Spruce Mountain wind project

On Dec. 16, I attended an appeals hearing in Woodstock involving the Patriots Wind Project on Spruce Mountain. At issue is when the Woodstock Planning Board approved the project. State law holds that an appeal must be made within 30 days of approval of a project.

On Nov. 19, 2009, following a public hearing, the Planning Board gave an OK for the site plan. On Jan. 5, 2010, it agreed on a noise level that was below state limits, but deferred to the Department of Environmental Protection review process for clarification.

On Oct. 19, 2010, the Patriots group reported to the board that it had the approval of DEP.

By determining that the project would be reviewed by DEP, I believe that the Planning Board approved the project on Nov. 19 and again on Jan. 5. Planning boards do not send projects to DEP for review unless they meet with approval; it just wouldn't be done. Therefore, the opportunity for appeal has long passed.

I checked the Internet for a discussion of infrasound. According to Tauerinwind, a German wind energy institute, "Sound becomes a danger for human health when there is a constant sound level of 130 dB. Measurements on wind turbines have shown that this value is not reached. The infrasound produced by wind turbines present no danger for humans."

Nancy Willard, Woodstock

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 's picture

Infrasound is measured on the

Infrasound is measured on the c scale. These are long wavelengths which are not stopped or slowed by walls. Normal home sounds are not infrasound. The people have valid complaints especially when they were told they would hear nothing. Many voted for windsprawl and now are sorry. Live and learn and never trust someone selling you something. That applies to cars and wind turbines.

 's picture

Proven health issues for people living close to turbines

Dr. Nissenbaum has studied the health effects of industrial wind projects in Mars Hill Maine and has come to the conclusion that turbines can have an impact on human health. He interviewed 22 of about 30 adults who live within 3,500 feet of the turbines.

Of those 22 people, Dr. Nissenbaum found, 18 reported new or worsened chronic sleep deprivation, nine reported new chronic headaches, 13 reported stress, and 17 reported persistent anger. More than a third reported new or worsened depression, and all but one of them said the quality of their life had been reduced.

I challenge people who believe there are no dangers from living close to turbines to talk with one of the many people who are suffering in Maine because of the improper siting of gigantic industrial machines.

And then try and feel good about having your friends and neighbors unhappy in their homes or on medications so they can sleep at night.

Where is the compassion for our fellow Mainers?


Denise Hall,
Woodstock Maine

 's picture

Dangerous Noise...

Ms. Willard is to be commended for attempting to do some independent research into the unique sounds produced by industrial sized wind turbines. I don't, however, believe she looked far enough. 130db of sound would certainly be 'dangerous' to humans-- in the immediacy. Wind turbine sounds, from what I understand after speaking with experts and reading literature, is completely different. While a short term exposure to the sound would be, to some, only mildly annoying, it is the long term effects which are causing health problems.

Some people cannot escape it. For as long as the wind blows, they are assaulted by high, low and ultra-low frequency noises... some of which cannot even be heard by the human ear-- but rather, they are 'felt'. I have spoken to neighbors here in Maine who are suffering. I have corresponded with doctors who are studying this. And I have been exposed to the sound in the short term, and can imagine what ceaseless exposure might do.

I listened to an informational talk by an acoustics engineer who has studied the wind developments in Maine extensively. He played a recording of the actual sounds produced while he spoke. It was not hard to hear him over the noise, and yet, when he turned it off without warning, the reactions of the listeners was amazing. Almost everyone of them expressed a great feeling of 'release'...they hadn't even realized how their body was reacting to those sounds, until those sounds ceased. Tension, anxiety...we didn't know we were experiencing them until the cause was taken away. It made a great impression on me. And that was after only ten minutes of exposure, and the db's were set at a realistic level, not exaggerated for effect. I had no problem believing that long-term exposure surely must produce sleeplessness, anxiety, hypertension... and all the health problems related to those conditions.

I urge the citizens in communities where wind developments are proposed to move with caution. Set moratoriums while you gather FACTUAL information. Don't be taken advantage of because you do not have sufficient data. I hope you will look at this issue from many different angles, and not make it solely about any financial benefits promised by the wind developers. Please remember-- they are 'in' this for one reason, and one reason only... to take advantage of the huge tax-payer subsidies available to them upon completion of their projects. Our taxes are paying for their wind plants, and without those government hand-outs, they would walk away. This isn't about saving the planet, and studies are showing that adding wind to our energy mix does NOT significantly reduce carbon emissions. In some cases, these turbines do not even have to produce electricity for the developer to profit, as they can sell their carbon credits or use them to offset carbon produced by their fossil-fuel subsidiaries.

Let's work together on this. Let's be respectful of our neighbors, many of whom are suffering, or who may suffer--if turbines are erected within a mile or two of their homes. Let's consider the irreversible damage to our mountains, and our tourism-related livelihoods, and to the habitat of our wildlife. If the concern is global warming, let's think about the thousands and thousands of acres of carbon-sequestering trees which will be permanetly removed from our high-terrain regions. Let's not forget the 400+ mile long high-voltage transmission corridor with its attendant health risks which will necessarily cut a swath through 75 Maine towns due to the fact that our existing infrastructure is not designed to handle wind's erratic nature and wild fluctuations. There is so much about this wind plan which Mainers are not aware of, but the truth is out there. Please be cautious and open your minds to hear the facts. Thus far, the wind industry has had years to sell their products with 'spin' and without opposition. I urge citizens to listen with an open mind to the 'other side'. The truth will blow you away.

If you would like to speak with experts on sound and health as pertains to wind turbines, please contact me, and I will do my best to get you in contact with some. You can also get some good information at these sites: www.windaction.org, www.windtaskforce.org, www.stopillwind.org, www.windfarmrealities.org, www.realwindinfoforme.com, www.highlandmts.org

Karen Pease
Lexington Twp., Me

 's picture

Infrasound is that noise

that you hear from your furnace in the basement when it kicks on. Do you hear it??? Has it driven you insane yet???
It's also the sound you hear inside your house on a windy day. Do you hear it??? has it driven you nuts???
Cars driving by your house if you live next to a busy road, the river running past your home. a fan running in the background to circulate air. All of these things are infrasounds and people deal with them every day. Claiming that it's bad for you is just another ploy by the anti- winders to get their NIMBY point across.
Give up, you've been out voted and people want this development. QUIT LOOKING FOR LOOPHOLES.
You are the same people that buy a Prius to be green and then pay just as much as everyone else if you have to drive more than 35 miles or go out on the turnpike.
The only real green there is grows over a patch of BS. No matter what people do to save energy and oil, they're screwing up the ecosystem with the factories that make the green systems. It takes plastics to make most of the green system and plastic comes from oil.
It's all a vicious circle. The only way that we will ever be green again is if society collapses and we don't have any machines left to use. Anything else is a pipe dream.


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