Health Complaints Led to Lawsuit Which Led to Demolition of Wind Turbines
By B.N. Frank
Opposition to and complaints about wind turbines and farms is likely to increase in the U.S. and worldwide until substantial biological, economic, environmental, and safety issues – including fires (see 1, 2), noise, and toxic emissions – are eliminated or greatly reduced (see also 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22). Residents started experiencing various health issues after two wind turbines were installed in Falmouth, MA. This led to a lawsuit and now demolition of the offending infrastructure.
Two land-based wind turbines that drew heavy criticism from their Falmouth neighbors are scheduled to be demolished this week and next.
The town-owned turbines, Wind 1 and Wind 2, were installed about a decade ago at the Falmouth wastewater treatment facility.
Abutting neighbor Barry Funfar, a Vietnam combat veteran who has post-traumatic stress disorder, said the noise and pulsing-air sensation from the turbines prevented him from being in his garden.
“Once these turbines were in, it’s like – it was just something they did to me,” he said. “It was like a feeling in my chest, that I couldn’t stand to be out there anymore.”
Others complained of insomnia, headaches, and other health problems from the noise and motion.
For Funfar, his garden had been a place of solace.
“I was, like, a helicopter door gunner in Vietnam for 19 months. And to get away from everything, I had a backyard garden sanctuary where I spent considerable time … and it was peaceful,” he said.
Before the turbines were installed, he and other residents visited a wind turbine in Hull, and it didn’t seem to be a problem, he said. But the Falmouth turbines were larger.
Funfar and his wife sought help from town officials. The Zoning Board of Appeals agreed with them that the turbines were a nuisance.
The town sued the Funfars and the ZBA. The town lost, and a judge ordered the turbines shut down five years ago.
Falmouth Select Board member Doug Brown said last week that he wishes Town Meeting had received more information about potential noise levels before approving the turbines.
“I feel sad about the whole thing, you know?” he said. “It’s too bad, because when they first went up, I was so proud of my town. I was like, ‘Wow, this is great. You know, we’re cutting edge,’ but … It’s a shame how it went, you know? It’s too bad.”
Demolition of Wind 1 is scheduled for the week of Sept. 26, and Wind 2 the week of Oct. 3.
Source: By Jennette Barnes | CAI | September 26, 2022 | www.capeandislands.org
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