The battle tomorrow night over the fate of two industrial wind turbines in Falmouth puts a spotlight on the harmful impact of poorly sited wind turbines throughout Massachusetts, according to a leading environmental advocacy group, Wind Wise-Massachusetts (WWMA).
“Peer-reviewed scientific studies have proven that living near wind turbines makes people sick, as evidenced by 21 wind turbine locations in Massachusetts from the Cape and Islands to the Berkshires where people have reported serious health problems,” said Lilli-Ann Green , a spokesperson for WWMA.
At a special town meeting in Falmouth on Tuesday, residents will be asked for approval to borrow money to decommission and dismantle two wind turbines. If approved, Falmouth will become the first town in America to take down industrial wind turbines for health reasons.
“The problems with wind turbines in Falmouth is just the tip of the iceberg,” Green said. Numerous complaints have been filed with health boards, police departments, and state agencies regarding the noise and strobing impacts from wind turbines.
“People living in the proximity of wind turbines have complained of chronic sleep deprivation, headaches, ear pressure and ear pain, high blood pressure, nausea, dizziness, depression and other symptoms in Falmouth, and in other communities throughout the U.S. and abroad,” she pointed out.
Green said, “There are no population studies or even small case control studies which have been performed in the vicinity of large operating wind turbines that indicate that there are no adverse health effects for any of the nearby residents from these wind turbines.”
The impact on families and communities involve financial issues as well as health, according to Virginia Irvine , a member of the executive committee of WWMA (windwisema.org).
“Families have been forced to move out of their homes due to health problems. Some want to move but financially cannot. Independent studies show that real estate values have plummeted 15 percent to 40 percent within two miles of the 30 to 50 story high wind turbines,” she said.
WWMA is a statewide alliance of environmentally active grassroots organizations and individuals who are concerned about the negative health, environmental, and economic impacts of poorly-sited wind turbines. The organization has supporters in more than 200 Massachusetts cities and towns.