Mr. Woodwell is incorrect in his assertion that special state legislation confers the right to operate a turbine notwithstanding any other law. This idea has been tried by the town’s legal counsel in more than one court case and found faulty each time. The legislation he points to simply allows the town to operate a wind energy facility with energy accounts kept separate from the general fund. It does not allow the town to be negligent or to skip the engineering studies required to properly site a megawatt-scale turbine.

When Town Meeting was asked to approve the purchase of a turbine, no such study had been done to assess impacts, nor was the size of the turbine included in the presentation. We have learned from those mistakes.

The special legislation Mr. Woodwell points to does not pardon or condone the nuisance that improper siting created. Falmouth did not implement by-right siting of turbines and has updated the windmill bylaw to limit the scale of turbines to 15 percent of the capacity of Wind 1 and 2. The highest level of state judiciary has determined that all turbines require a special permit. Both turbines lack a special permit and have been ordered to cease operations by the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals and the Superior Court because they create a nuisance.

The selectmen are right to move on. In solar we have found a truly clean source of power to replace the problem-plagued, monstrous wind turbines.

Jayne B. Abbott, Metoxit Road, Waquoit

(2) comments


Is Mr. Woodwell unaware of the state's Noisome Trade Act?

Wind Energy Conversion Systems have proven, here in Massachusetts, to constitute a "Noisome" Trade.

I offer you the following background information and pose the question why weren't communities invoking the "Noisome Trade" act when siting these projects?

In answer to that question: the Scituate Health agent informed that they were assure there would be no noise - same in Kingston and on and on...

These projects have been permitted based on serious errors, omissions and misrepresentations of fact...hence permits should be revoked.

*Chapter 9 of the 2011 Legal Handbook for Massachusetts Boards of Health, prepared by the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards, states:

1. Introduction

Boards of health may regulate offensive trades or occupations under G.L. c. 111, ss 143-150. No trade of employment which may result in a nuisance, be harmful to the inhabitants, injurious to their estates, dangerous to public health, or may be attended by noisome of injurious odors, shall be established in a municipality unless the board of health, after a public hearing, has assigned a location for such trade or occupation.

and paragraph 4

However, just because a trade of business is authorized by local zoning to a site within a specific district does not mean that the business has the right to create a nuisance. "if there are reasons apart from the zoning law why the business may not be legally carried on in the district, the zoning law furnishes no protection to it." Marshall v. Holbrook, 276 Mass. 341,34 (1931).


You spend much of the time in your statement speaking to the undefined consequences of wind turbines. Then go on to state that solar is a clean alternative. I believe you are misleading your audience. What happens to all of the heavy metals contained in solar panels when they reach the end of life? What is the cost to dismantle the panels and properly recycle or dispose of the heavy metals? In our world of NIMBY we see what we want and ignore other relevant facts.

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