FALMOUTH HID NOISE LETTER 5 YEARS TO AVOID ABUTTER NOTIFICATIONS AND SPECIAL PERMITS WHICH WOULD REQUIRE ADDITIONAL NOTIFICATIONS
Section 240-166 incorporates by reference the Bylaw’s general special permit requirements and also states that the ZBA shall consider adverse impacts on the neighborhood including noise. The ZBA has the power to impose conditions on the grant of a windmill permit.
THE TOWN FAILED TO FILE THE SPECIAL PERMITS TO AVOID ABUTTER NOTIFICATIONS & SPECIAL PERMITS
The Town of Falmouth has never posted or made public the Vestas 2010 wind turbine noise letter.
Falmouth public officials owe it to the public to explain why they hid the letter for 5 years.
After 5 years of noise complaints why didn’t at least one public official come forward.
Thousands of certified written noise complaints have been made.
The letter warned the town that the Vestas wind turbines they were purchasing were 6 decibels higher than the smaller General Electric turbines used in prior noise study models.
The public-duty doctrine holds that the government and its officials owe a legal duty to the public at large. Why was the letter omitted and when do omissions become lies ?
Federal prosecutors have weapons to prosecute public corruption, especially with respect to state and local corruption, where the pertinent statutes empowers them to challenge almost any unlawful, questionable or unethical conduct of a public official, subject to the prosecutor’s exercise of sound discretion.
RICO prosecutions give prosecutors even more discretionary prosecution power.
The Town of Falmouth never applied for Special Permits for their two town owned wind turbines.
The turbines are named Falmouth Wind 1 and Falmouth Wind 2.
Prior to the installations a private company conducted flawed acoustic noise models using 1.5 megawatt General Electric wind turbines that generate a maximum of 104 decibels of noise.
The original flawed tests “mistakes” were admitted by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center three years after the installation of Falmouth Wind 1. The admission date came in a memo from MassCEC staff to the MassCEC Board of Directors on April 2, 2013
The private wind testing company actually prepared Special Permit applications under the Town of Falmouth wind turbine bylaws. The Town of Falmouth never filed Special Permits for either turbine.
In the past few months information has come to light that shows why the Town of Falmouth never filed “ Special Permits.”
The Town of Falmouth ignored its own wind turbine bylaw 240 -166 because the bylaw would require additional wind studies, notifications and additional time to install the Vestas wind turbines with a high rating of 110 decibels of noise .
Recently through a FOIA, Freedom of Information Request it has been found the Town of Falmouth was holding back a year 2010 warning letter from Vestas wind company that the wind turbines being installed generated up to 110 decibels of noise. This is 6 decibels higher than the Falmouth Community Wind Project Site Screening Report November 2005.
Special Permits would never have been issued under the Falmouth wind turbine bylaw 240 -166 with turbines that generated 110 decibels of noise. Under the Special Permit process additional notifications and time may have alerted local residents. There were NO noise studies for Falmouth Wind II. There were NO studies for a combination of Falmouth Wind 1 and Wind II.
The town hid the embarrassing letter from public view. The town has never posted the letter on its website or mentioned the letter at any public meeting.
The town while in possesion of the August 2010 letter made abutters to the wind turbines file elaborate certified written notifications to the town that the turbines were too loud. The town had always know the turbines were too loud. Vestas wind company told them in writing . It’s in Black and White !
Falmouth Town Meeting Members and the public in general are being kept in the dark over this letter while the town spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on a legal defense that is indefensable.
Taxpayers are paying litigation fees for up to eleven types of ongoing litigation including nuisance, bylaw. permitting and appeals while the Town of Falmouth sat on this letter for five years.
The Town of Falmouth was aware the turbines were 7 Decibels higher that the manufactures specifications. Every 3 DCB increase is a doubling of sound and acoustic power to the human ear and that is simply an intolerable increase.
In the following letter Vestas wind company reiterates in writing that the Town of Falmouth had been previously warned the turbine generates up to 110 decibels
“The Town has previously been provided with the Octave Band Data / Sound performance for the V82 turbine. This shows that the turbine normally operates at 103.2dB but the manufacturer has also stated that it may produce up to 110dB under certain circumstances.”
August 3, 2010
Mr. Gerald Potamis
Town of Falmouth Public Works
59 Town Hall Square
Falmouth, MA 02540
RE: Falmouth WWTF Wind Energy Facility II “Wind II”, Falmouth, MA
Contract No. #3297
Dear Mr. Potamis,
Due to the sound concerns regarding the first wind turbine installed at the wastewater treatment facility, the manufacturer of the turbines, Vestas, is keen for the Town of Falmouth to understand the possible noise and other risks associated with the installation of the second wind turbine.
The Town has previously been provided with the Octave Band Data / Sound performance for the V82 turbine. This shows that the turbine normally operates at 103.2dB but the manufacturer has also stated that it may produce up to 110dB under certain circumstances. These measurements are based on IEC standards for sound measurement which is calculated at a height of 10m above of the base of the turbine.
We understand that a sound study is being performed to determine what, if any, Impacts the second turbine will have to the nearest residences. Please be advised that should noise concerns arise with this turbine, the only option to mitigate normal operating sound from the V82 is to shut down the machine at certain wind speeds and directions. Naturally this would detrimentally affect power production.
The manufacturer also needs confirmation that the Town of Falmouth understands they are fully responsible for the site selection of the turbine and bear all responsibilities to address any mitigation needs of the neighbors.
Finally, the manufacturer has raised the possibility of ice throw concerns. Since Route 28 is relatively close to the turbine, precautions should be taken in weather that may cause icing.
To date on this project we have been unable to move forward with signing the contract with Vestas. The inability to release the turbine for shipment to the project site has caused significant [SIC] delays in our project schedule. In order to move forward the manufacturer requires your understanding and acknowledgement of these risks. We kindly request for this acknowledgement to be sent to us by August 4, 2010, as we have scheduled a coordination meeting with Vestas to discuss the project schedule and steps forward for completion of the project.
Please sign in the space provided below to indicate your understanding and acknowledgement of this letter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me.
(Bruce Mabbott’s signature)
Bruce Mabbott Gerald Potamis
Project Manager Town of Falmouth
CC: Sumul Shah, Lumus Construction, Inc.
(Town of Falmouth’s Wind-1 and Wind-2 Construction contractor)
Stephen Wiehe, Weston & Sampson
(Town of Falmouth’s contract engineers)
Brian Hopkins, Vestas
(Wind-1, Wind-2’s turbine manufacturer, and also Webb/NOTUS turbine)
The specific problems with location of wind turbines near human populations are as follows:
1.) Health of nearby residents at serious risk: Sleep deprivation from wind turbine low frequency noise (thumping and rumbling heard and felt inside the homes of neighbors) have caused problems for many families.
2.) Turbine malfunctions, fires, ice throw sudden catastrophic blade failures: Wind turbine manuals detail that workers should “run upwind” a minimum distance of 1640 feet from a wind turbine which is on fire or in danger of blade failure to avoid the danger of flying debris.