March 21, 2006

"industrial droning"

Tom Shea of Searsburg, Vt., wrote a letter last August to the district ranger of the U.S. Forest Service about the prospect of yet more, much larger, wind turbines in the Green Mountain National Forest. His great-great-grandfather settled in Searsburg in the early 19th century, and his family owns the two houses closest to the existing 11-turbine 6-MW facility (198 feet high, no lights; the proposed expansion calls for at least 340-ft assemblies, requiring flashing lights). The complete letter is available at National Wind Watch.
A little less than ten years ago, a 'small' generating station of a 'handful' of windmills was proposed and rapidly sent through the approval process. This was to generate 'clean' energy that was reported to be no more intrusive than the sound of a 'whisper'. I have endured the industrial droning for close to ten years, with the added arrhythmic clunk of the gears from the turning mechanisms. This is described as a "barely noticeable" sound. I beg to differ. Due to this industrial noise pollution, I can no longer bring pets to the property, because the droning disorients them in the woods. The impact to the wildlife must be even more severe, despite the claims of the power company's 'consultants'. Regardless, my family's enjoyment of the quiet of the woods is severely diminished.

Now there is proposed a bigger generating station, with larger windmills, complete with aircraft warning lights. I have yet to see a detail on exactly where these enormous structures are to be located. Where will they be in relation to my property? Will they overlook my house? Why hasn't this been published? I suspect that is because they will be a huge eyesore. How can anyone expect a public response when these details have never been released? The propaganda pictures that the electric company published were taken five miles from the Searsburg town line. I do not consider this honest. ...

Will there be 400 foot tall electrical generators overlooking my house? Will the pristine landscape be turned into an industrial park? Will this wild expanse of nature resemble a metropolitan airport with its landing lights? ...

When the existing windmills were proposed, there was supposedly no opposition to them. The power company published(!) pictures of the view from our property that were taken while they were trespassing. They said that they had heard no opposition to the proposal. It should not have been hard to find [our] family in a town of less than 100, who had been there since the early sixty's. Yet the power company claimed that they had contacted all of the abutters. They had not contacted us, nor ANY of the other families that had their view of the mountains spoiled by these huge industrial machines. (They apparently only contacted tourists who never venture far from the road on the way to their ski vacations.) They subsequently published a glowing report that everyone they contacted liked the idea of the generators. This is a conclusion they decided on prior to contacting anyone. It is not intellectually valid.
tags:  wind power, wind energy, Vermont, environment, environmentalism