Move underway to shut down Fairhaven wind turbines at night

Peggy Aulisio — SouthCoastToday — May 30, 2013

FAIRHAVEN — Select Board Chairman Charles Murphy Sr. said last week he will move to shut the turbines down at night at a meeting Monday, June 10, with the Board of Health.

“The goal of that meeting is to do what my goal was previously,” he said of the intentions he announced soon after taking over as chairman in April: To shut the turbines down at night.

Mr. Murphy said now that the turbines have been found to exceed the noise limit set by state law, “I now have legal concerns about not being in compliance.”

He said, “People wanted me to wait for the testing and now we have it.” But he added, “I think I could have done it before (shut them down) anyway,” under the terms of the contract with the developer.

In a hearing held with the Board of Health May 21, Martin Suuberg, deputy commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection, said the turbines exceeded the 10-decibel threshold for adding to background noise in five tests conducted in Fairhaven. Mr. Suuberg said the tests weren’t finished but that they were holding a meeting to announce what they’d found so far since the testing was taking so long. The tests started about a year ago.

Mr. Suuberg said test results exceeded the limit under state law in three tests on Little Bay Road, one on Teal Circle and one on Peirce’s Point Road. The tests ranged from last November to more recent ones in March and April of this year.

Mr. Suuberg said he would “prefer” to work with developer Fairhaven Wind LLC to get the turbines in compliance rather than shut them down.

Also at that meeting, Gordon Deane of Palmer Management Corp., the parent company of Fairhaven Wind LLC, questioned the DEP’s testing methods. Mr. Deane cautioned that there would be financial and legal consequences of shutting the turbines down.

Following that hearing, the Board of Selectmen arranged to meet with the Board of Health at noon on Monday, June 10. It is at that meeting that Mr. Murphy said he will move to close the turbines down at night “so people can sleep.”  Continue reading, here….

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