Falmouth to Give Up on Turbine Fight

FALMOUTH – Falmouth officials will not appeal a Barnstable Superior Court decision ordering them to cease operation of the town’s two controversial wind turbines.

Selectmen announced the decision prior to their meeting last week, effectively ending years of litigation between the town and homeowners who claimed that the turbines, dubbed Wind 1 and Wind 2, were affecting their health.

It comes after Superior Court Judge Cornelius Moriarty denied an appeal from the town in June seeking a permit from the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals.

The Board had rejected the town’s request last year, contending that the structures were a nuisance to neighbors and violated town bylaws restricting noise pollution.

In announcing an end to the fight, Board of Selectmen Chairman Susan Moran cited the cost of fighting multiple turbine-related lawsuits and also the fact that is as become a divisive, wedge issue amongst the community.

“This litigation has divided this community for a long time and diverted many resources from other worthy and necessary causes it’s time to put this matter behind us and move forward” said Moran.

Stopping the turbines means that Falmouth is now on the hook for roughly 14 million dollars in loans and grant funding for wind power that must be repaid.

Wind 1 and Wind 2 were erected amid controversy in 2010 and 2011, respectively and have sharply divided the town since.

The town has already begun the process of taking down the turbines, but it hasn’t affected the town’s commitment to green power.

“The board is committed to clean energy because we recognize that climate change is real and poses significant threats to our town,” said Moran, “We recommit ourselves to moving forward in order to limit the carbon footprint of our community and to focus on sustainability, both economic and environmental.”

By DAVID BEATTY, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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