Scituate residents who say they have been harmed by the town’s industrial wind turbine are planning a community meeting to educate neighbors on their point of view.
The meeting, taking place at Scituate Country Club from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, will feature scientists and engineers focused on sound, and residents are hoping it makes their case for why the turbine should be shut down.
“The Board of Health [and] the town have spun a fair bit of misinformation on what the issues are,” said Tom Thompson, a spokesperson for the affected residents. “I don’t think really people appreciate why the community group was pushing for the three-pronged study … So this is an education and advocacy event that allows folks who haven’t been involved to attend; get real and accurate information from independent industry experts.”
The event will feature Rick James, a principal consultant at E-Coustic Solutions. According to a release, James has been in the field of noise control since 1969 and has participated in projects related to control of occupational and community noise. More recently, James has been involved with noise and health issues related to turbines.
Dr. Jeffry Silver, who works with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and has a specialty in sleep medicine, will talk about the effects of sleep deprivation on the human body.
Though a study being paid for by wind developers, is already under way, residents are still hopeful that the community meeting will have some impact.
“I think we’re looking for folks within the town to have a better appreciation of the issue,” Thompson said.
The presentation also hopes to show town officials that, despite what wind developers say about the science around wind turbines, there is evidence to support the health complaints.
“At the end of the day, I think that … the Board of Health members, members of the Board of Selectmen are for all intents and purposes well-intentioned people. They are trying to do the best they can…but the town jumped into an industrial wind turbine agreement without understanding all the facts behind it,” Thompson said
“They are in a tough spot…we’re just trying to get them to a place where they want to work with us, where they can finally appreciate what’s going on,” he said.
Town officials haven’t been specifically invited, but are welcome to attend, along with any member of the community interested in or curious about the issue.
Whatever comes of the discussion, Thompson said the tactic is just another step in trying to do what residents feel is right.
“We’re on the right side of this issue, so we just have to systematically make sure the proper and accurate information is presented to folks so they can make an informed decision," Thompson said.