For all intent and purpose, this measure bypasses State Legislature authority where a similar siting effort (Wind Energy Siting Reform Act) has met six years of stiff challenge. The legislative resistance has been largely due to the alarming increase in health impact upon residents reported in twenty-one (21) Commonwealth wind turbine host communities.
Unclear, unpredictable and often, unsafe state regulatory and wind industry driven guidance might very well be determined as acceptable by DPU. Thus allowing the agency to grant wind energy projects ‘as-of-right’ siting (circumventing Falmouth’s newly adopted Wind Turbine Bylaw), as well as appearing to manage public risk. A very suspect compromise given that policy objectives and goals lag well behind state timeline requirements.
This DPU power play will likely have immediate consequence in other Berkshire and Cape municipalities, where wind resources are most abundant, fearing that they could become the next unwilling hosts of an enterprise which has earned a very disagreeable reputation in Town’s like Florida, Monroe, Hancock and, of course, Falmouth.
It’s becoming absolutely essential that citizens take an interest in understanding this critically important issue. If you’re concerned for the preservation and protection of the welfare and prosperity of yourself and your community, or have questions about regional wind energy development at the expense of personal and community rights, please attend the DPU hearing scheduled Wednesday Jan. 22 at 4 p.m. at Knight Auditorium at Barnstable High School, 744 W. Main St., Hyannis.
Background information available athttp://www.env.state.ma.us/dpu/docs/siting/13-165/11113dpuord.pdf.