Wind turbines to be scrutinized
Dr. Albert M. Manville, II, senior wildlife biologist, Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will be the keynote speaker discussing bird and bat deaths near wind turbines and current federal recommendations for tower siting/mitigation.
The forum is co-sponsored by Housatonic Valley Association, Audubon/Sharon, Housatonic Environmental Action League, Housatonic Riverkeepers, Housatonic River Initiative, the Northwest Conservation District and Green Berkshires.
Confirmed speakers include Dr. Madga Havas, a professor of biology at the University of Trent in Canada, who will talk about unintended environmental couplings of electromagnetic fields from wind turbines and their implications for humans and wildlife.
Dr. Helen Parker, a clinical psychologist and former supervisory faculty member at the University of Virginia Medical School, will discuss wind turbine syndrome from low frequency environmental infrasound.
In addition, Tim Abbott, director of the Greenprints Initiative at the Housatonic Valley Association, will address planning/zoning regulations and Eleanor Tillinghast of Green Berkshires will discuss siting concerns.
Invited to attend are U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal; U.S. Rep. Christopher Murphy (D-5th); state Attorney General George Jepsen, Daniel C. Esty, commissioner of the state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection; John Fonfara, the state's senate co-chairman of the Energy and Technology Committee and State Sen. Andrew Roraback (R-30th).
"Other areas are far ahead of us on this," said BLEC President Starling W. Childs. "Connecticut is seeing applications for industrial-scale wind turbines for the first time."
"Everyone is for renewable energy but with fast moving structures that can top 500 feet, caution and intelligent siting become critical," he said.
"Capturing wind is nothing like collecting solar," he said. "In our embrace of all-things-green, key environmental realities often get short shrift. We need an in-depth look at this nascent industry without resorting to blind obstructionism."
Some of the issues to be addressed include risks versus benefits, potential adverse effects and structural concerns.
Sample planning and zoning regulations will be available.
"Industrial wind turbines are more complex than anyone imagined," said B. Blake Levitt, BLEC communications director.
Admission will be $5.
For more information, email Ms. Levitt at firstname.lastname@example.org.