Mass DEP Recommends Shut Down of Wind Turbine

May 16, 2012

The study released Tuesday by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection shows that the Wind One industrial turbine in the Cape Cod town of Falmouth produces noise louder than the state allows.

The report marks the first time the state has recommended a shut-off of a wind turbine.

Earlier this year, after an independent scientific panel’s report concluded that there is a lack of concrete evidence that proximity to wind turbines affects human health, the DEP heard comments from the public across the state. In the Berkshire town of Lee, local residents voiced their concerns. Dave Moriarty of Falmouth drove out to deliver his comments to the state again, months before the Falmouth select board ordered the temporary shut-down of the turbine after state recommendations.

At the hearing, Falmouth residents complained of headaches, sleeplessness, and vertigo – symptoms the report dismissed.

Spokesman for the Mass DEP Ed Coletta said that the results released yesterday of the noise caused by Wind One will help the state make decisions going forward, but will focus on the particular turbine only.

Coletta said the comments obtained during the hearings on the health effects of wind turbines by the independent panel are still being examined and a release on that is due later this year.

Eleanor Tillinghast of Wind Wise Massachusetts, a group advocating against industrial wind turbines, says that move by the Falmouth select board to shut down the turbine for more DEP testing should have come sooner.

As more wind projects are being planned and considered especially in Western Massachusetts and the Berkshires, Tillinghast said that the pressure will not come from the state on stricter siting, but rather, the pressure will come upon the owners of the potential turbines.

Wind power remains a key component of Massachusetts’ clean energy agenda. The DEP will continue testing noise levels of the Wind One turbine in Falmouth.