at their Monday meeting.
About five citizens participated in the back-and-forth with the Select Board, Antrim resident Richard Block said, and that he hoped the Select Board would take a more active part in pressing the SEC to address the interests and rights of Antrim residents.
“We have a big stake in this,” Robertson said, but the Select Board is limited in their jurisdiction in the matter, as the SEC is the ultimate decision maker. A big problem is the communication breakdown between the SEC and the stakeholders, Robertson said. “There’s nobody there to talk to,” he said, since the SEC’s administrator left in late 2020 and wasn’t replaced.
Throughout 2020, stakeholders complained about noise levels and apparent aircraft safety light malfunctions associated with the nine turbines, which went online at the end of 2019. State legislators lent their voice to the cause earlier this year when they decried the SEC’s lack of action on complaints, and a failure to communicate committee activities related to the wind array with community stakeholders. The SEC came up with a plan to address communications and complaints regarding the Antrim Wind project at a meeting on March 25.