Scituate: Board of Health rejects neighbors wind turbine noise study terms

The Scituate Board of Health ruled Monday night on the parameters of an acoustical noise study of the town’s municipal wind turbine.

The board ruled in favor of Scituate Wind’s position that an acoustical noise study of the town’s wind turbine should be conducted under Department of Environmental Protection standards, rather than a greater set of parameters requested by neighbors, who say their health is being severely impacted by the wind turbine.

Steering Committee member and community liaison Tom Thompson said he’s disappointed, but not surprised by the board of health’s decision.

“This is not a surprise by any means. It was anticipated and expected, but I am disappointed in the board of health and I feel that they are not delivering on their mandate, such as it’s described in the town charter. They’re not protecting the residents’ health and safety. They’re in lock step with this wind developer – they’re afraid of the economic impacts, perceived or otherwise against the town,” Thompson said.

Thompson said the neighbors will now regroup and decide on their next step.

“There are 40 families, give or take, that have been really impacted as a result of this turbine and that doesn’t change, just because the board of health decided not to do their job. So, we have to determine if we want to continue to go down the path of a steering committee that seems to be working against us, and then I think we have to look at some of what our other remedies and rights might be, as a result of tonight’s decision.”

Scituate Wind has committed to pay for a noise study, but not a flicker study.

Neighbors are submitting a citizen petition for annual town meeting, to appropriate funding for that flicker study.

About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.