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Scituate group protesting turbine location adds consulting/litigation firm

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  September 23, 2013 04:04 PM

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A Scituate-based group fighting the standards used to site wind turbines around the U.S. has expanded, adding a Cambridge consulting and litigation firm to its team.

Raymond Hartman, Director and President of Greylock McKinnon Associates, joined the Advisory Board of the Alliance for Responsible Siting of Alternative Energy Installations, started by Scituate residents in Summer 2013, the group announced Monday.

“We as an organization are building out our board of directors and advisory board and like [acoustician] Rick James, we need to bring in people that have expertise…Ray seemed to be a good fit,” said Tom Thompson, Executive Director for the Alliance.

According to a resume provided by the group, Hartman has worked as a consultant for numerous cases and companies involved in electrical power and natural gas. Thompson additionally said he has testified in front of the Joint Committee of Public Health on Beacon Hill as to the negative impact of turbines on health.

In a release, Hartman said he was glad to join the board at a time where issues involving alternative energy were ever evolving.

“I embrace the Alliance’s pro-alternative energy position and want to work to help build consensus amongst stakeholders for the development and implementation of measures in protection of the health, safety and property rights of the American people,” he said.

The group, run locally and headed by residents who oppose the Scituate turbine, has been working since June to lobby Washington and the state.

As it stands, group members feel there are not enough restrictions on where turbines can go, and feel the sound and shadow flicker criteria within Department of Environmental Protection are not updated enough for turbine technology.

The group is seeking to update the restrictions, and use tax credits as incentives for those that follow the enhanced guidelines.

Yet group members have a long way to go, and said the partnership with Hartman is a step in the right direction.

“We have a game plan we’ve developed internally and have been executing behind the scenes. One is an announcement of Hartman’s involvement,” Thompson said.

Other behind the scenes work includes building support and awareness for the group, which will continue for the next few weeks.

Thompson was hesitant to say what other developments may be coming.

Though Hartman’s firm specializes in providing expert testimony, analysis, and litigation support, Hartman will mainly serve as an advisor to Thompson as the group progresses, Thompson said.

“On a biweekly basis, maybe more, we’ll have a regular call with an advisory board and go through all the issues and discuss strategy and approach,” Thompson said. “Ray will be a similar role to others on the advisory role in that respect.”

For more information about the group, click here.

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