Forum on potential impacts of wind turbines to be held in Townshend

TOWNSHEND — Vermonters for a Clean Environment is sponsoring the first of three public forums on wind development in rural communities on Friday, Nov. 22 at 6:30 p.m., at Leland & Gray High School.

The focus of the event: the noise and health effects of industrial wind. Impacts on property values will be discussed on Jan. 17, 2014; the third meeting is Feb. 21.

Stephen Ambrose, an expert on acoustical engineering, is featured speaker. A civil engineer and a member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering, Ambrose has testified before Vermont Senate and House committees on noise generated by wind turbines, and has authored several peer-reviewed reports on wind turbine noise.

Ambrose will be joined in conversation by citizens from Groton, N.H., and the communities around the Hoosac Wind project in northwest Massachusetts. Iberdrola, a Spanish private multinational electric utility company based in Bilbao, Basque Country, started operating industrial wind projects in both areas at the end of 2012.

Iberdrola Renewables, the world's fourth-largest energy company, recently erected three MET towers (test towers) - two in Windham and one in Grafton - on land owned by New Hampshire-based Meadowsend Timberlands Ltd.

The towers are seen as a precursor to an application for Windham County's first utility-scale wind turbine development, according to Vermonters for a Clean Environment in a press release.

Maps showing the parcel of land where the test towers have been erected will be distributed at the forum. The maps will show where potential turbines could be located, and which neighboring towns could be affected, including Townshend.

Pizza and beverages will be served.

Vermonters for a Clean Environment, a statewide nonprofit environmental advocacy organization, works to ensure citizens have a voice in permitting, regulatory, and legislative processes.

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