But absence of evidence is no reason for politicians not to leap into action!
A first draft of a new turbine bylaw would halve both the height and power output of future Fairhaven wind turbines. The draft, written by Planning Board Chairman Wayne Hayward, will "completely scrap the existing bylaw" in favor of more conservative zoning regulations. [...]Reasonable people can disagree on the best height of wind turbines ... but setting a kilowatt maximum? So if you had a 265-foot, 600KW turbine, and someone came along with a generator that was twice as efficient at collecting free electricity, installing it would be against the law?
Under the draft bylaw, the blade-tip height of new turbines could be no higher than 265 feet, and turbines could produce no more than 600 kilowatts. Fairhaven's two existing turbines at the Waste Water Treatment Plant have a tip height of almost 400 feet and produce 1,500 kilowatts.
The kilowatt maximum is the tell that the new proposal is less about legitimate concerns about community character than it is about trying to appease anti-wind protesters. These new-fangled machines, they make you sick!
But anti-wind folks have made it clear that they won't be appeased by reality, and before the ink on the new bylaw proposal is even dry, they're saying it doesn't go far enough:
"OK, so we cut the height and the wattage, but has anyone researched whether that is enough to stop the health problems in our town?" she said. "We can't just be choosing arbitrary numbers. We need to ask ourselves are we making an assumption about turbines or are we actually making decisions about facts and data."Of course, an independent panel of doctors & scientists has already reviewed all available data and found no evidence of health impacts, other than "limited epidemiologic evidence suggesting an association between exposure to wind turbines and annoyance," in which case anti-wind activists would need to be classified as a health hazard as well.