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The Coastal Packet

The longtime national journal, Progressive Review, has moved its headquarters from Washington DC to Freeport, Maine, where its editor, Sam Smith, has long ties. This is a local edition dealing with Maine news and progressive politics.

2/24/10

WIND TURBINE UPDATE

VILLAGE SOUP - For Ethan Hall, who lives 3,500 feet from a wind turbine on Vinalhaven, being subjected to the turbine's sound is like listening to a dripping faucet - "torture."

"I wouldn't be here if it was easy to get used to," Hall said at a Feb. 19 press conference at the Statehouse Hall of Flags. "The sound is different from anything I have ever heard. It is an intense pulsing. It is impossible to block or mask this noise."

Hall wasn't the only person voicing his opinion at the press conference held by the Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power -- a coalition of citizens advocating responsible, science-based, economically and environmentally sound approaches to Maine's energy policy - which is calling for a statewide moratorium on commercial wind turbines.

Doctors, lawyers and other citizens affected by the noise from the turbines spoke in an attempt to mandate better noise regulations before Maine goes any further with installing wind turbines around the state.

Explaining that the noise of the turbine in his backyard is very noticeable and not like a background hum, such as a refrigerator makes, Hall said he couldn't read, work or get good rest in his own home. In fact, there was nowhere on his property where he could escape the din. He also said state noise regulations were "outdated."

To make a point to those in attendance, a recording of a wind turbine was turned on during task force member Steve Thurston's opening remarks at the press conference. Later, when TV news crews tried to conduct interviews with the speakers, the recording was turned on again, forcing the news crews to ask that the noise be turned off so they could finish the interviews.

According to some, industrial turbine noise doesn't just bother humans. Jonathan Carter, director of Forest Ecology Network, spoke about the effect on animals. He said the turbines could have a profound negative impact, causing predatory problems, affecting reproductive success and creating other issues. . .

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