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Noise Update from Maine

UPC Mars Hill Q & A
An update for Mars Hill Residents - March 30, 2007
(excerpted from a UPC Wind* handout)

I heard there were some sound issues with the Mars Hill wind farm. What is this about?
>Several households in Mars Hill have expressed concern over sound levels at certain times and in different weather conditions.

How is UPC Wind responding?
>UPC Wind cares about neighbors' perceptions of sound at the Mars Hill wind farm and is taking their concerns seriously. In response, UPC Wind has retained RSE, an independent engineering consulting firm, to perform field measurements for sound in Mars Hill. In addition, UPC Wind senior managers plan to meet with individual households involved to better understand their concerns.

How and when will the testing be done?
>The goal of the testing is to confirm that the wind farm does not have an unreasonable impact on protected locations [italics added] in accordance with the permit issued by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in June 2004. This process is expected to take several weeks.

Where will the sound be measured?
>Sound measurements will be documented at several field locations around Mars Hill and at the turbines.

Why can't the sound be measured at individual residences during the process?
>We have targeted specific locations that will give us the best overall measurement of the sound level. The locations selected are nearby residential properties without being intrusive to landowners, and will minimize the influence of noise that can occur from ordinary residential activities.

Where can I get more specific information?
>If you have specific questions regarding sound issues at Mars Hill, please feel free to contact Michael Alvarez, UPC Wind Executive Vice President & Chief Executive Officer.

* A boast from the Mars Hill Wind website: "UPC Wind is a U.S. wind power leader, developing, owning and operating successful wind farms across America... "

Local reaction:

4/5 - Bill, they honestly do not care. Mr. Alvarez gave a smart aleck, attorney like, answer to an elderly gentleman who asked why the wind mills are so close to people's homes. This elderly gentleman's lower lip was quivering, and Mr. Alvarez had the nerve to answer him, "Close is a matter of perspective." I wish we had tar and feathers at this meeting. Good luck in fighting these people. By the way, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan somehow became part of the Mars Hill wind mill project. We are up against a brick wall and you probably are too. But we will not go down without a fight. Mr. Alvarez mentioned that they had a site in New York already, but it was on an "ugly" steel mill. What site was he talking about?

4/23 - Please keep the people living around Mars Hill Mountain in your prayers. We hired an attorney, a good attorney, in an attempt to make UPC address the noise issue. Our attorney asked UPC to pay for an independent sound analysis on behalf of Mars Hill residents; UPC flatly turned this down. We are stuck with the windmills that we supposedly would never hear, but today it sounds like Bradley Airport in CT. There is no letup on the noise. Now we are going to try to rattle UPC's cage via the media. There is a gentleman coming from Vermont to do a documentary. I don't think much will be done, but I will certainly write editorials to certain papers about Mr. Alvarez's total disregard for residents' issues at that meeting.



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