Welcome to FairWindCT

Click the link below to read the submission from Vermonters for a Clean  environment dated October 24, 2016 to the Public Service Board’s request for proposals for a sound standard rule for wind turbines in Vermont.
Vermonters for a Clean Environment consulted with Stephen Ambrose*, who prepared the submission. Read it here.

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Wind Turbines and Public Health

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEh3sooKU8A

This video concisely describes the ill health effects that many people suffer due to wind turbines, and the government response in Australia. It was made by the Waubra Foundation.

Click here for a PDF file of citations for the references made in the video, descriptions of the interviewees, and other reference information.

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Wind Turbine Noise and Human Health: A Four-Decade History of Evidence that Wind Turbines Pose Risks

This important peer-reviewed paper examines 15 years of the authors’ combined experience with wind turbine noise issues. The authors respond to the various responses by the wind industry regarding turbine noise and explain why audiologists, particularly those interested in community noise, should embrace the notion that all forms of noise, if sufficiently intense and prolonged, can be detrimental to public health. They also encourage audiologists to be sensitive to the non-auditory aspects of acoustic energy, including the dynamically modulated infrasound and low-frequency sound emitted by modern wind turbines. The background information about the paper is provided below. The link(s) to download the paper are included on this page.

Editor’s Note:  Today Hearing News Watch brings readers a special post, written by contributors Jerry Punch, PhD and Richard James, INCE, discussing the publication of their new article published at the HHTM Journal.

We authored an earlier three-part series of articles on the topic of the effects of wind turbine noise on health on the HHTM website in the fall of 2014, with links provided below:

Wind Turbine Noise and Human Health

The primary aims of the linked article are to provide our reference sources for much of the information in that earlier series, as well as to update that information. We do so by addressing 12 specific position statements frequently made by the wind industry, its trade associations, and other surrogates. We address these position statements, many of which are revealed to be little more than unfounded talking points, by a comprehensive review of the literature, including that from industry proponents and from those who are independent of the industry.

We are hopeful that this information, which we believe to include some of the most reputable science on the subject, will be instrumental in highlighting the evidence needed to refute those positions and ultimately to advocate for those who are being harmed by industrial wind turbines.

This article is the culmination of about 15 years of our combined experience with wind turbine noise issues. We first submitted an article resembling the current one to an international journal, Noise & Health, where it received multiple reviews by a single reviewer. We addressed all but two of that reviewer’s criticisms, namely that the manuscript was too lengthy for publication in the journal and the reviewer’s insistence that we accept the notion that infrasound at levels produced by wind turbines cannot cause adverse health effects. Underlying that reviewer’s position was the belief that “What you can’t hear, you can’t feel.”

In fact, decades of research have shown that the dynamically amplitude-modulated short bursts of energy, or pressure pulsations,area characteristic of all modern industrial wind turbine emissions. These pressure peaks can be perceived by humans at levels far below the commonly accepted thresholds of perception and can lead to adverse symptoms such as sleep disturbance, headaches, tinnitus, ear pain, vertigo, and nausea.

The editor of Noise & Health offered an additional review cycle by a second reviewer. We chose instead to withdraw the manuscript from consideration because we were unwilling to either shorten it considerably or to mischaracterize the literature on the subject at hand.

We are grateful to HHTM for allowing us to share this information through its widely accessible website.

Peer Reviewed Paper

This paper has been reviewed both by the anonymous Noise & Health reviewer and by three other reviewers who have substantial professional experience in the area of wind turbine noise. We gratefully acknowledge the helpful contributions of Keith Johnson, Esq., Michael Nissenbaum, MD, and Daniel Shepherd, PhD.

Mr. Johnson provided a review from the perspective of an attorney who represents interveners in wind turbine siting cases. Dr. Nissenbaum provided a review from the perspective of a medical professional and expert in how ionizing and non-ionizing radiation affects humans. Dr. Shepherd provided a review from the perspective of a psychoacoustician with experience in how wind turbine sound affects people. Each of these reviewers’ comments on earlier versions of our manuscript led to the final document. The opinions or assertions contained herein, however, are the personal views of the authors and are not to be construed as reflecting the views of Michigan State University or Central Michigan University.

The article’s unusual length stems not only from the number of topics covered, but also from our desire to quote literally and liberally from researchers and others on matters related to some of the key points in support of the link between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects. Given the length, interested readers will likely require multiple sessions to read the article in its entirety.

Although the article has been reviewed by four qualified professional peers, we believe that it can stand largely on the merits of its contents, which can be judged and fact-checked by readers.

Even though wind turbine noise does not normally cause hearing loss, we believe that audiologists, particularly those interested in community noise, should embrace the notion that all forms of noise, if sufficiently intense and prolonged, can be detrimental to public health. Audiologists should also be sensitive to the non-auditory aspects of acoustic energy, including dynamically modulated infrasound and low-frequency sound.

It is worth noting that two of the seven co-authors of the original white-paper report of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), which promoted the idea that wind turbines were harmless, were audiologists. We believe that the basic conclusions of that paper, which was not peer reviewed and written by a panel hand-picked by wind industry trade associations, unjustifiably favored the wind industry. It is particularly noteworthy that those major wind industry associations have acknowledged the audiology profession as having a credible say on the issue of wind turbine noise.

Interestingly, now that the tide is turning against the wind industry in many ways and in many places, its advocates are trying to discredit the views of audiologists, physicians, acousticians, and others who speak out in opposition of wind-energy development in populated areas. Concerned audiologists, especially those with expertise in cochlear and vestibular responses to noise and vibration, need to be heard on this issue.

Finally, let it not be said that either of us believes in making any less than the best possible effort to develop clean and efficient sources of energy. Rather, we hope that our article will be instrumental in promoting public health through a better understanding of the issues underlying the potentially harmful effects of audible and inaudible noise from industrial wind turbines when the turbines are sited too close to where people live and work.

Jerry Punch

Richard James

September 23, 2016

Read the full article at the HHTM Journal:

Wind Turbine Noise and Human Health: A Four-Decade History of Evidence that Wind Turbines Pose Risks

BIOs:

Jerry Punch, PhD, is an audiologist and professor emeritus at Michigan State University in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders. Since his retirement in 2011, he has become actively involved as a private audiological consultant in areas related to his long-standing interest in community noise.

Richard James, INCE, BME, is an acoustical consultant with over 40 years of experience in industrial noise measurement and control. He served as an adjunct instructor in Michigan State University’s Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders from 1985-2013 and currently serves as an adjunct professor in Central Michigan University’s Department of Communication Disorders.


Source: http://hearinghealthmatters…

Wind Turbines in Colebrook Start Up

4__DSC8683_windribboncut72dpi-2-264x300Gregory Zupkus and Paul Corey of BNE Energy prepare to cut the inaugural ribbon at the Colebrook South wind farm, flanked by Bryan Garcia of Connecticut Green Bank, far left, State Representative Lezlye Zupkus, third from left, and State Representative Lonnie Reed, far right.

On the clear blue morning of October 15, the vanes of BNE Energy’s wind turbine No. 2 faced motionless into a moderate breeze from the northwest. A small crowd of company executives, state legislators, bankers and regulators gathered on the hilltop above Flagg Hill Road to mark the opening of Connecticut’s first wind farm. A ribbon fluttered between two posts.

“I’ve got good news for you,” said Paul Corey, a principal of BNE Energy, “this project is just about done.”

Eight years after securing the Colebrook site, and at a reported cost of $23 million, BNE Energy was poised to start feeding wind-generated electricity into the grid. “It’s all hooked up,” said Sam McGriff, a site foreman.

The hub sits 328 ft off the ground, and each of the blades is 168 ft long.

A bulldozer backed and filled near the base of the tower, as speakers praised the vision, hard work, persistence and commitment to clean energy that had transformed an 80-acre homestead in Colebrook’s southwest corner into a utility-scale generating facility.

The site’s two turbines are rated at 2.5 megawatts each. The company met a commercial operation date of October 13 and has a 20-year power-purchase agreement with Eversource Energy for 5 megawatts. “We see this as the future of Connecticut,” said Corey.

On a hot summer day, Connecticut presently uses approximately 6,000 megawatts of electricity. Joyce Hemingson of FairwindCT, a citizens’ group, reports that turbines in New England generate on average less than 30 percent of their rated capacity.

The hub, also called the nacelle, contains the generator.

The ribbon was cut, the blades rotated on their axis to catch the breeze, the turbine started to spin silently. “They’ll take it up to about half speed,” said McGriff, explaining that the blades could be trimmed like sails at the command of a computer, operated for this occasion from a laptop onsite.

A reporter asked Robert Stein, chairman of the Connecticut Siting Council, whether the turbines would have been permitted under the present setback regulations. “Just about,” said Stein.

The family of Dr. David Lawrence, who live on Flagg Hill Road across from the Colebrook South site, report feeling headaches and loss of balance since the turbine went into operation, according to Hemingson, as does Peg Papanek, a Norfolk resident on Schoolhouse Road.

Wind turbine syndrome is apparently caused by inaudible low-frequency waves, to which some people are particularly sensitive.

 

 

Wind turbine neighbors report adverse effects
categories: Connecticut

link: https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2015/12/20/wind-turbine-neighbors-report-adverse-effects/

It was mid-October, and Peg Papanek was thinking how lucky she was to live on Schoolhouse Road and bask in Norfolk’s beautiful weather and fall colors. She had built a fabulous patio during the summer.

Now she was packing for a trip to Asheville, N.C., where she spends the winter. But that night she slept fitfully and woke up with a strange moving pressure in her head.
Again the next night she was unable to sleep, and the following day developed pains in her ears and chest. “I felt like all the cells in my body were vibrating,” says Papanek.
As she considered possible causes, she remembered the wind turbines. She drove up Schoolhouse Road toward the Flagg Hill site and saw the turbines spinning. “I didn’t know they’d been started,” says Papanek. “At that point, all the pressure was in my forehead,” she says. As she continued up Beckley Bog Road with the turbines a few hundred yards to her right, she felt the pressure on the right side of her head and grew nauseated.
At some point during the day, Papanek’s symptoms stopped. She was able to sleep that night and woke up feeling fine. Later, she learned that the turbines had been temporarily turned off. She left Norfolk shortly afterwards, and the symptoms haven’t recurred.
But Papanek worries about what she’ll face when she returns. “If it continues, I physically won’t be able to remain there,” says Papanek. “After two days of it, I was ready to get in my car and drive away.”

Peg Papanek is not alone in her experience. In many towns across the country where wind farms have been sited near residential areas—in Byron, Wisc., in Mars Hill, Me. , in Scituate, Mass.—residents have reported similar symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, nausea and difficulty concentrating.
Wind industry proponents and regulatory authorities have generally dismissed the reported symptoms as psychosomatic or due to group hysteria.
The search for causes has focused on low frequency sound. Wind turbines generate the majority of their sound energy in the low-frequency range, below the audible threshold, according to Rick James, an acoustical engineer and consultant. Yet noise ordinances in most states, including Connecticut, address sound in the audible range.
Audiologists have reported stimulation of nerves in the ear by spikes of low frequency sound below the threshold of audibility.

The most commonly used sound level meters filter out low-frequency sound and prioritize sound at higher frequencies, in the range of speech. Their results, given as dBA or A-weighted decibels, are considered by James as largely inappropriate to measure the effects of a wind turbine on the surrounding community.

The problem of annoyance from low-frequency sound has been recognized in the HVAC industry, where air-handling equipment that complied with dBA levels still drew complaints from clients. Sound measurements that give a greater priority to low frequencies, known as C-weighting or dBC, are widely used in that industry.

The sound monitoring of BNE Energy’s Flagg Hill site, stipulated by the Connecticut Siting Council and expected to take place during the coming months, will only measure dBA levels, not dBC or low frequency sound. It will measure average sound pressure over time, not the spikes of low-frequency pressure that are believed to trigger nerve responses at sub-auditory levels.

Connecticut regulations allow noise proceeding from an industrial zone, which the Flagg Hill site has become, to a residential zone, such as the dozen houses on Flagg Hill Road, to reach 61 dBA during the day and 51 dBA at night. Average sound levels at night in a rural community are generally under 30 dBA.

The same regulations forbid the emission of infrasonic or low-frequency sound in excess of 100 dB, but it is unclear how this is measured or whether the BNE Energy turbines in Colebrook have ever had to clear this hurdle. A query to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) on this score has gone unanswered.
Meanwhile, Dr. David Lawrence, whose house on Flagg Hill Road in Colebrook stands about 1,500 feet from the nearest turbine, describes living under a state of siege. When the turbines started operating in earnest on October 17, his wife Jeanie developed insomnia, headaches and unsteadiness on her feet. The couple moved their master bed from the second floor into the basement, which is shielded by an earth embankment. “We’ve hardly been back up there since,” says Lawrence. They limit their time on the ground floor to 10 to 15 minutes at a stretch, coming up briefly to prepare meals. They wear earplugs in the house at all times.

Lawrence, who practices as an internist in Winsted, was unaware of the wind farm project when he bought his house in 2009. Now, his best hope is to sell. “That would be ideal,” he says. “We have all our money tied up in this property.”

The state DEEP, whose noise regulations were established in 1978, no longer takes noise complaints. These must be directed to municipal authorities or to local area health boards.
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Wind turbines in residential areas a mistake

Credit:  Letter: Wind turbines in residential areas a mistake | Citizen’s News | December 18, 2015 | www.mycitizensnews.com ~~

“Wind Turbines – The Truth.” This was the heading of a document I created and handed out at an initial meeting with about 40 neighbors in the southeast corner of Prospect on Oct. 18, 2010. Most who attended I had never met before. The meeting came about as a result of an unexpected news article from this paper a few days earlier, about a quietly kept secret to install two massive 492-foot tall industrial wind turbines in Prospect. This is how the wind industry works. They work quietly on the initial applications, in meeting with local government officials; so that by the time news accounts are published they are already well underway, before local residents can gather to form any resistance.

Now that two of these state-approved wind turbines are up and spinning in Colebrook, the local residents are showing the same ill health impacts cited in my group’s exhaustive research-based presentation to the state Siting Council. Headaches, sleep deprivation, increased blood pressure to name a few are the symptoms being felt by a doctor’s wife on their Flag Hill Road home in Colebrook. As reported in the Dec. 13 Sunday Republican, the couple lives 1,500 feet from the turbines.

In the first meeting I presented my initial findings about the impacts of these spinning giants when placed in or near residential areas, and then over the course of eight months our group of neighbors banded together to fight. We hired some of the brightest experts in the areas of real estate valuation, audiology, engineering and law. We worked closely with state legislators, and our local town boards.

Our painstaking research showed that the Prospect site selection by the wind turbine developers would have become the most densely populated residential siting of wind turbines in America. This reported fact was never disputed by either the developers or the Siting Council. The Siting Council is the responsible state entity for the review and approval of all energy infrastructure installations in the state.

At a cost to my neighbors of nearly $200,000 to pay for all the expert research and testimony we required to defend our homes, we went up against the developers and the state Siting Council. And we did something few grass roots groups ever do, we won. The rights of the homeowners trumped a business that was being propped up by big government. The outcome was justified.

And now after only a few months of the Colebrook wind turbines spinning, the residents of Connecticut wake up to this article heading, “Family finding wind turbines a health hazard.” Unfortunately, Colebrook had little to no hope of winning its battle due to its low density of homes and a town government that offered inadequate support to its residents in their fight.

Yet what is the cost to be accepted in approving these industrial energy giants in residential areas? Is it the loss of resale value to a homeowner who could never hope to sell their home with a turbine behind it? Or is it a loss of use of your own personal property, as is now the case of the good doctor and his wife in Colebrook where they were reported to have moved their bedroom, and “limit their time on the upper floors to a few minutes and wear earplugs at all times.”

State legislators, and government agencies, my town’s local leaders and board members, Colebrook’s and each and every town in Connecticut, should ponder the great mistake that was made in Colebrook. Next time you decide policy keep in mind the rights of your constituents to live freely and unencumbered in their homes. That should always be your focus.

As I sit drinking my coffee on a mild Sunday in December, I have my slider door open a bit, and hear no noise from the west of my home. I am thankful for the tenacity and friendship of my many neighbors and new dear friends like our incredible attorney Jeff Tinley, but I am saddened to think of the hardship my friends in Colebrook are now facing.

Timothy C. Reilly

Prospect

The writer is the former president of the now-defunct Save Prospect, a group formed to fight against placing wind turbines in Prospect.

Source:  Letter: Wind turbines in residential areas a mistake | Citizen’s News | December 18, 2015 | www.mycitizensnews.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

Final CT wind regulations approved on April 22, 2014:

http://www.ct.gov/csc/lib/csc/pendingproceeds/regulations_wind/final/windregs-20140422-approvedversion_markups.pdf

For more information on the wind regulations, please visit the CT Siting Council website: http://www.ct.gov/csc/cwp/view.asp?a=962&Q=487246

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FAIRWIND CT’S MULTI-YEAR EFFORTS
REWARDED AS WIND REGULATIONS PASS

Final Approved Regulations Contain More Protections Than Other Versions, 
But Some Work Remains

HARTFORD, CT – April 22, 2014
Following final passage of the first statewide industrial wind turbine regulations for Connecticut, the advocacy group FairWindCT today thanked state legislators on the Regulations Review Committee, especially its co-chairs Representative Selim Noujaim and Senator Andres Ayala, Jr., Ranking Members and others who took a deliberative approach to understanding the issues and concerns voiced by stakeholders and kept the regulations process moving forward. Addressing the concerns of stakeholders in a meaningful and transparent way is no easy task. Joyce Hemingson, President of FairWindCT says “The conversation with legislators will continue. The regulations passed today are not perfect, but do give protections that were not there when we started.”
Hemingson adds “The main purpose of our laws is to be protective of public health and safety. A setback distance of 1.5 times the height of an industrial wind turbine from property lines would allow placement too close to homes. We hope that developers will choose to stay away from homes. Other states have learned the adverse effects of inadequate setbacks.”
From its inception in December 2010, FairWindCT called for state-wide industrial wind regulations. On January 3, 2011 then Attorney General Richard Blumenthal added his support during a meeting and press conference with FairWindCT and other citizens’ groups, stating “ Renewable sources of energy such as wind should be encouraged, but we must be very careful as to how and where, so as to prevent any adverse health and safety impacts on neighborhoods or on the environment generally.” At the time, the CT Siting Council was in the process of evaluating 3 wind farms – one in Prospect and two in Colebrook – with no industrial wind regulations in place.
A Massachusetts judge recently ruled that two 397-feet-tall industrial wind turbines in Falmouth must be shut off from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday and shut off all day on Sundays and three major holidays — Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day — to protect the health of homeowners who live about a quarter-mile (1320 feet) away.
Noise control expert Stephen Ambrose, who has worked on power plant noise issues for thirty years, notes that noise from conventional power plants can be contained inside a structure or neighboring residences can be fortified against such power plant noise. Wind turbine noise is different — it cannot be contained and neighboring residences cannot be modified to protect public health from this noise. “Distance is the only solution,” says Ambrose and numerous other noise control experts around the world.
Hemingson says, “Connecticut deserves good regulations on setbacks and noise. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection recognizes that Connecticut has fewer wind resources than other states, but we still need to be protective of our citizens.  We encourage our state’s lawmakers to consider these ongoing issues and FairWindCT will look forward to working with the legislature, regulators and the administration in this regard.”
For more information on FairWindCT, please visit www.fairwindct.com, contact us at info@fairwindct.com, or call Joyce Hemingson at 860-379-6425.
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A setback distance of 1.5 x the turbine height is not enough!

738 feet will not protect your family from the noise and shadow flicker of a 40-story industrial wind turbine.

Why does the CT Siting Council refuse to listen to the public and our legislators? It has dragged its feet for 2 1/2 years with 4 drafts of industrial wind regulations that do not protect public health and safety. If the Council wants support, then write good regulations! Learn from the experience of other towns in New England — Falmouth, Fairhaven, Scituate, Sheffield, Mars Hill. Learn from other countries, such as Ireland, which is promoting setbacks of 10 times the height of a turbine to protect homes from noise and shadow flicker.

Why should unlimited shadow flicker be allowed anywhere on your property except at an “occupied structure location?” Why is the Council giving itself the ability to approve more than 30 hours of shadow flicker per year at an occupied structure? Why should this agency be allowed to decide that some property rights begin inside your home, not at property lines?

The Council has already shown it doesn’t care about the land behind your house — it approved placing the tip of 492-feet-tall industrial wind turbines 14 feet and 9 feet from single family residential lot lines in Colebrook. The Council has already shown it doesn’t care what happens on abutting preserved land when it approved placement of 492-feet-tall industrial wind turbine 150 feet from the property line of Beckley Bog, a National Natural Landmark in Norfolk owned by The Nature Conservancy.

Connecticut’s noise law dates to 1978, and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is charged with monitoring noise and developing regulations. During the 2013 legislative session, DEEP tried to eliminate the law; this year, the governor’s office tried to eliminate both the regulations and DEEP’s responsibility for them. It is a fact that industrial wind turbines make noise. Who in government will take responsibility for regulating this noise and ensuring that setbacks are protective of health and safety? A distance of 738 feet will not protect your family from a 40-story turbine. The laws of physics are the same everywhere — if almost twice that — 1,300 feet — doesn’t work for people in Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts, it’s not going to work in Connecticut.

The CT Siting Council has submitted the 4th draft of wind regulations to the Regulations Review Committee for its April 22, 2014 meeting. The Council refused to change the setback distance once again. If approved, these would be the most lenient industrial wind regulations in New England. Contact Co-Chairs Representative Selim Noujaim and Senator Andres Ayala and urge them to insist on a larger setback.

Email Committee Members
Ayala@senatedems.ct.gov
paul.doyle@cga.ct.gov
Duff@senatedems.ct.gov
Len.Fasano@cga.ct.gov
Rob.Kane@cga.ct.gov
Angel.Arce@cga.ct.gov
Clark.Chapin@cga.ct.gov
Vincent.Candelora@housegop.ct.gov
Dan.Fox@cga.ct.gov
Robert.Megna@cga.ct.gov
Selim.Noujaim@housegop.ct.gov
Terrie.Wood@housegop.ct.gov
Elissa.Wright@cga.ct.gov

Mailing address for members of the Regulations Review Committee:
(name) Legislative Office Building Hartford, CT 06106

Members of the Regulations Review Committee:
Senator Andres Ayala
Jr. Senator Paul R. Doyle
Senator Bob Duff
Senator Leonard A. Fasano
Senator Robert J. Kane
Representative Angel Arce
Senator Clark J. Chapin
Representative Vincent J. Candelora
Representative Daniel J. Fox
Representative Arthur J. O'Neill
Representative Selim G. Noujaim
Representative Terrie Wood
Representative Elissa T. Wright

This EASY TOOL allows you to log-in online and email the entire Regulations Review Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly with just a few quick clicks!

1. Go to: http://www.statehouseassociates.com

2. Click on the Client Bill Tracking tab at the top

3. At the login page, please enter the username "FairWindCT" and the password "turbine"

4. Once logged in, mouse over the "Email" tab located at the top-left of the screen. Then click on "Committee" from the drop down menu that appears. Then select "Regulations Review Committee" and click "Done" at the bottom.

5. Users will then be brought right into an email form that is automatically populated with the email address of every legislator on the Regulations Review Committee. Users can then simply fill in their information and email as appropriate, and just click send when complete! Make sure you include your own email address in the from field.

6. In addition, users can find and email their own individual State Legislators. Once again, mouse over the Email tab, then click on My Representatives, and then enter your zip code. An email form will be brought up that is automatically populated with the email address of your individual State Senator and State Representative. Again, you can simply fill in your comments and email them as appropriate. Make sure you include your own email address in the from field.

Regulation Review Committee member phone numbers
Legislator Office Phone
Senator Andres Ayala 860-240-8864
Senator Paul Doyle 860-240-0475
Senator Bob Duff 860-240-0414
Senator Len Fasano 860-240-8824
Senator Rob Kane 860-240-8875
Representative  Angel Arce 860-240-8585
Senator Clark Chapin 860-240-8800
Representative Vincent Candelora 860-240-8700
Representative Daniel Fox 860-240-8585
Representative Robert Megna 860-240-0516
Representative Arthur O’Neill 860-240-8700
Representative Selim Noujaim 860-240-8700
Representative Terrie Wood 860-240-8700
Representative Elissa Wright 860-240-8585

2012-054E Connecticut Siting Council CSC WIND REGULATIONS  The Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies is amended Sections 16-50j-2a, 16-50j-18, and 16-50j-92 to 16-50j-96, inclusive. (CLJ 5/1/2012) (AGA 3/26/2014) Rep. Arthur O’Neill/Rep. Elissa Wright

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Supreme Court Oral Argument
A video of the Supreme Court Oral Argument on February 21, 2014 in the case of FairWindCT et al. vs. the CT Siting Council and BNE Energy Inc. is available online at http://www.ctn.state.ct.us/show_info.asp?mbID=21060. Running time is 1 hour, 3 minutes.

 

Opinion: Connecticut deserves a good wind turbine law.

By Joyce Hemingson: Monday, December 2, 2013

The issues that have been raised about industrial wind turbines are not new. They date back to the legislature’s Energy & Technology Committee public hearing on Feb. 3, 2011, which led to the passage of Bill 11-245 in the last hour of the legislative session in June 2011.

I testified at that public hearing and listened to hours of testimony by others. The main concerns were setbacks from residences, noise, health, bonding for decommissioning and local input.

You will find the same concerns documented on the CT Siting Council’s website (www.ct.gov/csc) at its public forum on wind regulations held Oct. 13, 2011, and its public hearing held July 24, 2012.

The siting council had time to address these concerns before its first submission of regulations in October 2012, but did not.

It wasn’t until an April 8, 2013, meeting between FairWindCT, the Council of Small Towns and the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities that the siting council agreed to correct the language regarding shadow flicker to allow 30 cumulative hours per year (rather than 30 hours from every wind turbine in a project).

After each of the three rejections by the Regulations Review Committee, the siting council had the opportunity to make changes and address the ongoing concerns expressed at meetings by committee members themselves — setbacks, noise, health, waiver provisions, decommissioning bonding, local input. The council instead addressed the more nuts-and-bolts issues raised by the Legislative Commissioner’s Office.

After the third rejection in September, the siting council chose to resubmit the same draft regulations. Why? The notion that regulations needed to be passed before Federal Production Tax Credits expire at the end of 2013 is a red herring. No new projects in Connecticut would have been able to complete the siting council process in time and then begin significant construction. The IRS has very specific rules on what constitutes eligibility for Production Tax Credits.

The siting council’s draft wind regulations are the most lenient of any New England state. They would allow wind turbines 492 feet tall to be sited 738 feet from residential property lines. Connecticut’s noise regulations also date to 1978, before the advent of industrial wind turbines. Unlike noise from conventional power plants, noise from industrial wind turbines cannot be contained inside a structure, and neighboring residences cannot be fortified against it. Noise experts know that the outdated levels allowed in Connecticut would cause widespread complaints if industrial wind turbines are placed in residential areas. Greater setbacks are the solution.

The main purpose of state statutes is to protect public health and safety. For example, a Massachusetts judge recently ruled that two 397-feet-tall industrial wind turbines in Falmouth must be shut off at night and all day on Sundays and three major holidays to protect the health of homeowners who live about a quarter-mile (1,320 feet) away. The sound produced by industrial wind turbines is regulated in Maine, which has the most installed wind energy of any state in New England.

It’s terrific to hear Connecticut legislators openly discussing energy policy as well as various energy options. Back in 2011 when the enabling legislation for wind regulations was passed, we didn’t even have a state energy plan. We are making progress, but let’s include all stakeholders in the process and put regulations in place that protect public health and safety.

Joyce Hemingson is president of FairWindCT, a nonprofit organization begun in 2010 to promote good regulations in Connecticut for industrial wind turbines over 1 MW. Her interest in industrial wind issues started when the first projects came before the CT Siting Council for Prospect and Colebrook. She has a B.A. in mathematics from Connecticut College and an M.S. and Ph.D. in botany from the University of Connecticut. She retired as director of publications for White Flower Farm in 2011.

 

CONNECTICUT SITING COUNCIL
Withdraws Draft Wind Regulations

This morning, the Regulations Review Committee (RRC) voted to accept the CT Siting Council’s withdrawal of their draft industrial wind regulations. The draft regs had been rejected 3 times previously, and submitted a fourth time unchanged for today’s vote.

The process going forward will be for the RRC co-chairs (Senators Andres Ayala and Selim Noujaim) and its ranking members to meet with the Siting Council to address concerns and then communicate with other members of the RCC. The goal is to bring back draft regs that can be supported and approved in a timely fashion.

Please take a moment to send a big thank-you to co-chairs Sen. Ayala and Noujaim for their leadership and willingness to get industrial wind regulations done right for Connecticut!

Ayala@senatedems.ct.gov

Selim.Noujaim@housegop.ct.gov

Best wishes and happy Thanksgiving,
Joyce Hemingson
President, FairWindCT

 

URGENT
CONTACT THE REGULATIONS REVIEW COMMITTEE

Please take action before Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013 — email state legislators on the Regulations Review Committee before their meeting and tell them to REJECT the draft industrial wind turbine regulations for Connecticut. See below link for an easy tool that lets you email the entire committee at once. Our comments in December 2012, and again in May and September 2013 helped get the draft regulations rejected, but the CT Siting Council has submitted the rejected third version again, unchanged. We need to ask the committee to reject them once again!

The CT Siting Council resubmitted its rejected wind regs UNCHANGED to the Regulations Review Committee, which will vote on them next week on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013. The Council’s draft regs have been rejected 3 times, yet it has not made changes to address the issues brought before them about setbacks from homes, noise, and the waiver of requirements by the Council. Health effects from living too close to industrial wind turbines were never considered.

A judge in Massachusetts ruled this week that the two 397-feet-tall turbines in Falmouth (installed about 3 1/2 years ago) must shut down from 7 p.m to 7 a.m Monday through Saturday and be shut off entirely on Sundays and 3 major holidays to protect the health of residents living about a quarter mile away.

The Council dismissed other issues, such as bonding and greater input from towns, as outside their jurisdiction. Connecticut deserves good wind regulations, based on best practices and current scientific and technical information. Please email or write a short personal note to members of the Regulations Review Committee this week (addresses are given below). Ask them to reject the draft regulations once again. Include the town you are from.

Thanks again and let me know if you have questions. Please forward this email to friends and family in other towns and urge them to write. This is an issue that affects every part of the state. Scroll down to use the EMAIL TOOL set up by our lobbyist, or copy and paste this block of individual email addresses for members of the Regulations Review Committee into your own email to them:

Mailing address for members of the Regulations Review Committee:
Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106

Members of the Regulations Review Committee:

Senator Andres Ayala, Jr.

Senator Paul R. Doyle

Senator Bob Duff

Senator Leonard A. Fasano

Senator Robert J. Kane

Representative Angel Arce

Senator Clark J. Chapin

Representative Vincent J. Candelora

Representative Daniel J. Fox

Representative Arthur J. O’Neill

Representative Selim G. Noujaim

Representative Terrie Wood

Representative Elissa T. Wright

This EASY TOOL allows you to log-in online and email the entire Regulations Review Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly with just a few quick clicks!

2.  Click on the  Client Bill Tracking  tab at the top

3.  At the login page, please enter the username “FairWindCT” and the password “turbine”

4.  Once logged in, mouse over the “Email” tab located at the top-left of the screen.  Then click on “Committee” from the drop down menu that appears. Then scroll down and select “Regulations Review Committee” and click “Done” at the bottom.

5.  Users will then be brought right into an email form that is automatically populated with the email address of every legislator on the Regulations Review Committee.  Users can then simply fill in their information and email as appropriate, and just click send when complete! Make sure you include your own email address in the from field.

6.  In addition, users can find and email their own individual State Legislators.  Once again, mouse over the  Email  tab, then click on  My Representatives, and then enter your zip code.  An email form will be brought up that is automatically populated with the email address of your individual State Senator and State Representative. Again, you can simply fill in your comments and email them as appropriate. Make sure

you include your own email address in the “from” field, add a subject to the “subject” line, and write your message. Click send when complete.

With sincere appreciation,

Joyce Hemingson
President, FairWindCT

860-379-6425

URGENT — CONTACT THE REGULATIONS REVIEW COMMITTEE

Please take action THIS WEEK — email state legislators on the Regulations Review Committee before their Sept. 24 meeting and tell them to REJECT the draft industrial wind turbine regulations for Connecticut. See below for an easy tool that lets you email the entire committee at once. Our comments last December and again in May helped get the draft regulations rejected twice, but since the regulations have not changed substantially since then, we need to ask the committee to reject them once again!

Read entire Notice:   Wind_Regs_Alert_September_2013ed

 

Editorial ResponseedResponse

Read entire editorial response >>

An update from FairWindCT —

On May 28, 2014, the state legislature’s Regulations Review Committee once again voted to reject the CT Siting Council’s draft of industrial wind regulations. Thanks to all of you who sent comments to the committee. Concerns with setbacks from property lines, noise, shadow flicker, health, property values, lacking of bonding or performance surety, and the waivers (for setbacks, noise and shadow flicker) that the Council is giving itself were raised once again.

In addition, the Legislative Commissioner’s Office (LCO) questioned the deletion of the requirement for a natural resource impact evaluation report and analysis of compliance with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service recommended standards and guidelines and an analysis of compliance with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection recommended standards and guidelines. The LCO recommended in its December 18, 2012 report that the regulations should “clearly state what standards and guidelines of each of these agencies are intended and to identify the applicable statute, regulation or publication where such standards and guidelines can be found.”

The LCO also questioned the Siting Council’s addition of a “Terrestrial Habitat Conservation Plan” and a “Marine Habitat Conservation Plan” without specifying what would be required in each, and when each type of plan must be submitted.

For the full record of the proceedings, go to the CT Siting Council’s web site  (www.ct.gov/csc) and click on the “Pending Proceedings” link, then scroll down to “Other CSC Proceedings” and click on Wind Regulations
(http://www.ct.gov/csc/cwp/view.asp?a=962&q=487246).

The CT Siting Council must revise the industrial wind regulations again, and submit them to the Attorney General’s office for review before they can be scheduled for another meeting of the Regulations Review Committee.

Margolis: Connecticut law exposes Vermont’s duplicity on energy credits

link: https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2013/06/19/margolis-connecticut-law-exposes-vermonts-duplicity-on-energy-credits/

Starting Jan. 1, electric utility companies in Connecticut will no longer be buying renewable energy credits from Vermont wind and solar power projects.

A bill passed last month and signed by Gov. Dannel Malloy declares that power from Vermont projects “shall not be eligible for compliance with the renewable portfolio standards established (in the new law).”

The statute does not mention Vermont. But Jessie Stratton, the director of policy for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said the new law effectively targets Vermont because “renewable generation sources counted elsewhere may not also be used to satisfy Connecticut’s RPS (renewable portfolio standards) requirements.”  read more >>

Supreme Court next stop for Colebrook wind farm fight

COLEBROOK — A local citizens group that opposes two wind turbine projects in town has taken its fight to the Supreme Court.

Nicholas J. Harding, a Hartford lawyer representing the group, Fairwindct, along with plaintiffs Michael and Stella Somers and Susan Wagner, said he filed a 60-page statement March 22.

The action follows a dismissal of their case by a New Britain Superior Court judge in October, and appeals subsequently filed in Appellate Court.

A Superior Court ruled in favor of the Connecticut Siting Council’s approval of the turbine projects. West Hartford-based BNE Energy Inc. plans to build six 1.6-megawatt turbines [Dash] three on Flagg Hill Road and three on Rock Hall Road. Construction has not yet begun.

If they are built, they will become the first commercial wind farms in the state.

The Siting Council has sole jurisdiction over renewable energy projects that propose to generate more than 1 megawatt of power.

Fairwindct, Wagner and the Somers have said they are concerned the turbines will harm health, wildlife and property values. Harding has claimed the council lacked the jurisdiction to rule on the wind projects. He has argued the council should not have had the authority to rule until the state put regulations over wind turbine projects in place.

Meanwhile, the Army Corps of Engineers has approved a permit for the turbines on Flagg Hill Road but not on Rock Hall Road because of the potential harm they could do to the historic preservation of Rock Hall, a luxury inn just off Route 44.

Letter to the CT Siting Council requesting a meeting >>

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Brief filed with the CT Supreme Court

Here is a copy of the brief filed with the CT Supreme Court in the appeals by FairWindCT from the decision of the CT Superior Court (Judge Cohn) of the Connecticut Siting Council decisions in the Flagg Hill Road and Rock Hall Road cases.

Unlike the Siting Council, unlike the Superior Court, the Supreme Court has consolidated the cases and asked for one brief to be filed covering both cases, not one brief for each case. To the extent there are distinctions, you will notice that they are highlighted in our filing.

You will also notice that there are references in the brief to (R.__). These are references to the official record. They will get filled in at a later time after the official record of the case before Judge Cohen is filed with the Supreme Court. At that time we will post a new version of the brief.

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Draft determination letter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finds that BNE’s project on Rock Hall Road would have an adverse effect on Rock Hall, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.  There is a 30-day comment period before their final ruling.  See Letter >>

Revised wind regulations that the CT Siting Council has submitted to the State Legislature’s Regulatory Review Committee. That committee will likely consider the regulations at its December 18 meeting.  see revised regs >>

Colebrook Wind Farm Opponents Lose, In a Flawed System:

October 03, 2012|Dan Haar: Opponents of the planned wind farms in Colebrook have lost their case in state Superior Court, as a judge said their claims that the six turbines, as tall as a 40-story building, would not unduly hurt the environment or harm the neighbors. read more >>

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UPDATED: Vermont’s Energy Options >> Utility Scale vs. Community Solutions from Energize Vermont on Vimeo.

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“Windfall” – NY Times Review Summary

We can all agree that energy independence is a worthy objective, right? Alternative energy sources like solar power can help free the United States from fossil fuels and the grip of unstable Persian Gulf states. And wind power — wait, not so fast, says “Windfall,” Laura Israel’s urgent, informative and artfully assembled documentary. An account of rural Meredith, in upstate New York, when wind turbines came to town, the film depicts the perils of a booming industry and the bitter rancor it sowed among a citizenry. — Andy Webster

See the Full New York Times Review »                               View Trailer >>

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6 Commercial Wind Turbines proposed for Colebrook!

The State of Connecticut and most towns, including Colebrook, do

not have regulations about wind turbines in residential areas.

There are no established setbacks from your home, your property line, or from roads and wetlands. Wind turbines are noisy and the sound travels over a mile. Those proposed for Colebrook will be as high as a 40-story building, and can affect health, property values, and the environment.

Both the State and towns need time to develop regulations about commercial wind turbines. The Colebrook applications are now before the Connecticut Siting Council (www.ct.gov/csc) and deserve a public hearing. We support a moratorium on any decisions placing them in residential areas until the issue is thoroughly studied.

Google Earth Approximations of Proposed Wind Turbines

6 Commercial Wind Turbines are proposed for 2 residential

areas of Colebrook.  Each Turbine is taller than a 40-story

building – up to 492 Feet!

The company proposing the turbines claims that the Connecticut Siting Council, rather than our town’s regulatory boards, has ultimate approval of applications.

The State and all towns need time to adopt regulations, and the people of our town and across the state deserve to be heard on this issue.

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