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Ocean Gate Mayor Orders Wind Turbines Shut Down During Night Hours

Voluntary measure to comply with Ocean County Health Department probe, mayor says


Wind turbines on Averne Avenue in Ocean Gate will be shut off between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., pending a further Ocean County Health Department investigation, Mayor Paul J. Kennedy said.

The health department notified borough officials on March 12 that a noise level recording done on site showed that noise levels violated acceptable decibel levels, said health department spokesperson Leslie Terjesen.

"We're working closely with Ocean Gate officials on this," she said.

Terjesen said the health department had received several complaints from residents about noise from the turbines during night hours.

The acceptable residential decibel at night is 50, but the New Jersey Administrative Code requires that the dBA - the decible level audible to the human ear - must also be measured, she said.

Kennedy said the violation was deemed "minor."

"The borough has continually pledged to fully cooperate in the OCHD investigation," Kennedy said. "The borough continues to evaluate and study the wind turbine in order to make any improvements that may maximize the efficiency and benefits of its operation including the reduction of any noise produced in conjunction therewith."

The borough sent a written response and information request to the OCHD requesting additional data and details regarding the investigation and the readings obtained, Kennedy said.

Kennedy said he agreed to a voluntary shutdown of the turbines during night hours on the advice of Borough Attorney James J. Gluck.

Gluck said today the borough is still trying to get details about when the latest testing was done and which state code the health department was using.

Another state statute does not allow municipalities to set decibel limits on wind turbines under 55 decibels, Gluck said.

"We're trying to get the information from the health department," he said. "We don't have any details as yet. I advised the mayor to look into doing a voluntary shutdown."

Both of the turbines were built with federal loans and grants and supported by the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Board of Public Utilities, he said.

The first turbine went online in late 2009. The second turbine "has some issues with its operation" and is not online, Gluck said.


Any questions regarding the wind turbine should be submitted in writing to  James J. Gluck, Esq., 217 Washington Street, Toms River, New Jersey 08753.  Phone (732) 505-4800, Facsimile (732) 505-4813, E-mail jgluck@gluck-allen.com

BayvilleDad July 12, 2012 at 08:34 PM
If you don't like the reporting, go somewhere else. BTW, how much do you pay to access this site? Oh that's right, nothing.
skizma July 13, 2012 at 10:20 AM
We're trying to get the information from the health department. Wouldn't you think the department would provide this in their letter...something like "according to". Just to shut a bunch of big mouths up. The turbine is no big deal. None. We live approx 400 feet from it and you cannot see it. The light flickering only occurs at a certain time/date, very small small time and only if you're home. Work? you won't see a thing. These people who complain have window air conditioning units.....LOUD aren't they? you CAN't hear the turbine over those stupid NOISY AIR CONDITIONER. NO WAY. I am just 400 fee away. And you cannot se anything from your window because they are too high up. these people are nothing but complainers. And, THEIR negativity has taken down the value, not the turbine. the turbine is nothing. The water tower looks worse. CELL towers are even worse as far a sight goes. anyone thinking it's noisy or a problem, don't listen. come hear for yourself. If your windows are closed all day as these people's are, it's nothing. absolutely nothing. Your dishwasher, dryer, AIR CONDITIONER, are louder or the same.
Katherine Ranuro July 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM
The State statute Mr. Gluck referenced outlines permits for turbines; not acceptable nighttime noise guidelines. Even if you erected a turbine with a design specification of 55db, you could not operate it during the hours of 10:00 pm - 7:00 am. Further, many residents keep their windows closed and run air conditioning to drown out the noise. Instead of using less energy, more is used. This isn't an issue of whether or not the noise bothers you. It is whether or not all of us are held to the same standard; i.e., is everyone required to obey the law or just some of us. Further, skizma, why don't you use your legal name?
nancy shellhamer July 13, 2012 at 01:41 PM
dear skizma, there is no reason to be that nasty. there are people further away than you, and it deeply impacts their lives. and not everyone has air conditioners. i know of several that have to endure the noise impact of the turbines on a daily basis. and for your information,i have noisy air conditioners and can hear the turbines clearly in my home. it has also been stated by realtors i know, that our home values are severely impacted by the turbines. insurance companies are also looking into rating them differently. so don't judge.
Rosemarie Kindon July 13, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Dear Skizma: I am sorry that you feel the way that you do. I am not calling you a liar because you are not affected by the turbines. Why are you insinuating that fellow residents are lying when they say that they are bothered? As far as your further implication that people who are offended by the noise during the day do not work, how about retirees, people who work at home, stay-at-home parents, shift workers trying to sleep during the day or those confined to home by illness? Don't they deserve the protection afforded to others by the NJ Noise Statutes? When constructing a wind turbine was considered in Sea Girt, it took about three months for it to be quashed and for Governor Christie to call the mayor of Sea Girt to assure him that there would be no interference with their peace and quiet nor would their property values be negatively impacted. What's good enough for Sea Girt should be good enough for Ocean Gate.
Colinsmom July 13, 2012 at 03:19 PM
There are people who are suffering health issues due to the turbines as well. Some complain of vertigo, constant ear aches, severe headache ALL since the first turbien went up. There is also the concern of my home cvalue. Who the heck is going to want to buy my house that is no facing 2 turbines within 200 feet of my home!
Colinsmom July 13, 2012 at 03:41 PM
EXACTLY. If this was Sea Girt or some other affluent town, the turbine(s) would never have gone up.
Barbara Cotto July 13, 2012 at 06:45 PM
I'm happy for you that you aren't bothered by them skizma. I do see them from my window even when I prefer not to. I also get the flashing of sun glare on my inner walls, even when I have my back to my windows so that I can't see the turbine. I do not have air conditioning......I'm glad that you do, both so that you can keep cool and not hear the turbine. And what would make you contact the health dept to get the info. on those who complained??? that seems sort of odd to me.
Cyndi July 13, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Skizma: My home is less than your 400 feet from turbine 1. I do see it all the time. I did not have air conditioning until 2 weeks ago, and that's because a relative came to visit and could not take the heat due to my windows being closed so I would not hear the noise. I cannot enjoy my deck due to the noise. At night, I have been taking medication since a few months after the first turbine went online so I can sleep. My home value has been severely impacted. It upsets the kids and pets when it turns on. As for the strobe, that can cause photosensitive seizures, which you do not have to have a history of in order to develop it. So don't think all our concerns are for nothing.
Philip July 13, 2012 at 08:19 PM
It is good to see Ocean Gate moving forward in todays age. This is not the same town it was 50 years ago. Times change, sometimes we call it progress. I give the mayor and council a lot of credit. They looked into the future and tried to make OG better. I can see them and I can hear them and I say mayor do what you need to do for the best of OG. The mayor took a big chance when this projecte was started and I was there the day the first one went up. Lots of people were happy. In fact I did not see one person there in protest.
Colinsmom July 14, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Show me some actual figures of the the saving these noise machines are making.....then we shall see what is best for OG and I doubt it is them. Going green and moving forward could have been done with solar panels. No noise, no strobe light. One good internet search would have given the mayor a clue as to to cons of wind energy. Some one did not do their homework....
Philip July 14, 2012 at 11:23 AM
I beleive in one of the news letters there was the stats on the savings and that was taken into consideration for the second one. I will agree with you solar panels would have been nice but solar panels take up a LOT of surface area. The grant was not fo solar it was for wind energy. I understand some of you are upset and you may have a reason to be. But some people making complaints are only doing it to take shots at the mayor and council. I do not beleive your statement about "some one did not do their homework" there is no way the grant said dont think, dont read, dont research just put tower up. Come on really, many people had to look this over before it was started. If there was as some of you claim all of these negative problems why did these people not voice there negative issues before the first one went up. Why did everyone that is complaining now not show what they found on the internet than? My wife and I looked it up when the first one was talked about and what we found seemed it to be a good idea.
Barbara Cotto July 14, 2012 at 11:50 AM
You are right, there were only 3 people that I know of trying to point out the negatives before the 1st one when up. The rest of us thought that the mayor and council were looking into it. Once the 1st one went up the mayor and coucil listened to 2 1/2 yrs of complaints from residents.....pleas and begging them to not move forward with turbine 2. They still did. Once the complaints started we found out that people nation wide have the same complaints as ours. Easy to find if you go on the internet. I personally didn't go looking for that before turbine 1 went up. They may be a great idea if you don't place them as close to residences as our OG turbines are situated. As I've said at several council mtgs. the 1st one I can feel was done with good intentions. The 2nd one they should have never put up. They should have leaved from the 1st one.
Chris July 14, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Philip. Show me the new letter. As no one can provide us a cost analysis. There have been quotes of numberous percentages. but no one will tell us the savings. I am sorry, but no one can tell us the savings. The Boro attorney has been asked for a cost savings, nothing can be produced. Its been 2 years. Also, People did complain before the first one went up...and then several more when they were considering the 2nd. I happened to attend the coucil meetings, so i know people asked questions and pleaded for a second one not to go up. This was overlooked by the mayor and coucil. a potential noise violation was noted during the first winter I personally asked the mayor if he was aware. He acknowledged it was a potential violation. Nothing changed. Show me the savings. They can't . and now we have a second one that is not even running correctly. Ask yourself this question, Why did the people in seagirt not want one? Was it because they are all against green energy?
Gary Kindon July 14, 2012 at 05:16 PM
First of all, I have nothing against the Mayor. I don't even know him. I am sure that his initial green intentions were for the good of the town. As for party affiliation, I don't care if one is a Republican, Democrat or a Martian. Do what is right for the entire town with no lies & most all will back whoever is in office. This has not been the case. No one on Council, including the Mayor, ever went to see an example of turbine #1 in action. There was a recommendation from a member of the NJ Small Wind Group & then it was pushed through. As far as I know, that does not constitute doing your homework. After the hoopla surrounding the installation of #1, numerous complaints were voiced. Instead of showing concern about the noise, the powers that be decided that a second one was going up. That is arrogance. When opinions & questions were voiced at Council meetings, cold stares were the only response. When a citizen asked if the turbine could be turned off at night, the reply was no because it looks for the wind when it finds the wind, which we now know is false. That is arrogance. When the 2nd one was installed 75 feet from the nearest home, even though the manufacturer stated that at that distance, the turbine exceeded the NJ Statutory noise limit. That is arrogance. When all turbine questions must be put in writing to a lawyer & not to elected officials. That is arrogance. Also in the long run, whether it be grant, loan or bond, it's still our money.
Berkeley Lifer July 14, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Well said,i remember in the 70's a guy put up a similar wind powered turbine in glen cove well it didn't take long for neighbors to gang up on him and lodge complaints.He had to take it down.His neighbors said it was an eye sore.Maybe Ocean Gate should have let their people vote whether or not they wanted these wind turbines?
Barbara Cotto July 14, 2012 at 07:30 PM
To Berkeley Lifer, The vote probably wouldn't have worked in this case .....because on a differnted topic, our residents voted down privitization of garbage (71% against 29% for it)......the mayor said we didn't understand what we were voting for and the council voted it through approving privitization of our garbage, because they had put it on the ballot as a non-binding referendum.
Bill Heller July 14, 2012 at 07:47 PM
I'd like to add that the world over, people are complaining about damage to their health and home values from industrial scale wind turbines. In places like Denmark, no stranger to wind, it’s the law that homeowners must be compensated for loss-of-value. The mayor and council of OG will never guarantee home values: 1) http://www.ens.dk/en-us/supply/renewable-energy/windpower/onshore-wind-power/loss-of-value-to-real-property/sider/forside.aspx 2) http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/09/30/ontario-wind-power-property-values.html 3) http://www.windaction.org/documents/27736 4) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/business/energy-environment/06noise.html The OG wind turbines are an amazing boondoggle that has hurt people instead of helped them. Mayor Kennedy should be impeached!!!!!
skizma July 18, 2012 at 12:34 AM
No air here, open windows only. and the turbine is not a problem. i know the homes mentioned herein and they have window and house air conditioning for years, years prior to the turbine. Nasty. no. emphatic, yes. sorry you don't agree. that's all. disagreeing is the the definition of nasty. common..... the turbine noise.... it's minor and minimal. health affects. none. and that's that. It's just unfortunately an opinion the same as yours. that's it.....good luck.
skizma July 18, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Seizures.....I don't think so. Guess you are home all day and you are constantly affected by the light flicker? But, unfortunately, the light flicker is very very brief. we get the light flicker too. short lived, not long at all as the sun moves along and it goes away. very very limited, brief time of the day that happens. and only when the sun is low, during the fall or winter. Not in the summer for sure. Just asked if anyone has seen it recently and they just don't. Again,it's another opinion that is not bothered by it. Does it make me wrong? Nope. there is another view and I am very close and see your flicker and hear the sound, however it is not life altering and will not cause any seizures here. nahhh.....nope. Other's can make the same statements you do and state it is not any problem whatsoever, windows WiDE OPEN all the time, except winter....lol.......yup. sorry I just can't say it's a problem when it's not. Now, being stated I'm 'nasty' that's a problem....no, not really. jk
skizma July 18, 2012 at 12:45 AM
hahaha berkeley lifer, that wind turbine was coool....everyone came to look at it and thought wow, what a great idea. sorry......no eye sore. it was small and fit right into the area. and the garbage privatization was a great idea. why it was even put to vote was unnecessary. too many folks were personal about it. Oh, he's my friend and he'll be let go. nope. everyone was offered a job with the new company and with no loss of anything. except they had to collect and work the full 5 days. thus they didn't want it. OG should have cut loose and gotten robo cans and if you really care, that would save all the trash men. think about it, go ahead and lift YOUR trash can 2,000 in a day to empty cans around town. dumb. move on....no one should be doing that job any longer that there is a great, working alternative. I really do care about those guys. get a robo can. save a man.
Chris July 29, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Our questions are not just complaints; they are legitimate arguments against the wind turbines not operating under the legal noise limit. If they were just complaints we would not have a violation from the OCHD. Laws are created to protect people. We are asking the Borough to comply with the law. I agree with you the water tower and cell phone tower are not pleasant to look at. However, the water tower was there when I bought the house, in addition neither that nor the cell phone tower produce any noise. I can close my eyes at night, I can't close my ears. And why should anyone have to? You admit there is a light flicker during certain times of the day. Are you suggesting I stay away from my home during those times so I do not have to deal with that? I guess if the noise at night bothers me, I should go stay at a hotel so I can sleep on windy nights. I do not think that snide suggestion is fair to make. I should be able to enjoy my home anytime I want. It is not my right? I am not sure why you are ANGRIER than your fellow tax payers, who are sleepless due to the town's poor planned decision making. It seems you don't feel impacted, and if that is the case, I am happy for you, I wish I could say the same for myself. It is just sad that you think so little of your neighbors. I am sure you have never said hello to me on the street, but you can take the time to trash all those standing up for themselves. Does that seem positive to you? -Chris Ditzel
Chris July 29, 2012 at 04:19 AM
Skizma - Not sure if you changed your mind recenlty, but I am just curious as to your post from March 15, 2012. Seems when you wrote this post you did not think windturbines being so close to homes was a good idea. At 6:16 am on Thursday, March 15, 2012 Skizma posted the following: This only makes you wonder - all the solar at CR HS - is that really worth it? With all these types of alternate energy, you need a back up plan too. That is why it's called alternate...not your source of energy. Nothing wrong with the turbine anyway. Good idea, easy and quiet. Just don't put it really close to homes as was done in OG. They need more space from the residents. Berkeley has that......


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