Issues for Landowners to Consider, Regarding Wind Turbines

Landowners should be wary of wind contracts

Iowa landowners are being presented with a proposal for signing or not signing a wind turbine leasement (a combination of a lease and an easement).

We see different levels of interest – from Royal, Iowa, in Clay County where so few people would sign that the wind companies had to move on, to Palo Alto County where the wind companies have signed 100 easements. We see that half of these easements were signed by absentee landowners and at least one-fourth of them were signed by one farm manager.

Are you curious to know why so many landowners will not sign easements? I have spoken to landowners living in industrial wind energy installations from Adair to Lake Park to Webster City to Primghar. I also have heard from folks in Kansas, Missouri, Vermont and Oklahoma. While you can find people who are pleased with their experience, I have heard statements such as:

• “We had to put in soundproofing windows – it helped some.”

• “If we knew then what we know now, this (wind installation) never would have happened.”

• “We thought we were doing something good; now we just wish we had our farm back.”

There are many landowners who will not speak up publicly about the detriments they experience. Some are embarrassed because they lobbied for the wind companies to come. Some feel that they have signed a gag order, but I have been assured by lawyers that gag orders can be implied but are not legal. You are likely not supposed to speak of their designs, power output or the money you are being paid, but anything else cannot be “gagged.” Even with that information, though, it is hard to oppose a company that has control over – and under – so much of your property. It is a marriage from which you cannot get a divorce.

In wind contracts, the landowner will give up rights to file a claim against noise, vibration, turbulence and shadow flicker. These issues also can affect neighbors up to a mile away. In Ireland, seven families have won a nuisance suit against wind turbines, while in Michigan, Garden Township has just settled with turbine owners over turbine nuisance.

There are many good resources for learning about the downfalls of a wind energy easement. Iowa State University’s Center for Ag Law and Taxation has had great articles and even presentations such as the one given by Roger McEowen in Palo Alto and Clay counties in 2016. There are a series of videos that were made by the Illinois Farm Bureau as well. We have posted one of the videos on our Facebook page.

Iowa landowners such as myself have begun an organization to help educate other landowners. We are the Coalition for Rural Property Rights. Our website is coalitonforruralpropertyrights.com. We are completely grassroots and locally funded.


Source: http://www.tristateneighbor…

FEB162017

People are Harmed by Wind Turbine Noise.

Wind Turbine Noise Adversely Impacts Nearby People and Animals

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Europe and the US have been building onshore wind turbine plants in rural areas for more than 25 years. Anyone living within about 1.0 mile of such plants would hear the noises year-round, year after year. Those nearby people would be experiencing:

  • Decreasing property values.
  • Damage to their health, due to lack of sleep and peace of mind.
  • Living with closed windows and doors, due to year-round noises.
  • Exposure to infrasound.

The wind turbine noise problem is worldwide. Due to a lack of worldwide guidelines, various political entities have been developing their own codes for the past 30 years. The World Health Organization is finally addressing the lack of detailed guidelines regarding such noises.

World Health Organization Noise Guidelines: WHO, publishes detailed guidelines regarding various, everyday noises, such as near highways and airports, within urban communities and in work places. The guidelines serve as input to local noise codes.

In general, wind turbines are located in rural areas. When they had low rated outputs, say about 500 kW in the 1960s and 1970s, they made little audible noise, and the infrasound was weak. However, when rated outputs increased to 1000 kW or greater, the audible and infrasound noises became excessive and complaints were made by nearby people all over the world.

WHO, which has not published any detailed guidelines regarding wind turbine noises, will be releasing environmental noise guidelines for the European region in the near future.

Worldwide guidelines regarding wind turbine noises are needed to protect nearby rural people, such as regarding:

  • The maximum outdoor dBA value, how that value is arrived at, such as by averaging over one hour, where that value is measured, such as near a residence, or at the resident property line to enable that resident to continue to enjoy his entire property.
  • How to measure, or calculate the outdoor-to-indoor sound attenuation of a residence.
  • How much setback is needed, such as one mile to minimize infrasound impacts on nearby residents.
  • The maximum dB value of infrasound, how that value is arrived at, where that value is measured.
  • How to determine the need for a 5 dB annoyance penalty.

The lack of such guidelines has resulted in various political jurisdictions creating their own codes. That process has been heavily influenced by well-financed, pro-wind interests, which aim to have the least possible regulation to maximize profits.

Comparison of Wind Turbine Codes: Below are some highlights from the noise codes of various political entities to illustrate their diversity:

1) DENMARK: Because Denmark was an early developer of wind turbine plants, its noise code is more detailed than of most political entities. It has a buffer zone of 4 times total height of a wind turbine, about 4 x 500 = 2,000 ft, about 0.61 km (no exceptions), and it also has the following requirements regarding outdoor and indoor noise:

OUTDOOR

  • For dwellings, summer cottages, etc.: 39 dBA (wind speeds of 8 m/s, 18 mph) and 37 dBA (wind speeds of 6 m/s, 13 mph)
  • For dwellings in open country: 44 dBA (wind speeds of 8 m/s) and 42 dBA (wind speeds of 6 m/s)

The below regulations describe the methods and time periods over which sounds are to be measured:

  • Page 4, par 5.1.1 mentions averaging over various periods. Only the worst average readings of a period are to be considered for compliance.
  • Page 4, par 5.1.2 mentions a 5 dB annoyance penalty must be added to the worst average readings for a period for clearly audible tonal and impulse sounds with frequencies greater than 160 Hz, which would apply to wind turbine sounds.
  • Page 6, par 5.4 mentions limits for indoor A-weighted low frequency noise 10 – 160 Hz, and G-weighted infrasound 5 – 20 Hz.

“If the perceived noise contains either clearly audible tones, or clearly audible impulses, a 5 dB annoyance penalty shall be added to the measured equivalent sound pressure level” That means, if a measured outdoor reading is 40 dBA (open country, wind speed 6 m/s), and annoyance is present, the reading is increased to 45 dBA, which would not be in compliance with the above-required 42 dBA limit.

In some cases, a proposed wind turbine plant would not be approved, because of the 5 dB annoyance penalties. The noise of wind turbines varies up and down. The annoyance conditions associated with wind turbines occur year-round. The annoyance conditions associated with other noise sources usually occur much less frequently.

NOTE: The 5 dB penalty does not apply to indoor and outdoor low frequency and infrasound noises, i.e., 160 Hz or less.

INDOOR

– For both categories (dwellings, summer cottages, etc.; open country), the mandatory limit for low frequency noise is 20 dBA (Vermont’s limit is 30 dBA), which applies to the calculated indoor noise level in the 1/3-octave bands 10 – 160 Hz, at both 6 and 8 m/s wind speed. The purpose of the regulation is to ensure neither the usual noise, nor the low frequency noise, will annoy nearby people when the wind turbines are in operation.

Denmark’s Controversial Noise Attenuation Calculations: The controversy in Denmark is regarding the Danish EPA assuming high attenuation factors for calculating attenuation from 44 dBA (outdoor) to 20 dBA (indoor, windows closed) for frequencies above 63 Hz, which yield calculated indoor noise levels less than 20 dBA. The Danish EPA prefers assuming high factors, because they result in compliance, which is favorable for wind turbines.

However, acoustics engineers have made indoor field measurements (supposedly “too difficult to measure”, according to the Danish EPA), which indicate many houses near wind turbine plants have lower than assumed attenuation factors, which results in indoor noise levels greater than 20 dBA, i.e., non-compliance, which is not favorable for wind turbines.

However, the final arbiters should not be government personnel using assumptions, but the nearby people. Increasingly, those people are venting their frustrations at public hearings and in public demonstrations.

2) POLAND is considering a proposed a law with a 2.0 km (1.24 mile) buffer zone between a wind turbine and any building. That means at least 65% of Poland would be off limits to wind turbines. Future wind turbine plants likely would be offshore.

3) BAVARIA, a state in Germany, just enacted a setback of 10 times turbine height, i.e., 10 x 500 ft = 5,000 ft, almost one mile. In Germany, the wind turbine nighttime noise limit is not to exceed 35 dBA.

The second URL shows what happens when it is sunny and windy in Germany. The excess energy is dumped onto connected grids at near-zero wholesale prices. This has been happening more and more hours of the year.

4) LETCHER TOWNSHIP, South Dakota, voted for a 1-mile buffer zone. Under the approved ordinance, no large wind turbine plant could be built within 5,280 feet of the nearest residence of a non-participating homeowner, or within 1,500 feet of the nearest neighbor’s property line.

5) NEW HAMPSHIRE’s wind turbine code requires the following:

  • Sound: Wind turbine plants must meet a ‘not-to-exceed’ standard of 45 dBA from 8am – 8pm and 40 dBA from 8pm – 8am. The sound measurements are to be taken ‘on property that is used in whole or in part for permanent or temporary residential purposes.’
  • Shadow Flicker: A shadow-flicker assessment must be completed for each residence, learning space, workplace, health care setting, public gathering place (outdoor and indoor), other occupied building and roadway, within a minimum of 1 mile of any turbine, based on shadow flicker modeling that assumes an impact distance of at least 1 mile from each of the turbines. Shadow flicker may not occur more than 8 hours per year at any of these locations.
  • Setbacks: The applicant must complete an assessment of the risks of ice throw, blade shear, tower collapse on any property, roadway, etc. A committee will determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether there is a concern with the setbacks and/or the appropriate distance that should be set.

6) MAINE’s wind turbine noise code requires the following:

In 2012, the Maine Board of Environmental Protection adopted noise control regulations that are specific to wind turbine plants.

Maine DEP Chapter 375.10(I) of Maine DEP regulations specifies sound level limits for wind turbine plants as 55 dBA from 7am – 7pm (the “daytime limit”), and 42 dBA from 7pm – 7am (the “nighttime limit”) averaged over one hour, at protected locations.

Maine DEP nighttime limits apply as follows:

  • Within 500 feet of a residence on a protected location or at the (project) property line, if closer to the dwelling. The resulting sound levels at a residence itself are usually lower than at 500 feet from the dwelling or at the property line where the 42 dBA “nighttime limit” applies.
  • Beyond 500 feet, the daytime limit of 55 dBA applies 24 hours per day.

Maine DEP Chapter 375.10 noise rules establish sound level limits on an hourly basis although compliance for wind turbine plants is evaluated by averaging sound levels over twelve or more ten-minute measurement intervals with turbines operating at full-rated sound output. There are also special provisions and “penalties” that apply when the sound generated by a wind project result in tonal or short-duration, repetitive sounds. This standard is described in more detail in the remainder of this report. See URL.

Maine DEP Chapter 375.10, Section I, requires a 5 dB annoyance penalty be added for certain occurrences of tonal and short duration repetitive (SDR) sounds when determining compliance with hourly sound level limits.

7) VERMONT has an ad hoc wind turbine code , i.e., applied on a project-by-project basis.

The code allows a maximum noise of 45 dBA (outdoor), averaged over one hour, as measured at a nearby residence. The averaging makes disappear random noise spikes of 60 – 70 dBA, which disturb the sleep of nearby people.

The code allows a maximum noise of 30 dBA (indoor, windows closed), averaged over one hour.

The code makes no distinction for daytime and nighttime, even though people may want to have open windows, especially during warm nights.

Vermont’s code has: 1) no required buffer zone; 2) no required infrasound limit; 3) no 5 dB annoyance penalty; 4) the indoor limit is 30 dB, whereas the Denmark limit is 20 dB.

In Vermont, residences cannot attenuate 45 dBA (outdoor) to 30 dBA (indoor, windows closed), according to acoustics tests. See URL.

NOTE: If Denmark’s residences cannot attenuate 44 dBA (outdoor) to 20 dBA (indoor, windows closed), and Vermont residences cannot attenuate 45 dBA to 30 dBA (a much easier requirement), then the options are: 1) have lesser capacity wind turbines; 2) locate them further away from residences, i.e., a greater buffer zone; 3) upgrade the attenuation of nearby residences; 4) buy out the owners.

The Vermont code is much less strict than of Denmark and New Hampshire, largely because of the political influence of RE special interests. Five years ago, the Vermont Public Service Board could have copied major parts of the Danish code to create a Vermont code that actually protects nearby people.

Measuring Wind Turbine Sounds: This article describes in detail some aspects of measuring wind turbine sounds.

Everyday noises in the audible range are weighted using a curve that approximates the response of the human ear. See figures 1 and 2 of article. If the A-curve is applied to sound measurement dB readings, they are designated as dBA.

The dB levels of frequencies below about 200 cycles per second, i.e., 200 Hz, are artificially lowered, due to the A-curve application. That includes infrasound frequencies of 20 Hz, or less. See figure 3 of article.

The site background noise is affected by wind speed. At near zero wind speed, as often occurs in rural areas at night, the noise is about 10 to 15 dBA. See figure 4 of article.

Outdoor-to-indoor attenuation of infrasound below 4 Hz is near zero for a wood-frame house 1,300 meters (4,265 ft) from a wind turbine. See figure 8 and 9 of article. Whereas a resident would not hear such noises, they would create significant physical discomfort, such as nausea, headaches, dizziness, etc., if the noises were strong, i.e., have high dB values.

Figure 11 of the article shows a similar lack of outdoor-to-indoor attenuation of infrasound for a house 8,000 meters from a wind turbine. The conclusion is: Infrasound below 4 Hz travels long distances and is very little attenuated by a wood-frame house.

Infrasound: Sounds with frequencies of 20 Hz, or less, are defined as infrasound. Those sounds are not heard, but felt. A rotor blade passing the mast of a wind turbine creates a burst of audible and inaudible sound of various frequencies. The base frequency is about one cycle per second, similar to a person’s heart beat, and the harmonics, at 2, 4 and 8 Hz, are similar to the natural frequencies of other human organs, i.e., ears, eyes, liver, kidneys, etc., which start vibrating.

The natural frequencies of wood-frame house walls are less than 20 Hz. The infrasound induces them to start vibrating, which creates standing, inaudible air pressure waves inside the rooms of a house. As a result, nearby people find life inside their houses unbearable. Often they abandon their houses, or sell at very low prices.

Infrasound interferes with the body’s natural biorhythms, and causes adverse health impacts on nearby people and animals, including DNA damage to nearby pregnant women and animals, their fetuses, and newborn offspring. See URLs.

Infrasound travels long distances. A buffer zone of about 1 mile is required to reduce adverse impacts on people. However, roaming animals would continue to be exposed.

Acoustics consultants usually deal with OSHA-type measurements of everyday noises. Most of them have almost no experience measuring infrasound, which requires special instrumentation and test set-ups. As a result, acoustics consultants take the easy way out by claiming infrasound does not exist. That measurements of low frequency noise are made to look less on an A-weighted basis helps their argument.

If acoustics consultants admit infrasound does exist, they provide a list of studies proving it does no harm. To which opponents reply with a list of studies that state it does harm to nearby people.

Some governments have used infrasound as a non-lethal weapon for torture or crowd control. It leaves no marks.

The Need for a 5 dB Annoyance Penalty: Rural nighttime ambient noise is 20 – 40 dBA, and urban residential nighttime ambient noise is 58 – 62 dBA. In many rural areas, nighttime outdoor ambient noise averages about 20 dBA.

People who live in urban areas have no idea how quiet it is in rural areas. For example: the introduction of clusters of 3 MW wind turbines, on 2,000-ft ridgelines in New England, came as a total shock to nearby rural people. Being high up, the noise carries far, especially the infrasound.

The dB values to indicate noises are a proxy for sound pressure level, SPL. The ears of people are sensitive to sound pressure. The below table clearly indicates random noise spikes above 50 dB have high SPL values, which are highly disturbing to nearby people, especially at night. Any wind turbine noise guidelines and codes must be based on rural noise values.

A 45 dB noise has an SPL 5.6 times greater than a 30 dB noise; 17.8 times greater than a 20 dB noise.

A 63 dB random spike has an SPL 44.9 times greater than a 30 dB noise; 142 times greater than a 20 dB noise.

 

Noise level Noise, dB Times reference pressure*
Rural average outdoor

20

10.0

Rural average outdoor

30

31.6

Rural average outdoor near a residence

45

177.8

Rural random spike

51

354.8

Rural random spike

57

709.6

Rural random spike

63

1419.2

Rural random spike

69

2838.4

 

* The commonly used reference sound pressure in air is 20 micro-pascal. It is considered the threshold of human hearing (roughly the sound of a mosquito flying 3 m away).

General Comments: As almost all recently installed wind turbines are rated at 2 – 3 MW, and as almost all such units are in rural settings, government noise codes should use the rural nighttime ambient noise level as the basis for limiting wind turbine noises.

Ever-present, random spike noises, with higher dB values, say 60 – 70 dBA, can occur, during an hour, but the “averaging over one hour” makes these noises disappear; hence the reason for Denmark, Maine, etc., having a 5 dB annoyance penalty.

These peak noises are most annoying, they occur at random, and mostly at night. They adversely affect the health of nearby people. As a minimum, they deprive nearby people from getting a good night’s sleep to recover from the prior day, and to get ready for the next day. According to WHO, restful sleep is a basic requirement for good mental and physical health, as are food, water, air, etc.

Denmark holds infrasound is harmful to the health of nearby people and animals. Therefore, it has an infrasound requirement in its wind turbine code. Here is a chart and 4 articles prepared by Rand and Ambrose, two prominent acoustics engineers, which shows Vermont’s noise limit.

Enercon Forced to Accept Liability for Harm Caused to Neighbours of Irish Windfarm!

Families forced from homes due to wind farm noise win court case

A number of families in Co Cork who were forced to leave their homes because of noise from a nearby wind farm have won a significant case in the High Court this week.

The families claim they have been severely impacted by noise since the wind farm began operating in 2011.

This is the first action of its kind in Ireland and may now open many wind farm developers to the prospect of legal challenges from families in similar situations.

The case was taken against wind turbine manufacturer Enercon who have accepted full liability for causing nuisance to seven families who live up to 1km from the wind farm.

The case will return to the High Court in 2017 to discuss punitive damages.

Promises in Government over the last four years to introduce planning regulations regarding wind turbines have failed to materialize.

According to out-dated guidelines, turbines may be built 500m from homes. In many cases, including this, wind turbines have been built closer than 500m.

A spokesperson for Wind Aware Ireland said: “There now is a possibility for multiple legal actions against wind farms right around the country.

“The legal implications for the wind industry are significant. The use of inadequate and out-dated planning guidelines may come back to haunt the industry, planning authorities and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE).”

On election, Minister Naughten promised that new planning guidelines would be in place within 3 to 6 months of the formation of the new government.

Wynne Uses Wind Turbine Scam to Destroy Ontario’s Financial Stability!

Can Ontario Escape its Self-Inflicted Wind Power Disaster?

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Ontario’s energy policy is in tatters; power prices have crushed business and the roll out of thousands of these things has wrecked the lives and livelihoods of thousands, in what were once peaceful and prosperous farming communities.

In short, Kathleen Wynne & Co have dug an enormous hole from which there may be no escape. But before the Province considers how it might get out, the only sensible strategy is to stop digging – starting with bringing an end to the ludicrously generous and heavily subsidised wind power contracts that led to the inevitable debacle that’s playing out in Ontario; and which has Wynne’s Liberals petrified of the political consequences the next time their victims come to vote.

Lawrence Solomon: Yes, Ontario’s Liberals can cancel their terrible renewable power contracts—and they should do it now
Financial Post
Lawrence Solomon
15 September 2016

Ontario’s power prices are soaring out of control, industry is leaving the province, the Liberal government is panicking over its re-election prospects, and almost everyone agrees there’s no remedy, that the ludicrously lucrative long-term contracts that the Ontario government signed with wind and solar energy developers condemn the province to many more years of economic hardship.

Except there is a way to deal with the onerous contracts — rip them up. There is no compelling economic, environmental, moral or legal case for the government to “honour” odious contracts. The only honourable course of action for the government, in fact, is to admit its mistakes and pass legislation declaring those contracts null and void.

A compelling economic case? In announcing its Green Energy Act, the Liberals repeatedly boasted they’d be creating 50,000 jobs, boosting the Ontario economy to new heights. With jobs fleeing the province and business confidence at rock bottom, no one hears that boast any longer.

A compelling environmental case? Industrial wind turbines, which rely on fossil fuel backup, do next to nothing to reduce carbon dioxide, the sole rationale for their existence.

In contrast to this trivial and dubious environmental benefit, wind turbines do immense and certain environmental harm by disfiguring the countryside and slaughtering millions of birds and bats.

A compelling moral case? Ontario’s multi-billion “clean energy” industry has a squalid provenance.

This has been largely a closed-door sector in which 11 politically favoured domestic and multinational giants control 90 per cent of the wind power market, letting them pocket an estimated $10 billion in government-mandated subsidies over the next two decades. Although the industry portrays itself as small scale and local, it’s anything but.

A compelling legal case? There is none, if the province proceeds properly, explains Bruce Pardy, professor of law at Queen’s University, a former adjudicator for the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal and author of the 2014 Fraser Institute study, Cancelling Contracts: The Power of Governments to Unilaterally Alter Agreements.

“The right way is to legislate: to enact a statute that declares green contracts to be null and void, and the province to be free from liability,” he explains. “Statutes can override iron-clad provisions in a contract because that is the nature of legislative supremacy: Legislatures can pass laws of any kind, as long as they are within their jurisdiction and do not offend the constitution. Legislating on electricity production is clearly a provincial power, as are ‘property and civil rights.’”

There is no compelling case for Ontario to honour its odious renewable power deals Pardy’s analysis is sound not just in theory but in practice, as Trillium Power Wind Corp. discovered when it sued for $2.25 billion in damages after the Liberals, to quell fierce public opposition to offshore wind turbines prior to a previous election, unilaterally rewrote the rules.

The appeal court had no time for Trillium’s claims, noting that it was “plain and obvious” and “beyond all reasonable doubt” that Trillium could not succeed in arguing breach of contract.

As an analysis of the case by the law firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt put it, the appeal court “made it clear that proponents who choose to participate in discretionary government programs, such as Ontario’s renewable energy program, do so primarily at their own risk. Governments may alter the policies that underlie a program, and may even alter or cancel such programs, in a manner that may be fully lawful and immune from civil suit.”

Moreover, the appeal court decision dismissed Trillium’s contention that the government had acted improperly out of “purely political” considerations, rather than out of legitimate public policy considerations.

As Osler explained, governments are free to act in their political interests: “this decision emphasizes that political factors, such as strong public opposition, are legitimate public policy considerations.” These principles aren’t Ontario-specific — they’re fundamental. Throughout Europe, governments are also unilaterally rewriting their unaffordably generous rules governing the renewables industry.

Cancelling Ontario’s odious renewables contracts would immediately and directly lower rates for the province’s citizens and industry, reversing the harm to the provincial economy and improving the government’s prospects in the coming provincial election.

A cancellation would bless the citizens of Ontario — and other provinces —indirectly as well, by disciplining future governments and investors alike. Investors would be leery of participating in future politically motivated government programs that weren’t fundamentally sound, making it difficult for future governments to pursue pet projects that run the risk of harming the citizenry.

Benign government projects — say building a school or hospital — would run no such risk and discourage no investor.

Contracts are sacrosanct between private parties, when they follow the law. Contracts means something else entirely when one party — the government — makes the law and is free to change it. Let the investor beware before getting into bed with government. Let the government think hard about whether its fling with renewables is an affair it wishes to continue.

Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe.
Financial Post

digging-a-hole

Governments Intentionally “Dumbing Down” the Populations…In Order to Manipulate!

Wikileaks reveals “conspiracy to produce an unaware and compliant citizenry’

Wind warriors – ever wonder how woefully hard it is for truth, justice and the American way to prevail over propaganda by paid off politicians, media and environmental groups in the wind battle?

Some of the answer is right here:

“And as I’ve mentioned, we’ve all been quite content to demean government, drop civics and in general conspire to produce an unaware and compliant citizenry,” he writes”.

The email is a shocking insight into the elitist and arrogant mindset, with Americans viewed as dumb sheep who need to be herded in the right direction.

http://www.infowars.com/clinton-campaign-email-outlines-effort-to-p…

Wind Victim Speaks Out About the NIMBY Label!!!

Outsourcing windmill energy is a ‘not in my backyard’ mentality

Oct 07, 2016

To the Editor:

I address this primarily to Mr. Saltonstall and Dr. Francis: Think about this for a moment, please: Hideaway Village in Bourne and the industrial wind turbine neighbors in Plymouth will NEVER be able to “go back to how they were before.” The Stone Estate, in Marion’s estimation, was untouchable, but it was OK to put the 268 homes of Hideaway Village in harm’s way as long as your town did not have to suffer the consequences, the noise annoyance, the loss of private property rights, the loss in property value and the Stone Estate remained “whole.”

The people of Bourne had a right to be freaking out, whether over their roads or over what they knew would occur once those turbines reached the MannProject site in Plymouth. The people on the Bourne side of the project were not part of the process.

Would the residents of Marion have been happy to have that tonnage and vibration brought over their roadways and past the Stone Estate? (Based on the sense of well-being displayed at being able to just go back to your old ways if the MannProject did not work for Marion as expressed in the “success for Marion” article, I think not.)

On both the Bourne side and the Plymouth side of the MannProject, people have begun to feel the impacts of the industrial wind machines that were allowed to be built in Plymouth.

The mentality displayed by the people of Marion in this article is the worst sort of Nimbyism and truly is reflective of, “It is OK to ruin other people’s lives, and I go along with the industrial wind turbine mandates and agenda as long as it is not in my backyard, in my hometown, in the place I call home.”

In 2011, at the time Marion was considering a turbine and rejected it, my neighbors and I were in the process of considering the Moon Island (Quincy) Project. At the time, we knew very little about industrial wind turbines other than what the developer and the pro wind people told us. When the time came closer to making a decision, we began to do our homework in order to ask the right questions and make a good decision.

Not unlike Marion, we learned very quickly about the Falmouth issue. We learned very quickly about negative health impacts from places around the world; we learned about strobing and noise, and at the time we did not even consider the damage the heavy equipment would do to our only access road. Not unlike Marion, we did not feel industrial wind turbines made very good neighbors. As a neighborhood, we were instrumental in rejection of the Moon Island Project for some of the very same reasons that Marion rejected the Great Hill Project.

It is truly unfortunate that people, all people, have not been made aware of the truths of the industrial wind turbine mandates and agenda. It is a costly experiment. It will never change global warming or climate change. I would like to think that the people of Marion, or any other community where they are considering purchasing “energy” produced by another city or town, would turn down the offer by a developer because they knew that someone else was going to be put in harm’s way based on their own knowledge and research. And, if they know nothing about industrial wind turbine “hazards” that minimally they would take the time to learn about the subject before they rejected or signed onto the Power Purchase Agreement. Had there been no takers, the MannProject would not exist.

My connection with the MannProject comes as a result of the Moon Island Project. Since that time, I and others became advocates for industrial wind turbine victims and support groups who are fighting industrial wind turbines in their backyards.

Marie Stamos
Quincy

Wind Company offers to buy out homes nearest wind turbines…3000 ft. or less.

St. Albans Messenger; August 9, 2016

Company offers to buy homes nearest turbines

By TOM BENTON

Messenger Staff Writer

SWANTON — The developers behind the Swanton Wind Project announced Thursday morning they have finally submitted their application for a Certificate of Public Good from the Public Service Board (PSB).

Travis and Ashley Belisle, the developers, also announced the application includes a post-construction buy-out option for neighbors living within 3,000 feet of a turbine.

They estimated approximately 20 homes fall within that range.

Above, Swanton Wind developer Ashley Belisle, center, speaks at yesterday’s press conference, flanked by, from left, her husband and co-developer Travis Belisle, the project’s attorney, Anthony Iarrapino, and VERA Vice President Martha Staskus. Below, The Swanton Wind Project’s opponents stood by the roadside outside yesterday’s press conference, waving signs and giving honking drivers the thumbs-up.

TOM BENTON, St. Albans Messenger


Martha Staskus, the Vice President of Vermont Environmental Research Associates (VERA), called the buy-out option “unprecedented.” She said the option showed that the Belisles are listening to the project’s opponents.

“That’s what’s different from other wind project proposals,” she said.

Homeowners who purchased Rocky Ridge property from the Belisles were notified at the time of their purchase that the Belisles were considering building wind turbines.

The Belisles said they are confident they can quickly re-sell any homes vacated per the buy-out option. They said another home has sold since Swanton Wind issued their 45-day notice of intent to file their application about a year ago.

When asked why the filing process had taken so much longer than 45 days, Travis said, “Good things take time.”

He said the numerous environmental studies required for the project had delayed their filing, as well as public hearings and discussion in Swanton. Travis said the Swanton Wind developers had been “unfairly accused” of “fast-tracking” the project, so they slowed the application process to appease those concerned.

“There was fast-tracking only by opponents,” he said. The project may include up to seven wind turbines, clearing 35 acres of woodlands surrounding Rocky Ridge. The project’s lawyer, Anthony Iarrapino, said all but 10 of those acres would be allowed to re-grow after the construction.

The Belisles estimate they would annually contribute approximately $150,000 inpayments to the Town of Swanton, should the application be approved. That figure is based on similar payments made by Vermont’s five other wind projects to their “host communities.”

A press release issued by Swanton Wind, LLC noted that those financial contributions from the project could pay for all of the town’s police or library budgets, and 99 percent of the town’s fire department and fire truck replacement budget.

The project’s turbines would generate up to 20 megawatts (mW) of zero-emission power, enough to “meet the needs” of more than 7,000 Vermonters, according to the press release.

At yesterday’s press conference, held before the ridgeline where the turbines would stand, Iarrapino reiterated that the project has been engineered to avoid all wetlands.

The press release further notes that the project meets all applicable state stormwater management standards, that a comprehensive study found no rare, threatened or endangered plant or animal species within or near the project’s limits and that sound studies indicate the project will adhere to the PSB’s recently adopted sound limits — which the press release notes are “more stringent than those recommended by the World Health Organization.”

Iarrapino said the highest exterior sound level modeled by sound studies on the proposed project site was 43 decibels (dB). The PSB’s sound standards prohibit exterior sound above 45 dB.

Iarrapino said those conducting the study couldn’t “model every resident’s interior [sound levels] at the moment,” but he assumed interior sound levels would hover around 30 dB.

Staskus pointed to a “sound level” application on her phone, which said the average sound level throughout the press conference was 55 dB, thanks to a strong wind that at one point tossed the developers’ visual aids to the dirt.

“As you can see, it’s a great spot for wind,” Ashley quipped.

The press conference including something publicly unseen since the Belisles announced the project in summer 2015: a neighbor in favor of the turbines.

“One of the things we say in the navy is semper Gumby,” Chris Maynard said. “It means ‘always flexible.’” Maynard lives along the ridgeline. The idea of several turbines stretching nearly 500-feet into the air doesn’t faze him.

“It’s change,” he said. “It doesn’t bother me. You know? You make a little sacrifice for the greater good.”

Maynard told reporters that when his family bought the nearby land in 2011, there were “two things” all Vermonters could expect — short summers and cold winters. Now, Maynard said, that’s changed.

He praised the state’s “ambitious approach” to fighting climate change, and said what the Belisles are trying to accomplish “is in the spirit of Vermont.”

Maynard even celebrated the controversy surrounding the project, saying “Vermonters openly debating and expressing their opinions” was another Green Mountain tradition of which to be proud.

That controversy included a “symbolic vote” in the town of Swanton in November 2015, when residents voted 731 to 160 against the project. Travis pointed out that less than 25 percent of the town’s registered voters took part in that vote.

“A large majority had no opinion or were in favor and didn’t come out,” he said.

He estimated it will cost $40 million to construct the turbines, if their application is approved. That figure is “a big nut to chew,” he said.

Travis noted the Belisles have invested a “large portion” of their life savings in the project, and said they would need to seek investors in the project from here on forward.

Iarrapino said he expects a pre-hearing conference from the PSB within the next 30 days. Interested parties can seek formal party status during that conference and provide input on scheduling the series of hearings required by the application process.

Iarrapino said that based on past projects, he expected it could take up to a year before the PSB makes a final decision.

At the foot of the hill below the press conference, opponents of the project stood waiting, bearing signs opposing the project and industrial wind itself — among them, Christine and Dustin Lang, Rocky Ridge residents and the project’s most outspoken opponents.

Christine called the buy-out option a “huge step,” but Dustin said it was “fractioning.”

“They’re leaving Fairfield out to dry,” he said.

Patty Rainville, who stood at the roadside giving thumbs up to passing vehicles honking in support, said offering the buyout to residents within 3,000 feet of the turbines “doesn’t include hardly anybody.”

“It’s a token offering,” she said. “It’s a WTF thing to me.”

Chris Maynard, whose property lies in close proximity to the proposed project, speaks out in favor of it at a press conference Thursday. Before him sits the application document for the Certificate of Public Good.

TOM BENTON, St. Albans Messenger