2/10/12 Their money or your life: enactment of PSC wind siting rules equals profit for Big Wind and misery for rural residents
Photo: Home in PSC-approved Wisconsin wind project, Fond du Lac County
ALLOWING WIND SITING RULES TO BECOME LAW HARMS FAMILIES, CREATES TAXPAYER BURDEN
by Steve Deslauriers
February 10, 2012
At least six families living in the Shirley Wind Project are reporting health issues, and two of these families have reluctantly vacated the homes they still own to regain their health. This suffering was the impetus behind the Brown County Board of Health taking the action they did — calling for the state to temporarily assist the families that they had a large role in harming.
We commend the actions taken by the Brown County Board of Health, which continues to protect and advocate for the health and safety of Brown County families. The Brown County Board of Health resolutions make the clear connection from the state's negligent actions since 2009 to the harm they have caused in the town of Glenmore. They call for emergency temporary relocation assistance (not medical payments) from the state for those suffering in the noise, electric pollution and shadows of the Shirley Wind Project.
The Shirley Wind Project included the construction of eight 500-foot-tall German made turbines at an expense of more than $13 million in taxpayer money, and after changing hands three times in its first year of operation, it is now owned by a North Carolina company. At least six families living in the Shirley Wind Project are reporting health issues, and two of these families have reluctantly vacated the homes they still own to regain their health. This suffering was the impetus behind the Brown County Board of Health taking the action they did — calling for the state to temporarily assist the families that they had a large role in harming. (All of this taxpayer charity and citizen suffering has resulted in one permanent Wisconsin job.)
Wind turbine setbacks need to be based on science. The siting criteria used for the Shirley project is strikingly similar to the pending PSC wind siting rules. These siting rules were suspended last March by the state legislative Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR), stating that its contents "... create an emergency relating to public health, safety or welfare; are arbitrary and capricious; and impose an undue hardship on landowners and residents adjacent to wind-turbine sites." Never have truer words been spoken.
The state's missteps that led to this suspension were numerous. The majority of members on the Wind Siting Council had huge financial interests in wind development and created regulations that would directly financially benefit their own interests. The staffing requirements in the law that formed this council were ignored in some appointments. The peer reviewed health studies that were available during the creation of the rules were completely ignored. The rules contain different turbine setbacks from homes than from property lines, constituting nothing short of state-endorsed property takings. And unless the PSC drafts new regulation or the state Legislature passes new legislation, these very rules, which created the "public health emergency" and "undue hardships" last March, become law in five weeks.
Every wind-developed area of Wisconsin has left in its wake divided communities, broken families, health issues and home abandonment. Now Brown County is the site of the state's latest natural experiment on wind development, and its own citizens are the guinea pigs. The state's liability is clear. It is simply un-American to force families from their own homes due to no fault of their own. Or worse, because of the financial inability to flee their homes to regain their health, force people to live in an environment making them and their children extremely sick.
Letting the PSC's wind siting rules become law in March will harm more Wisconsin families, create another taxpayer burden for all Wisconsin citizens, and cement the legal liability of the state by knowingly creating the "public health emergency" that the JCRAR suspension last March sought to prevent.
Steve Deslauriers is a volunteer spokesperson for Wisconsin Citizens Coalition, the group of organizations listed as authors of the "Wisconsin Citizens Safe Wind Siting Guidelines" Website: http://psc.wi.gov/apps35/ERF_view/viewdoc.aspx?docid=157326
FULL TEXT Brown County Board of Health Resolution Requesting Emergency State Aid for Families Suffering Around Industrial Wind Turbines
Brown County Board of Health formally requests temporary emergency financial relocation assistance from the State of Wisconsin for those Brown County families that are suffering adverse health effects and undue hardships caused by the irresponsible placement of industrial wind turbines around their homes and property.
The State of Wisconsin emergency financial assistance is requested until the conditions that have caused these undue hardships are studied and resolved, allowing these families to once again return safely to their homes and property.
WHEREAS the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin's wind siting rules ('PSC 128') were created without oversight of a medical professional "...who is a University of Wisconsin System faculty member with expertise regarding the health impacts of wind energy systems." as mandated in 2009 WISCONSIN ACT 40. Jevon D. McFadden, MD, MPH (the Medical Doctor appointed to this role) publically acknowledged that he did not meet these criteria.
WHEREAS in the May 25, 2010 presentation made by Jevon D. McFadden, MD, MPH to the Brown County Board of Health, on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Division of Public Health, the State recognized and acknowledged that "Gaps remain in our knowledge of the impact that wind energy may have on human health..." but has failed to take any action to fill these gaps.
WHEREAS the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin's wind siting rules ('PSC 128') were suspended on March 1, 2011 by the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) stating that its contents "...create an emergency relating to public health, safety, or welfare; are arbitrary and capricious; and impose an undue hardship on landowners and residents adjacent to wind turbine sites."
WHEREAS the State of Wisconsin has failed to remedy this "emergency relating to public health, safety, or welfare" by carrying out the mandate of 2009 WISCONSIN ACT 40 which requires the State to enact wind siting standards that "...include setback requirements that provide reasonable protection from any health effects, including health effects from noise and shadow flicker, associated with wind energy systems..."
WHEREAS the State's inaction to enact wind siting rules that protect human health and safety has allowed development of the industrial wind project known as Shirley Wind LLC to be constructed in the Town of Glenmore, Brown County, Wisconsin (dedicated November 2010).
WHEREAS Shirley Wind LLC has created an environment that has resulted in the very same "undue hardships" that the JCRAR suspension of 'PSC 128' sought to prevent. These "undue hardships" have forced two families to vacate their homes to regain their health and continue to force at least two other families to suffer adverse health effects significant enough that they seek refuge away from their homes but do not have the financial ability to temporarily relocate.
WHEREAS the Brown County Board of Health has attached recent (2009 and newer) references (many peer-reviewed) to this resolution, organized by year of publication, accurately describing the cause, conditions, and adverse health effects being experienced by Brown County families.
WHEREAS the Brown County Board of Health has in the past, and continues to, advocate for the health and safety of Brown County families.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Brown County Board of Health formally requests temporary emergency financial relocation assistance from the State of Wisconsin for those Brown County families that are suffering adverse health effects and undue hardships caused by the irresponsible placement of industrial wind turbines around their homes and property. The State of Wisconsin emergency financial assistance is requested until the conditions that have caused these undue hardships are studied and resolved, allowing these families to once again return safely to their homes and property.
Brown County Board of Health Industrial Wind Turbine Health Impact Supporting References
The following recent (2009 and newer) references (many peer-reviewed), organized by year of publication, accurately describe the cause, conditions, and adverse health effects being experienced by Brown County families.
Barbara J Frey, BA, MA (University of Minnesota), Peter J Hadden, BSc (Est Man) FRICS, Wind Turbines And Proximity To Homes: The Impact Of Wind Turbine Noise On Health, January, 2012. http://docs.wind-watch.org/Frey_Hadden_WT_noise_health_01Jan2012.pdf
Stephen E. Ambrose, INCE (Brd. Cert.), Robert W. Rand, INCE Member, The Bruce McPherson Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise Study - Adverse Health Effects Produced By Large Industrial Wind Turbines Confirmed, December 14, 2011. http://randacoustics.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/The-Bruce-McPherson-ILFN-Study.pdf
Carmen M.E. Krogh, BScPharm, Brett S. Horner, BA, CMA, “A summary of new evidence: Adverse health effects and industrial wind turbines”, August 2011. http://www.windaction.org/documents/32829
Krogh, C. M. E., “Industrial wind turbine development and loss of social justice?” Bulletin of Science Technology & Society, August 2011 vol. 31 no. 4 pages 321-333. http://bst.sagepub.com/content/31/4/321
Daniel Shepherd, David McBride, David Welch, Kim N. Dirks, Erin M. Hill, “Evaluating the impact of wind turbine noise on health-related quality of life,” Noise & Health, September 2011 vol. 13 issue 54 pages 333-339. http://www.noiseandhealth.org/article.asp?issn=1463-1741;year=2011;volume=13;issue=54;spage=333;epage=339;aulast=Shepherd
Bronzaft, A. L., “The Noise from wind turbines: Potential adverse impacts on children's well-being,”
Bulletin of Science Technology & Society, August 2011 vol. 31 no. 4 pages 291-295. http://bst.sagepub.com/content/31/4/291
McMurtry, R. Y. ,“Toward a case definition of adverse health effects in the environs of industrial wind turbines: Facilitating a clinical diagnosis,” Bulletin of Science Technology & Society, August
2011 vol. 31 no. 4 pages 316-320. http://bst.sagepub.com/content/31/4/316
Environmental Review Tribunal, Case Nos.: 10-121/10-122 Erickson v. Director, Ministry of the
Environment, Jerry V. DeMarco, Panel Chair and Paul Muldoon, Vice-Chair, July 2011 http://www.ert.gov.on.ca/files/201108/00000300-AKT5757C7CO026-BHH51C7A7SO026.pdf
Harrison, J. P., “Wind turbine noise,” Bulletin of Science Technology & Society, August 2011 vol.31 no. 4 pages 256-261. http://bst.sagepub.com/content/31/4/256
INCE/Europe, Wind Turbine Noise 2011— Post conference report, April 2011. http://www.confweb.org/wtn2011/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70:report&catid=35:information
Michael Nissenbaum MD, Jeff Aramini PhD, Chris Hanning MD, “Adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines: a preliminary report,” 10th International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem, July 2011. http://www.healthywindwisconsin.com/Nissenbaum%20et%20al%20ICBEN2011_0158_final.pdf
Krogh, C. M. E., Gillis, L., Kouwen, N., and Aramini, J., “WindVOiCe, a self-reporting survey: adverse health effects, industrial wind turbines, and the need for vigilance monitoring,” Bulletin of
Science Technology & Society, August 2011 vol. 31 no. 4 pages 334-345. http://bst.sagepub.com/content/31/4/334
Laurie, S., “Submission to the Australian Federal Senate Inquiry on rural wind farms,” by Dr. Sarah
Laurie, BMBS, Medical Director Waubra Foundation, February 2011. http://docs.wind-watch.org/Laurie-Australia-Senate-submission-final.pdf
Møller, H. & C. S. Pedersen, “Low-frequency noise from large wind turbines,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, June 2011 vol. 129 no. 6 pages 3727-3744. http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3543957
Phillips, C. V., “Properly interpreting the epidemiologic evidence about the health effects of industrial wind turbines on nearby residents,” Bulletin of Science Technology & Society, August 2011, vol. 31 no. 4, pages 303-315. http://bst.sagepub.com/content/31/4/303
Richarz, W., Richarz, H., and Gambino, T., “Correlating very low frequency sound pulse to audible
wind turbine sound,” INCE/Europe Fourth International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise, Rome Italy, 12-14 April 2011. Cited in: http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/presentation-from-the-fourthinternational- meeting-on-wind-turbine-noise/
Salt, A. N. & Kaltenbach, J. A., “Infrasound From wind turbines could affect humans,” Bulletin of Science Technology & Society, August 2011 vol. 31 no. 4 pages 296-302. http://bst.sagepub.com/content/31/4/296
Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs (Parliament of Australia), “The social and economic impact of rural wind farms,” 2011. http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/impact_rural_wind_farms/index.htm
Shain, M., “Public health ethics, legitimacy, and the challenges of industrial wind turbines: The
Case of Ontario, Canada,” Bulletin of Science Technology & Society, August 2011 vol. 31 no. 4 pages 346-353. http://bst.sagepub.com/content/31/4/346
Shepherd, D., McBride, D., Welch, D., Dirks, K., Hill, E., Wind turbine noise and health-related quality of life nearby residents: a cross-sectional study in New Zealand. Fourth International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise. Rome Italy April 2011 http://www.maine.gov/dep/ftp/bep/ch375citizen_petition/pre-hearing/AR- 30%20chapter%20375%20-%20r%20brown%20hearing%20submission%20- %20Shepherd%20et%20al%20Wind%20turbine%20noise%20%20Quality%20of%20LIfe%20Rome %202011.pdf
Thorne, B., “The Problems with ‘noise numbers’ for wind farm noise assessment,” Bulletin of Science Technology & Society, August 2011 vol. 31 no. 4 pages 262-290. http://bst.sagepub.com/content/31/4/262
Vanderburg, W. H., “Assessing our ability to design and plan green energy technologies,” Bulletin of Science Technology & Society, August 2011 vol. 31 no. 4 pages 251-255 http://bst.sagepub.com/content/31/4/251
Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Public Health Division, Office of Environmental Public Health, “Health impacts of wind energy facilities,” 2011. http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironment /TrackingAssessment/HealthImpactAssessmen t/Pages/windenergy.aspx
Chief Medical Officer of Health (of Ontario), Report: “The potential health impact of wind turbines,”May 2010. http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/publications/ministry_reports/wind_turbine/wind_turbine.pdf
Hanning, C., “Wind turbine noise, sleep And health”—Summary paper prepared by Dr. Christopher
Hanning. BSc, MB, BS, MRCS, LRCP, FRCA, MD, November 2010. http://www.acousticecology.or /wind/winddocs/health/Hanning%202010_Wind%20turbine%20noise%20sleep%20and%20health%20November%202010.pdf
Ito, A. & T. Takeda, “Sickness claims prompt study of wind turbines [by the The Environment Ministry of Japan],” The Asahi Simbun, January 2010. http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201001180410.html
National Health and Medical Research Council (of Australia). “Wind turbines and health: a rapid review of the evidence,” 2010 http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications/synopses/new0048.htm
Nissenbaum, M., Press conference by Michael Nissenbaum, MD Radiologist in Vermont's State
House, May 7, 2010, (video). http://vimeo.com/11577982
Pierpont, N., Letter to the Vermont State House of Representatives from Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Co-signed by the following: George Kamperman, PE, President, Kamperman Associates, Inc., Board-Certified Memberof Institute of Noise Control Engineers, Fellow Member of Acoustical Society of America, Member of National Council of Acoustical Consultants, F. Owen Black, MD, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Board-Certified Otolaryngologist, Senior Scientist, Director of Neurotology Research Balance & Hearing Center North West, Legacy Health System Joel F. Lehrer, MD, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Board-Certified Otolaryngologist and Head and Neck Surgeon, Served on Hearing and Equilibrium Subcommittee of the American Academy of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Clinical Professor of Otolaryngology, University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ, Stanley M. Shapiro, MD, Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, Board-Certified
Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Nuclear Cardiology, Champlain Valley Cardiovascular Associates,February 2010. http://docs.wind-watch.org/Pierpont-et-al.-to-Klein-2-10-10.pdf
Punch, J., James, R., & Pabst, D., (2010), “Wind-turbine noise: What audiologists should know,”
Audiology Today, July-August 2010. http://www.windaction.org/?module=uploads&func=download&fileId=2047
Salt, A., “Infrasound: Your ears ‘hear’ it but they don't tell your brain”—Powerpoint presentation by
Alec N. Salt, Ph.D., Department of Otolaryngology, (2010), Washington University School of Medicine, First International Symposium on Adverse Health and Wind Turbines, Sept 2010. http://windvigilance.com/downloads/symposium2010/swv_symposium_presentation_infrasound_your_ears_hear_it_2.pdf
Salt, A. N. & Hullar, T. E., “Responses of the ear to low frequency sounds, infrasound and wind turbines,” Hearing Research, September 2010 vol. 268 nos. 1-2 pages 12-21. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20561575 2010 (continued):
Thorne, R., “Assessing noise from wind farms,”—Powerpoint presentation by Robert Thorne, PhD in Health Science from Massey University, New Zealand for The Society for Wind Vigilence, First International Symposium, October 2010. http://acousticecology.org/wind/winddocs/nois/swv_symposium_paper_thorne%20slides_assessin g_noise_from_wind_farms%20copy.pdf
Thorne, R. (Noise Measurement Services), “Noise impact assessment report - Waubra Wind Farm,”
prepared by Robert Thorne, PhD in Health Science from Massey University, New Zealand, July 2010. http://docs.wind-watch.org/Dean-Waubra-Noise-Impact-July-20101.pdf
Minnesota Department of Health, “Public health impacts of wind turbines” http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/hazardous/topics/windturbines.pdf
World Health Organization, “Night noise guidelines for Europe.”