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Falmouth Wind Turbine Found To Be Too Loud

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FALMOUTH (AP) — Officials in Falmouth have shut down a town-owned wind turbine after a state study found it was making too much noise close to some homes.

The Department of Environmental Protection announced the findings Tuesday after monitoring sound from five different locations near the turbine on four different March nights.

State standards say turbine noise can’t be more than 10 decibels above the ambient noise levels, but it was too loud at one of the testing sites.

The selectmen had already limited the turbine’s use to daytime only in a decision earlier this month.

For now, the DEP findings indicate the turbine can’t spin at night unless the town somehow makes it quieter, DEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell said.

Kimmell said the report shows that his agency “calls balls and strikes in an impartial way and holds wind turbines to the same standards as we apply to other industries.” But he added turbines in other parts of the state have been running without similar complaints.

“So these results do not implicate turbines everywhere,” he said.

The turbine is one of two located at the town’s wastewater facility. Besides loss of sleep, some residents blame the turbines for various sicknesses, from nausea to vertigo, and said the DEP finding was long overdue. Real estate broker Annie Cool, 53, compared the turbine’s spinning sounds to “a boot in a dryer” and said the town should move both turbines.

“Do I feel a little vindicated by the report? Yes, because it shows we’re not crazy,” she said. “But do I trust that the town and the state will do the right thing? Not on your life.”

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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