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A few residents in Falmouth, Massachusetts have finally won in their battle to have local wind turbines shut down due to the noise levels that they produced.
The Department of Environmental Protection released a report on Tuesday which stated that the noise levels from turbines less than 1,500 feet from the nearest home exceeded the acceptable state levels. Three megawatts of wind power will be shut down whilst further investigations are under way.
There is fear that this finding will give power to the increasingly vocal opponents of wind power. However, Kenneth Kimmell, the state environmental protection commissioner, said that, “obviously we take these findings extremely seriously, but I don’t think we should jump to conclusions that the experience here can be generalized to other locations.”
“I think [this report] demonstrates that Massachusetts DEP calls balls and strikes in an impartial way and holds wind turbines to the same standards as we apply to other industries, but there are other turbines operating in residential areas, which have not led to similar complaints. So these results do not implicate turbines everywhere.”
In total two turbines will be affected by the report. The main offender must be turned off immediately, for at least thirty days, whilst the other will only be powered down at nights, between the hours of 7pm and 7am. These limitations will remain in effect until further studies into the noise levels have been conducted.
Annie Cool, a real estate broker who lives close to one of the turbines said that she complained of not being able to sleep at night due to the loud noise of the turbine, rather like “a boot in a dryer.”
She said that, “this report is a long time in coming. The town of Falmouth made a quick decision to place those turbines in a residential area, and when they realized it may have not been the best decision, rather than doing the right thing and moving the turbines, they went into a long, exhausted financial exercise to prove that the neighbours were crazy.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com