To the Editor:
We write as nonresidents of Martha’s Vineyard, yet as a couple that cares deeply for the natural beauty of the Cape and Islands and their residents. We have a good deal of knowledge about wind installations — proposed in Wellfleet, and installed in Falmouth.
The town of Wellfleet initially proposed building three turbines less than a quarter-mile from our cottage. At the time, some 10 years ago now, we thought that the turbine installation would be a good thing for the town, until we started doing our homework.
We discovered that wind turbines, in addition to their normal receptive beat, emit a phenomenon called infrasound, which the ears may not hear but bodily organs do, to their detriment. A multi-year debate over the turbines ended with a 5-0 vote by selectmen denying the turbines. Wellfleet selectmen also had belatedly done their homework.
As you are no doubt aware, the wind turbine saga in Falmouth is a far more tragic story Once again, many residents of goodwill welcomed the turbines until they were turned on. This activation led to constant disturbance to residents from sound and infrasound, chronic health problems, and home abandonment.
Recently, a Barnstable County judge ordered that Falmouth’s turbines be turned off and decommissioned, at great expense to the town. During the years of the turning of the Falmouth turbines, town boards saw only dollars for the town, and offered no consolation for afflicted residents.
No doubt Martha’s Vineyard officials are of the opinion that that their turbines are safely out to sea and in no one’s backyard. However, have you considered that sound travels far more readily over water than over land?
Our understanding is that the multiple Vineyard turbines are far larger and more powerful than any proposed for Wellfleet or erected in Falmouth, leading to a greater potential for human distress.
We implore you to do your homework and consult impartial acoustic experts before approving this project. Once wind turbines are erected, they are not readily taken down.
James and Patricia Rogers
Sandwich and Wellfleet