, Gloucester, MA


April 18, 2013

Lingering questions on city turbines

To the editor:

A sweeping legislative bill titled the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed in the United States in 1996.

Sponsored by John McCain, Section 704 of the Act prohibited communities from blocking the installation of telecommunications infrastructure due to health or environmental concerns.

The Berkshire-Litchfield Environmental Council seeks to preserve the unique beauty and character of its region, and sponsored a cell towers/state of the science and state of the law forum in December of 2000. A synopsis of the report, edited by Blake Levitt, was published entitled “Cell Towers — Wireless Convenience or Environmental Hazard?”

Albert M. Manville, PhD of the Division of Migratory Bird Management gave a scenario of the worst-casetower scenario: A tower with a height greater than 1,000 feet with multiple guy wires, a tower with multiple solid or blinking red lights, and towers located in migratory bird corridors, near or next to wetland, with endangered species present. Mitigation recommendations include only using up-shielded white lights at night.

The book was published in 2000, so perhaps significant research has been done in the last 12 years. What studies prove the wisdom of having red lights on the turbines hovering over Gloucester’s ecosystem? Also, is there research to definitely prove that the turbines will not injure bats controlling the mosquito population?

Since 10,000 Lapland longspurs were killed on a single snowy foggy night in western Kansas in 1998 when they collided with 3 towers and a natural gas pumping station, peer reviewed work conducted by independent scientists would be helpful.



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