Heated Board of Health meeting reveals few turbine mitigation details

FAIRHAVEN — Residents got some details but not a full picture of an updated turbine mitigation plan during an often-rowdy Board of Health meeting Monday night.

The plan, submitted by turbine owner Friends of Fairhaven Wind, was not released to the public even as the Board of Health discussed it Monday night, leading to confusion and frustration among the more than 40 residents in attendance.
According to comments made by Board of Health Chair Jeanine Lopes, the plan includes a proposal from Fairhaven Wind to pay for software that would automatically turn off one of the town’s two turbines in “adverse weather and wind conditions.”
It is not clear exactly what those adverse conditions are, but mention was made by board member Barbara Acksen that they would be similar to conditions when the Department of Environmental Protection has found the turbines to be in violation of state noise ordinances.
Acksen also mentioned the possibility of turning off one turbine between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m., but it was not clear from the discussion if that would only occur in adverse wind conditions or on a nightly basis.
The board refused to answer questions or take comments about the plan Monday night. Lopes said she could not make the document public because selectmen were simultaneously discussing it in a closed meeting Monday night. That selectmen discussion was justified under Massachusetts open meeting law because it is technically a contract negotiation for that board. The same is not true for the Board of Health, which deals with the plan in terms of how it abates a public nuisance and health concern.
The Standard-Times filed a Massachusetts Public Records Law request with the Board of Health on Friday asking for the mitigation plan. The board has 10 days to respond.  Read full article here….

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