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End of the line for Falmouth wind turbines

July 18, 2017

The Falmouth Board of Selectmen have decided not to continue the legal battle over two wind turbines that began operation at the town’s wastewater treatment facility in 2010 and 2012. The decision comes in the wake of a ruling from Massachusetts Superior Court last week that called for immediate cessation of turbine operations. Wind 1 has been […]

“Demographic shift” begins as people move from turbines in Falmouth, Fairhaven

May 25, 2013

Planners have long recognized what they call a “demographic shift” in areas near new or expanded airports and highways: in the years after construction of the new noise source, some proportion of nearby residents move away, seeking a return of the quiet they desire.  Since about half the population is very noise tolerant, buyers who […]

Falmouth turbines to stay, Fairhaven turbines too loud

May 22, 2013

In the first town-wide vote on the question of what to do about noise issues around two town-owned turbines, Falmouth voters overwhelmingly defeated a measure that would have authorized the Selectmen to continue on their preferred path of dismantling the turbines.  The proposal carried a likely pricetag of about $800 per household, spread over ten […]

In Round 2, Falmouth turbine dismantling fails to gain town meeting support

April 10, 2013

A month after Falmouth’s Board of Selectmen voted to recommend dismantling of the two town-owned wind turbines, a Town Meeting vote fell seven votes short of the two-thirds majority necessary to authorize borrowing money to do so.  A follow-up measure authorizing $100,000 to develop proposals for decommissioning will be discussed as the Town Meeting continues […]

Falmouth turbine options group: no consensus, but impacts are recognized

January 28, 2013

Even before meetings began, facilitators of the multi-stakeholder group convened in Falmouth  to address widespread neighborhood complaints about noise from two town-owned turbines realized that the original goal of having group develop a consensus recommendation was too high a bar to aim for.  So, the process was dubbed the “Wind Turbines Options Analysis Process,” with a […]

Follow the Falmouth Wind Turbines Options Analysis process

July 30, 2012

The town of Falmouth, Massachusetts has been the site of some unusually wide-ranging efforts to come to grips with the unexpected impacts on nearby neighbors after two town-owned turbines began operating at the local wastewater treatment plant.  Several dozen neighbors, most living within a half mile or so, have spoken out consistently about their experiences […]

Falmouth board hears from dozens of wind farm neighbors

May 25, 2012

The Falmouth Board of Health held a special meeting to gather written and oral testimony from neighbors of three wind turbines in town who are experiencing health issues.  Seventy people attended the meeting, with about 30 having prepared written testimony about their personal health after the turbines became operational, as requested by the board, which […]

One Falmouth turbine shut down by state DEP

May 18, 2012

One of the contentious wind turbines in Falmouth, Massachusetts has been ruled out of compliance with state noise rules after an investigation by the state Department of Environmental Protection.  The noise study found that the turbine created noise levels at one residence less than 1500 feet away that exceeded background ambient noise by more than […]

Falmouth selectmen, town meeting continue to tangle over wind turbines

April 16, 2012

Two town meeting votes, along with a short-lived wind turbine plan adopted by the local board of selectmen, kept things blustery in meeting rooms as well as in the springtime air of Falmouth this month.  A large number of people living within a half mile to mile of the two town-owned turbines have been struggling […]

Falmouth, Cape Cod Commission grapple with wind turbine noise

February 22, 2011

The town of Falmouth, Massachusetts continues to grapple with noise complaints from a large number of landowners living within a half mile or so of the two wind turbines erected at the town Wastewater Treatment Facility.  Acting Town Manager Heather Harper, who’s been the town’s point person on seeking solutions since the first turbine began […]

Vinalhaven, Falmouth community wind noise issues remain contentious

November 30, 2010

Two of the “hot button” wind farms of 2010 are headed into the new year with continuing local rancor, despite conciliatory talk from authorities in each town when neighbors began to raise noise issues a year ago. In Vinalhaven, Maine, where three turbines went online in October 2009, providing power for the local electric co-op, […]

Falmouth followup: turbines shut down in high winds

July 26, 2010

As noted here on AIEnews in May, a single new wind turbine in Falmouth, Massachusetts triggered noise problems for many nearby residents (12 formal complaints were filed, an unusually high number for any community, and residents of up to 45 of the 120 homes within a mile raised concerns in informal local meetings).  The town […]

Third of a mile setback doesn’t prevent wind turbine noise issues in Falmouth

May 14, 2010

When the town-owned wind turbine began operating at the Falmouth, MA wastewater treatment facility in March, most townspeople saw it as the most striking example of the town’s far-reaching commitment to sustainability.  Since then, it’s generated about a third of the town’s electricity needs, and a second turbine is being readied for installation nearby this […]

2008 UK stranding linked to Navy exercises

May 6, 2013

On June 9, 2008, 26 common dolphins, 21 of them infants, stranded and died in river estuaries around Falmouth Bay, as several days of Naval exercises involving over 30 ships wound down (see AIEnews coverage at the time).  A four-year study (read it online) has  concluded that unspecified Naval activities are “the most probable (but […]

Do negative expectations cause wind turbine health effects? (AEI analysis and commentary)

March 22, 2013

AEI lay summary of: Simon Chapman, Alexis St. George, Karen Waller.  2013. Spatio-temporal differences in the history of health and noise complaints about Australian wind farms: evidence for the psychogenic, “communicated disease” hypothesis. Download this paper (pdf) Crichton, F., Dodd, G., Schmid, G., Gamble, G., & Petrie, K. J. (2013, March 11). Can Expectations Produce […]

Massachusetts grapples with diverse responses to wind turbines

January 6, 2013

Eastern Massachusetts continues to be a hotbed of both small-scale wind development and ongoing complaints in several towns.  Sixteen communities in the area now host one to four wind turbines (not all of which are full-sized industrial turbines); in five of these towns, complaints have been relatively numerous (a dozen to several dozen individuals).  Some […]

Kingston Board of Health faces packed house on wind farm noise

November 8, 2012

Kingston, MA, is the fourth town in the area to experience widespread public complaints about noise from small wind farms.  As in Falmouth, Fairhaven, and Scituate, town officials have begun holding hearings to hear from affected residents.  On Monday, the Kingston Board of Health voted to consult with the town’s attorney, to explore what options may […]

Turbine sound studies coming soon in two Massachusetts towns

August 8, 2012

Two small wind farm projects in southeastern Massachusetts that have stirred neighbor complaints about noise over the past several months will be tested for compliance with state noise limits.  Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) rules require that noise sources increase existing noise levels by no more than 10dB.  This summer, one of the turbines […]

Massachusetts towns address turbine noise issues

July 4, 2012

A trio of towns in southeastern Massachusetts continue to address turbine noise issues in response to neighbor complaints about sleep disruption and health effects near small wind farms of three to four turbines each.   In Falmouth, which was the first of the towns to have turbines begin operating close to homes, the affected neighbors […]

Another week, another wind farm noise and health report

January 24, 2012

Driven by the rising public clamor about health effects reported by people living near wind farms, officials across the nation and around the world have been called on to assess the veracity of these claims.  This week’s contribution to the rapidly expanding genre of “wind farms and health” literature comes from the Massachusetts Departments of […]

Recent research on low frequency noise from wind turbines

December 31, 2011

If AEI were a mass media outlet, publishing this on New Year’s Eve would be considered an attempt to “bury” the story on a weekend when few people are following the news.  But since our readership works on a longer time scale and are likely to find their way here over the next couple of […]

Wind farm noise, health issues continue to grow—and get jumbled—in Ontario

October 10, 2011

AEI Commentary The wild and turbulent public debate about wind farm noise issues continues to generate steady new eruptions in Ontario.  And while what’s coming out could be extremely valuable information for others struggling to support a more cautionary approach to wind farm siting, media reports are contributing to an increasingly jumbled public perception about […]

Lawsuits begin to crop up, challenging nearby wind farms

May 31, 2010

In recent months, several lawsuits and formal complaints have been filed, claiming unlawful nuisance and/or impacts on property values and quality of life near wind farms.  Most recently, sixteen residents sued the Michigan Wind I wind farm and its developers, laying out a series of complaints, including (as detailed in the Huron Daily Tribune): Private […]

UK Navy Tests Airguns as Alternative to Explosions for Shock Trials

June 16, 2008

In the wake of the Falmouth Bay strandings, the UK Navy has announced that it has been testing a new approach to “shock trials,” meant to be less dangerous for marine life. Shock trials test the resilience of ships to mines and torpedoes, typically accomplished by setting off large explosions near the ships. The new […]

UK Strandings Lead to Murky Picture of Naval Activity

June 11, 2008

A week after the UK’s worst dolphin stranding since 1981, reports from locals and the UK Navy are conflicting. Two weeks of live-fire exercises were wrapping up in the area over last weekend, with the Navy first claiming to have concluded those exercises Sunday afternoon, then saying that in fact the last live-fire took place […]