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Suspicious wind coincidences? - Richard H. Rumery

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Suspicious wind coincidences

To the Editor:

Wind developers are playing Russian roulette with wildlife and people in close proximity to wind projects. Small brown bats are fast becoming an endangered species. Insectivore bats kill thousands of insects a year. Some of these insects carry life threatening diseases. Green Mountain Power is seeking permission to kill a certain number of bats already threatened with extinction. In order to mitigate the "taking" of small brown bats, Green Mountain Power will help fund a study. It seems ludicrous that a company that has already spent millions of taxpayer dollars to fund a massive wind project has the gall to think that an $18,000 study of small brown bats found in homes is justification for killing even one brown bat. That one bat may be the key to the survival of an entire species already decimated by white nose syndrome. What is also troubling is that the Department of Fish and Wildlife seems to think this approach strikes a balance.

Steve Therrien and his young family live ¾ of a mile from the Sheffield Wind Project. Almost as soon as the project began, noise from the wind turbines began to take a toll on the health and well being of this small family. They have appealed for relief through every existing avenue, including developer First Wind, and the governor. All their requests for relief and pleas for help were denied.

In December of last year, under the authority of the Department of Public Service, a company came to monitor wind turbine noise at the Therrien property. Inadvertently, the noise monitoring group got lost or stuck and called First Wind for assistance. First Wind claims the wind turbines were running at full capacity with high wind conditions during the three days of noise monitoring. Is it only a suspicious coincidence that precious little electricity or noise was produced at this time? Did the Department of Public Service even notice this discrepancy? All students of impact to wildlife and people should be independent and not be used to serve the interests of developers to help them comply with regulations that may not be tough enough to protect either wildlife or people form the detrimental impacts of Big Wind projects.

Richard H. Rumery

Newport Center, Vt.


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