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Scituate residents address wind turbine concerns with Board of Health

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  September 25, 2012 05:28 PM

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Several Scituate residents are going through the town's Board of Health to try to remove the newly installed wind turbine on The Driftway.

At a meeting Monday night, resident David Dardi and several neighbors met with town health officials to discuss the issue and formally request that something be done.

Dardi, a summertime resident of Scituate, said that since he moved back to town and found the turbine several hundred feet from his backyard, he has suffered from sleep deprivation because of the turbine noise.

Other residents who live nearby complain of ringing of the ears, dizziness, and vertigo, Dardi said.

“This is the first shot forward in the Scituate community against the wind turbine. I think it’s a big move. And it’s not just one person, and it’s all around – to the north, west and east of it. There is a big problem,” Dardi said in a phone interview.

In addition to coming with several other residents, Dardi showed up to the meeting with a petition containing over 20 signatures of neighbors who also had problems.

“I was very happy about how my presentation was received,” Dardi said following the meeting. “[The board was] very excited listening, they didn’t act bored, they asked questions and there were a number of people who supported what I said. I have 25 different houses, 360 degrees around the turbine, with problems with noise, shadow flicker. They were all there.”

Also present at the meeting was Sumul Shah, owner of Solaya Energy, which owns and operates the turbine.

Shah wasn’t immediately available for comment for this article; however, according to Town Administrator Patricia Vinchesi, it is far too early to determine what kind of steps might be taken in response to complaints.

“The folks went to the Board of Health and they have taken the issue under advisement. I think they are even having another meeting to digest all the info they received last night,” Vinchesi said. “Jennifer [Sullivan, Director of the Board of Health] told me one of their members wasn’t there, so they want to bring him in and bring him up to speed, I’m sure they will be discussing it at their next meeting, but it would be very extremely premature to comment any further at this point.”

On Tuesday, Sullivan and Chairman Russell Clark came out to speak with residents and hear the noise for themselves.

They, too, are reserving judgment for what might occur in the future.

“We only started the process last night, so it’s going to take a while,” Sullivan said. “It’s still a new field, and there [are] a lot of questions to be answered.”

Regardless of what occurs from here, Dardi, who also testified against turbines at a Plymouth Planning Board hearing, said the opponents of the wind turbine are off to a good start.

“I testified before planning board in Plymouth when they went to support a two-year moratorium, and one man said, ‘If one person gets sick that’s too many for me, and I support this moratorium.’ That should be the attitude of our public leaders,” Dardi said. “This isn’t a Third World country. Granted we have an energy problem....Alternative sources of energy is a wonderful thing, but where do we draw the line?”

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