Neighboring Bourne residents have complained of ill effects for years.
PLYMOUTH — After years of running into roadblocks, residents who live near Future Generation Wind made some headway Wednesday night when the Plymouth Board of Health unanimously voted to declare the four turbines along Route 25 a nuisance.
“We want to do justice to this and to all the parties involved,” board Chairwoman Birgitta Kuehn said.
The board also unanimously voted to take action on the turbines within a reasonable time.
Up to 30 residents from Bourne and Plymouth crowded into the meeting room to complain again about how the turbines negatively affect their lives on a daily basis.
“It is amazing to me that these turbines were built in a residential area,” board Vice Chairman Barry Potvin said. “This is clearly something the Board of Health has to take up, because we are sworn to protect the health and safety of the people who live in this area.”
Much of what happened with the turbines came before many of the current members were serving on the board, member Jerry Levine said.
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After years of fighting, Plymouth has declared several massive wind turbines a public health nuisance.
“Thank goodness they’re responding,” said Karen McMahon, who has lived for three years in the shadow of several 500-foot tall wind turbines. “It’s horrible and it vibrates. And it vibrates the windows.”
She says it is nearly impossible to tune out the sound of the giant blades. “There are three sets of blades that I can see from my living room,” she said.
Her neighbor Larry McGrath has lost sleep. “Why put them next to a neighborhood? No reason for it. They should be taken down,” McGrath said.
The turbines have been up on private property since 2016, but just this week the Plymouth Board of Health declared the turbines a public health nuisance after repeated pleas from neighbors like McMahon.
“They have nothing against wind turbines but they don’t want them in residential areas,” said Birgitta Kuehn, the chair of the Plymouth Board of Health. She says what happens with these turbines is up in the air for now, but the board is now going to take a hard look at the health impacts in the weeks and months ahead.
“The industry itself is constantly refining itself. It’s getting better. And we want to know what they have done regarding public health issues,” Kuehn said.
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After more than 10 years of harming Mainers' health, when will the Maine legislature change wind turbine setback distance?
It seems that offshore, the effective setback is supposedly something like 20 miles. On land, Maine's model wind ordinance from 2009 says the required setback is a mere 1.5 times the turbine height, measured from base to highest possible rotor tip, e.g., 900' for a 600' turbine. Why the double standard for inland and ocean? It's past high time that the legislature revises this setback in a manner that at a minimum would be consistent with the body of health knowledge that has been amassed since 2009 when Maine created this developer-friendly setback.
From Maine's model wind ordinance:
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