11/25/11 A good reason to contact your legislators AND Wisconsin family's nightmare begins when turbines start turning
SENATOR FRANK LASEE BACKS UP HIS WIND BILL
October 25, 2011
Tom Hallquist of Oshkosh recently wrote a letter to the editor (Oct. 19, “Ban may hurt energy independence”).
It appears that the headline for the letter caused confusion. My bill requires that the Public Service Commission use a scientific study to recommend a safe setback from people’s homes and animal dwellings. Wisconsin residents have told us about their health problems that have started when wind turbines were constructed near their homes.
Families and their children have experienced constant nausea, headaches, dizziness, agitation, inability to sleep and other sickness. Three families in my district have left their homes to preserve their health and safety, with others wanting to, but they are financially unable to abandon their homes or farms. They can’t afford two house payments.
There seem to be real health issues. We ought to get answers before others are harmed. We may find that we could eliminate all of these health problems by increasing the setback requirements. We owe it to Wisconsin homeowners and others negatively affected. It only makes sense to gather health-related information about possible side effects from existing wind turbine farms.
If there are problems, the time to find out about them is now. We shouldn’t take someone’s health in their own home for granted without real information. Once constructed, a 500-foot wind turbine could affect an area and children’s health for a long time. We need real facts, not people for or against turbines making rules that suit their purposes.
This is only fair, and it’s what I expect from good government.
State Sen. Frank Lasee,
NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD:
What can you do RIGHT NOW to help people in our state from harm created by turbines sited too close to homes?
Better Plan strongly encourages you to contact your legislators and ask them to support Senator Lasee's bill. Contact information below.
Wisconsin wind turbine moratorium sought by Sen. Frank Lasee, R-Ledgeview
Research needed to show wind farms are safe, he says
By Doug Schneider
Green Bay Press-Gazette
GLENMORE — The sights and sounds outside her son's window made Sarah Cappelle consider something once unthinkable: Trying to sell the home in which her family has lived for generations.
The two-story house off Glenmore Road has become less dream, more nightmare since wind turbines were erected in 2010 on farmland just to the southeast.
Worries about the effects of the structures prompted Cappelle and husband Dave to stand in support Monday as state Sen. Frank Lasee, R-Ledgeview, proposed a state ban on wind-turbine construction until studies have deemed the turbines don't harm humans and animals.
"It's not fair to put something so noisy and so large so close to people, unless you can be sure it's safe," Lasee said.
A bill he introduced Monday would declare a moratorium on construction of wind farms until the state Public Service Commission is in possession of a report that ensures turbines like those dotting the landscape in this southern Brown County town don't cause health problems. He wasn't sure if the bill would gain the support needed for passage in the chamber, but said proposing it is the right thing to do.
Wind farms have prompted passionate debate, but limited agreement, on their long-term impacts on humans. And lack of regulatory agreement in Wisconsin, particularly on the issue of how far a turbine must be from a property line, has tempered developers' enthusiasm about erecting wind farms. A corporation earlier this year scrapped plans for a 100-turbine development in the Morrison-Glenmore area.
Backers of wind energy say it is a clean, safer alternative to coal and nuclear energy, pointing to the fact that they don't consume fuel and don't produce ash or other waste. They also say wind-development could create thousands of jobs in technology and construction. Opponents say turbines can be noisy, unsightly, problematic for birds and bats and, most important, cause vertigo and sleep disorders. Concerns are growing about a condition labeled "wind-turbine syndrome," and a daylight phenomenon called "shadow flicker."
Regulators say the state's wind developments are safe, and that they fall within noise-emission limits.
The Cappelles believe their toddler son's inability to sleep, their 6-year-old's recurring ear infections and Sarah's never-ending colds are a product of the Shirley Wind development near their home.
They say that family members had never had health problems until the turbine near their house went into service last fall. That prompted consultation with a real estate agent — where they learned that no one likely would pay fair market value for a house with a view of a wind turbine.
"My mother grew up here. My grandmother was here for 50 years," Sarah Cappelle said. "This is where I always wanted to raise our kids. But now, I'm not sure if we should stay."
Lasee said he knows of at least three Glenmore-area families who have left their homes because of health problems that, while not formally diagnosed, didn't appear until nearby turbines went on-line.