Residents say state rules for wind farms lacking

DIXFIELD — Panelists and townspeople at a public hearing Wednesday night blasted what they believe are insufficient state regulations to govern the half-dozen or so wind farms proposed for western Maine.

Eileen M. Adams/Sun Journal

Carthage resident Alice Barnett circulated a petition calling for her town to develop a wind energy facility ordinance. Signatures were collected before a hearing on wind farms Wednesday night in Dixfield.

The hearing was sponsored by the River Valley Alliance and the Friends of Maine's Mountains, groups that oppose such developments. Other groups, such as the Friends of Spruce Mountain in Woodstock, were also at the hearing.

Among the panelists was Robert Rand, an acoustical engineer from Brunswick, who described the potential effects on people of the sounds made by the blades and generators of turbines.

During much of his talk, he played a recording of a turbine operation he said was made at a small operation in Freedom.

Such noise, he said, has the potential to adversely affect people living as close as 2 miles from an operating turbine. He said the frequency and decibel levels could result in the inability to sleep, high blood pressure and other maladies.

Paul Druan, chairman of the Weld Windpower Committee that is charged with developing a wind farm ordinance, said that when he attended a similar forum with the sound of turbines turning, one man became nauseated.

Sean DuBois, whose residence was not immediately available, said he believed more studies should be conducted on the possible adverse health effects.

“Don't you think it's too early to judge health effects?” he said.

Rand said he didn't think so.

“There are people in Mars Hill, Freedom and an island on the coast who definitely have problems," he said. "I'm concerned about the lack of peer-reviewed studies by the companies."

He said that sounds from turning turbines do not decrease as quickly over water as they do over land.

A home should not be located less than 2 miles from a turbine, and even then, the sounds could affect people, he said.

Also speaking was Karen Pease, a resident of Lexington Township which is next to the state's largest proposed wind turbine project in Highland Plantation. Independence Wind LLC, whose principals are former Gov. Angus King and Rob Gardiner, have proposed construction of 48 turbines.

She spoke of the effect the siting of wind turbines could have on real estate. She said Maine doesn't have a sufficient number of houses on the market to do comparable studies, but one done in Illinois showed at least a 25 to 40 percent drop in value for homes about 2 miles from a wind project.

“Some are a total loss,” she said.

Also, she said, wind developers are not being required to provide a bond for decommissioning turbines so that they could be taken down and the land reclaimed.

Dan McKay, a major player in the organization of the hearing, said that with the number of people who live in the River Valley area, building what he estimated to be about 100 turbines made little sense.

“Turbines are a chance to shut down the recreational opportunities in the area,” he said.

Nearly 200 proposed turbines are in various stages of development from the Rumford area to Highland Plantation. First Wind LLC of Newton, Mass., has proposed siting up to 19 turbines in Rumford and Roxbury; Independent Wind LLC is proposing the Highland Plantation project and 22 turbines in Roxbury; and Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass., has proposed a total of about 50 turbines in Carthage, Dixfield, Canton and Woodstock.

McKay said signatures were being gathered on a petition asking the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to change the acceptable decibel level produced by turbines to 5 decibels above the ambient level in an area currently without turbines.

He said the signatures collected in several River Valley towns and Woodstock would be sent to the Citizens Task Force, which is circulating a petition statewide calling for more regulations on wind development.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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Comments

 's picture

federal government

there is a problem with Federal Government and Big Wind links.
they are caught in huge tax payer subsidies and need to twist the truth .
Us nimbys searched for the truth, found it and then are censored by the newspapers in displaying the photos and imformation we have.
google The Germany Experience.

keep researching

 's picture

both will go up. at

both will go up. at extremes, law suits against towns because wind company bank rupt

 's picture

why wind

Now I have heard that statement before and I have always wondered how small of a percentage does wind energy provide. I mean if wind can only produce a small percent of the power wouldn't it be better for the planet and taxpayers to put up more solar panels or other forms of green energy.

JOANNE MOORE's picture

None of the power generated

by wind will go to Mainers. That CMP "upgrade" is for the wind companies to hook up to and send their overpriced power to other states.

Oh, but Mainers get to pay the $1.5 BILLION DOLLARS this "upgrade" will cost.

Anyone who thinks differently has their head up their bunghole. (Or stands to make some big bucks for this flimflam.)

 's picture

Time for debate over

Mor than enough evidence has suggested that Dixfield is not a appropriate site for wind turbines. Let's get to a vote.

 's picture

It is one thing to make an

It is one thing to make an baseless argument without facts it is another to quote Boone. Your doing the exact same thing as you state in your first post group thinking and not researching for your self. Instead of preaching baseless facts back them out.

 's picture

Wind Industry in Maine is Lie Based!

The Wind Scam in Maine is as despicable and underhanded as Bayroot(if you know what Bayroot is).
In Lincoln,Maine it was based on deception and secretive, non-democratic processes. It was sprung on the citizens there as a surprise , with little time to respond. The process used to site Wind Turbines in Maine has not been a democratic, or scientific one .Basics of civic process are breached, broken. No vote allowed for the Rollins Project. Corporate conniving and financial finageling the rule. Breaching of basic Citizen Rights the game..
The basis for this , the Expedited Wind Process ,was developed by the Governor's Task Force on Wind Power with the aide of self-serving characters like ex-governor Angus King, Kurt Adams, and other self-serving politicians and lobby forces here. The destruction at Kibby Mtn.and Stetson Mtn. is breath taking mountain devastation. All this for Harvard, and other subsidy sucking secretive endowment investments like Bayroot of Yale.
The Cat is out of the Bag!
The groupthink , brain twisted, socially marketed comments of the Industry are a wonderful example of the imbecilic mental forces driving the Wind Scam in Maine.
Lacking science, lacking economic reasoning, lacking facts, but having strong financial leverage from the likes of DE SHAW and other investment bankers to create a TAX and Scam Market.
Facts , After the Fact.
Maine Destruction, without Representation.

 's picture

i suppose youd be ok with

i suppose youd be ok with putting a coal plant there instead? or do you just want your power as long as its produced in someone elses back yard?

 's picture

Mainers Seeking Knowledge

It was uplifting to see so many residents turn out at the Dixfield forum last night. Hard work and a desire to educate the People of Maine is truly making a difference, and we are lucky to have people like Dan McKay and organizations like the Friends of Maine's Mountains and the Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power helping to accomplish that goal. I urge anyone with questions about the true impacts of (and the real push behind) industrial wind to take every opportunity to get informed. There is a world of information available from unbiased experts, and many good folks prepared to help Mainers find it.

Respectfully,
Karen Pease, Lexington Twp., Maine
www.highlandmts.org

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