VICTORY FOR NEIGHBOURS OPPRESSED BY WINDTURBINE NOISE IN VINALHAVEN !

PRESS RELEASE from Fox Islands Wind Neighbors : 

Contact: Alan Farago /Rufus Brown esq.  207 831 0569 
 

After three years of litigation, a Maine Superior Court decision has finally found in favor of wind turbine neighbors complaining about excessive noise from three nearby 1.5 megawatt GE wind turbines. Although citizens across the United States living near wind turbines are complaining -- including lawsuits against wind turbine operators --  this is the first court case where a state judge has found against a state agency charged with enforcement; the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
The judge's decision follows the key claim of the plaintiffs who proved that FIW (Fox Islands Wind) was not complying with the State’s noise limits and that the DEP failed to enforce against the turbine operator or to require compliance. The immediate impact of the court decision is to remand to the state agency and work with neighbors to find an equitable way to measure and enforce against ongoing noise violations.
For years Fox Islands Wind Neighbors has felt betrayed by the DEP for not protecting them by enforcing against excessive wind turbine noise. Falling back on their own resources, neighbors were forced to do noise measurements to state regulatory specifications -- often in extraordinary weather conditions -- , then engage in a protracted administrative process to clarify for state regulators the deficiencies of antiquated rules; rules never designed to protect people from wind turbine noise. Throughout the lawsuit, the wind turbine operator, FIW (Fox Islands Wind LLC), stonewalled both the state and the neighbors. It failed to produce data and information about the noise from the turbines, thumbing its nose at due process, and when the neighbors proved at their own expense that violations were occurring, the wind turbine operator flexed political muscle to operate the turbines its own way.
The Vinalhaven wind turbines are permitted to operate at 45dbA at night time. In other parts of Maine, after complaints by neighbors and a public hearing process by the state of Maine, noise levels are 42dbA. 
This decision is an important step in the neighbors’ long battle that began in late 2009 when the wind project commenced, threatening health and depressing property values. But it is hardly the last word. Fox Islands Electric Coop informed ratepayers (July 2013) that it has already spent more than $800,000 on behalf of the wind turbine operator's legal troubles with the state.
The judge's order also notes that that Patricia Aho, who worked for FIW's law firm, Pierce Atwood, LLC previous to her appointment as Maine DEP commissioner, "... created an enormous amount of mistrust by the Neighbors as to whether their grievances can receive fair treatment by the Commissioner and the Department… Commissioner Aho's continuing participation in deciding upon operational and complaint protocols could be viewed as antithetical to the common notions of impartiality which Maine citizens understandably expect from decision makers in Maine agencies."
The wind industry has retreated from poorly sited turbine locations like those on Vinalhaven where wind shear and turbine placement present significantly more noise than predicted in the planning phase of the project. For example, Harvard Business School's George Baker -- former president of FIW and chief promoter of the project -- assured neighbors and Maine DEP during initial permitting that turbine noise would be masked by wind rustling leaves. Baker, former Vice President of Renewable Energy for the Island Institute of Rockland, Maine, both minimized and ignored consultants who had warned of likely noise problems. In one Harvard Business School study of the project, Baker took pride in speeding the Vinalhaven project past likely objectors. Not one director of Fox Islands Electric Coop, Fox Islands Wind, or George Baker live within earshot of the Vinalhaven wind turbines.
Around the world communities impacted by wind turbine noise are pleading for lower noise thresholds and, also, for improved acoustic metrics compared to poor standards in effect, today. Fox Islands Wind Neighbors look forward to working with the DEP to formulate protocols that will assure compliance by FIW in the future.
END



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Comment by Martha thacker on March 14, 2014 at 6:08pm

Mike...I think the justice system is beginning to work..it is so refreshing. The banks that First Wind has used in the past are just about all included in a lawsuit brought by FDIC over fixing interest rates. The end is in sight, to me , for this scourge to Maine. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/14/fdic-banks-libor_n_4965875...

Comment by Mike DiCenso on March 14, 2014 at 4:00pm
Is the justice system beginning to work as it should? I am keeping my fingers crossed...the wind sheiks can find another scheme that does not involve ruining Maine.
Comment by Penny Gray on March 13, 2014 at 6:44pm
Thank you for posting, Monique. This is a landmark decision.
Comment by Martha thacker on March 13, 2014 at 4:24pm

From the senate hearing on the keystone pipeline today.

A senator who calls himself Mr. Johnson, "Senator Obama , when he was a senator said electricity rates would sky rocket under cap and trade....Energy Sec Steven Chou said, "gotta ' figure how we could get our gas prices as high as Europe's/" He was Obama's Sec of Energy during the first term..at the time Europe was paying $8.00 a gallon and the US was paying less than $2.00.

He went on to say, "Obama spent 9 billion on green jobs. He created 910 new jobs. 9.8 million per job." (I think Stetson II came out of that stimulus bill)

On the panel, Hon. Karen Harbert stated Europe's electricity was 4 times higher than ours. Emissions are going up. Hurts competitiveness. The model is not working.

Don't think I'll be voting democratic because Mr. Johnson did not have his party beside his name, but I would bet he was republican. The democrats were all apologizing and minimizing the truth. So so sad.

http://www.c-span.org/video/?318285-1/hearing-keystone-oil-pipeline

Comment by Martha thacker on March 13, 2014 at 3:28pm

Truly nice to see our ME superior court doing it's job. Two questions for them..(1) did it have anything to do with Duke Power losing a court case for killing eagles? Duke Power stated in the trial that they didn't know turbines would do that. Yet,in First Wind's SEC report many years ago, under Risk ....,future lawsuits for wind farms in migratory bird paths was a possibility. (admitting guilt but when things were going their way,  they could do no wrong.

(2) Does  Deutsche Bank being in serious financial and criminal straits have anything to do with it? Although, I never saw any loans from Deutsche Bank to First Wind, they were a presence in upper state ME, kinda' behind the scenes. i.e. our state rep. who loved First Wind, had his house mortgage and rental houses all financed with Deutsche. Out of Germany...guess money is the universal language.

This bank was convicted in several European states of crimes re. cap and trade..Don't know the exact wordiage..but the house of cards is tumbling. 

We can all be happy that the long nightmare is almost over . 

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CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT (excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?"  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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