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COMMENTARY

Globe South Commentary

Different spins on wind turbines

RE “Is there a future for land-based wind turbines south of Boston?” Feb. 5: Wind Wise president Louise Grabowski wants to ensure that wind turbines are sited “far enough away from neighbors that they do not create health problems.” Grabowski made her bones as an anti-wind crusader by helping kill the Moon Island turbine in Quincy, which would have been sited nine-tenths of a mile from the nearest human habitation, so one wonders how far is far enough. Five miles? Ten miles? Fifteen? Twenty?

Another question for the Wind Wise president: Can you identify a student or teacher from Hull who has health problems caused by the industrial -cale turbine that sits a few hundred feet from that town’s high school building? Or is it only the owners of residential property who suffer from so-called wind turbine syndrome?

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Finally, a crucial question that the Globe story doesn’t get around to asking: I’d like to know how Grabowski would fulfill our region’s electricity needs. Would she like to see more coal-fired power plants belching carcinogenic soot? More projects like the planned gas compressor station that threatens the health and safety of our neighbors who live in the Fore River basin? Or is she proposing more nuclear plants like the one that people on Cape Cod and up and down the South Shore are fighting to shut down?

I don’t know about Grabowski, but rather than live near any of these, I would gladly take my chances with a quiet, non-polluting, radiation-free wind turbine.

David Reich , Quincy

Neither the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection noise emission standards or community noise emission standards are being enforced by the agencies responsible for the well-being of the residents of Massachusetts. In some cases, it appears, noise emission standards and practices were adapted or ignored to enable known poorly sited industrial wind turbine projects to be permitted contrary to expert testimony advising that noise issues would occur. When neighbors complain repeatedly about industrial wind turbine noise emissions — which has very consistently happened in all the communities mentioned in this article and beyond, from Plymouth/Bourne to the Berkshires — the issue, in fact, is lack of enforcement of laws/regulations that already exist. It is time to question the motives of the regulators.

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It is time, also, to recognize this as a statewide issue, to acknowledge that there are bad stories about industrial wind turbine projects coming from around the world addressing everything from health issues to economics/benefits, and we should be learning from these “bad stories” — not dismissing them. And it must be underscored that these issues are not imagined, but the reality of poorly sited industrial wind turbines. That is the story that must be told, but is not.

Marie-Jane


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