7/17/2012 Wind developers solution: How about we give you something noisy to drown out that turbine noise?
From New York State
FAIRFIELD RESIDENTS GIVEN NOISE GENERATORS TO DROWN OUT SOUND OF WIND MILLS?
SOURCE WKTV | www.wktv.com
July 16, 2012
Fairfield resident James Salamone says he hasn’t slept well since a number of windmills went up right near his home on Davis Road in Fairfield about a year and a half ago.
Salamone said, “It’s torture. You cannot sleep with this frequency of noise. It’s just torture, I can’t explain it any other way.”
Salamone says he just received a noise maker from the company that installed the windmills, Iberdrola Renewables.
The small round machine is supposed to help drown out the sound of the windmills so people can sleep at night.
Salamone says he turns the device on and it sounds like a small fan. He said, “it’s a noise making machine. This is what they sent me. Put this by your bedside, put this eight feet from your bed, this will help drown out the noise coming in your house from the wind turbines.”
Salamone says the machine doesn’t help at all, and he says he shouldn’t have to have something like it, in order to be able to get a good night’s sleep in his own home, he says something is wrong with the system.
Salamone is not alone. Tobias Tobin lives right around the corner from Salamone on Cole Road.
Tobin says people don’t realize what it’s like to try to try and sleep at night with these windmills going around and around when everything else is quiet. Tobin said, “I’ve had a few friends of mine that came up from Middleville to visit, and when they came up the first time, they said ‘well that aint nothin’. When they sat there and were were talking, the said ‘my gosh, how the heck do you put up with this’. Yea, cause it’s constant. It don’t go away. It sounds like a plane that never stops. It just goes and goes and goes.”
Here’s how landowners have had to have to deal with this problem. Other landowners lease their land to the company Iberdrola Renewables, and receive $8000 per turbine, per year.
The turbines cannot be within 1250 feet of someone else’s property.
Salamone and Tobin say the ones next to their homes which sit on neighboring properties, are way too close.
Salamone says he feels trapped, and is ready to just up and move. He said, “you can count from my house right here, eleven, from right here at my house, they’re very close. This one here is about 1500 feet, the rest of them are about 2000 feet.”
But there may be some relief in sight for Salamone, Tobin and other Herkimer County homeowners who have been forced to live next to the windmills.
On Thursday, the Town of Fairfield authorized the testing of a Noise Reduction System by Iberdrola Renewables to make sure the turbines are in compliance with the noise levels required by the special use permit issued to the company.
After complaints from landowners back in the spring of 2011, Iberdrola Renewables agreed with the request from the Town of Fairfield to test sound levels adjacent to several homes.
Testing was done in the spring of 2011, and in late 2011 after the leaves had fallen from the trees.
Those test results were delivered to the town at their June Town Board Meeting.
According to attorney Bernard Malewski, a special counsel hired by the Town of Fairfield, the test results showed repeated levels beyond the legal 50 decibel level limit.
Malewski says Iberdrola Renewables immediately told him the company would like to begin testing a brand new Noise Reduction System (NRS) developed by Gamesa, the manufacturer of the turbines, on three of its turbines in Fairfield.
At this past Thursday’s (July 12th) Town Board meeting, the Town of Fairfield passed a resolution which supported the deployment of the NRS system as an opportunity to to cure the problem.
Today, we talked with a landowner who now has the sound detection equipment on his property to see if the new NRS is working.
That homeowner did not want his name used, but says he hopes the new system works.
If the results of the NRS are good, Iberdrola says it will implement the technology on all of the turbines in the entire Hardscrabble Wind Project, 25 of which are in the Town of Fairfield as well as 12 more which are in the neighboring Town of Norway.
The Towns of Fairfield and Norway were the first towns in New York State to require post construction testing of the sound generation of wind turbines.
If the noise problem is not fixed, both towns have the authority to suspend or revoke Iberdrola Renewable’s permit, or the towns can shut down any offending individual turbine.
The Town of Fairfield and Norway have directed Iberdrola Renewables to report back to the Town Boards on the results of the NRS, no later than their next Board meeting in the month of September.
Salamone says he hopes the new system does work, but if the levels come back as compliant, but still continue to keep him awake at night, he won’t stop fighting. He said,”we gotta sleep at night. Turn them off or move
PROTESTERS BLOCK ROUTE 100 IN OPPOSITION TO LOWELL WIND PROJECT
Jennifer Hersey Cleveland, Staff Writer
July 17, 2012
LOWELL — A stand-off between police from seven law enforcement agencies and more than 100 industrial wind protesters ended peaceably when police and organizers came to a compromise Monday afternoon.
The protesters, including members of the Mountain Occupiers and Newark Neighbors United, blocked both lanes of Route 100 for about two hours, preventing a truck hauling a wind tower section from entering the staging site.
They chanted “When our mountains are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” in their opposition to the 21-turbine project being constructed on the Lowell Mountain range by Green Mountain Power.
The protesters stayed on the far side of the road for much of the morning, singing in solidarity and holding placards with messages like “Greed Isn’t Green” and “Big $-wind-le” written on them. Skeletal figures with extended arms turned like wind turbine blades, and organizer Ira Powsner led the chants of “Mountains — yes! Profits — no!” to the beat of Bread and Puppet drummers.
Their message came through organizer Steve Wright of Craftsbury. The project, which is being sold as “green” energy, does nothing to alleviate dependence on foreign oil, he said. “It is the blackest of black energy.”
It will devastate wildlife habitat, and it is not a stable source of power, Wright said.
As the truck hauling a piece of a wind tower approached, protesters started moving into the roadway, blocking the truck’s path.
Before the bulk of the group could get to the front of the truck, Lamoille County Sheriff’s deputy Claude Marcoux had already arrested and handcuffed Ira Powsner and his brother Jacob Powsner of Ira for disorderly conduct by obstruction.
At that point protesters, who formerly had been willing to stand on the sidelines, moved into the roadway – blocking both lanes.
The movement intensified, with people yelling, “Shame on you!” and “Turn it back!” to the pounding of drums.
Essex County Sheriff Trevor Colby arrived and parted the wave of people with his cruiser, but the crowd swallowed up his car just as quickly as he passed by.
Corporal Dan Kerin of the Williston barracks was next on the scene, and quickly began moving the protesters to the sidelines.
Kerin yelled and pushed some people backward, which at first was effective and then elicited stronger opposition, with people moving back into the spaces Kerin had cleared, dancing and waving flags depicting scenes of destruction.
About 40 law enforcement officers from five state police barracks, three sheriff departments, U.S. Border Patrol, Fish and Wildlife, and the Department of Motor Vehicles arrived in the moments soon afterward, largely staying on the sidelines until a plan was formulated.
Lieutenant Kirk Cooper, commander of the Derby barracks, quickly entered the crowd of protesters upon his arrival, quelling the shouting and asking people to consider their options.
Cooper told the protesters that he understood why they were there and said they have every right to stand up for what they believe in, but not the right to block traffic.
“I’m not going to fill you full of crap,” Cooper said. He said the protesters had two options: stand on the side of the road or be removed from the road.
“We’re going to be forced to have to remove you. I honestly don’t want to do that,” Cooper said.
One of the protesters said she thought the group would be fine with allowing all other traffic to pass — except that one truck.
The situation had come to an impasse, and worried looks started sprouting on people’s faces.
Officers, including one holding the leash of a large German shepherd, were all in possession of plastic hand restraints and appeared prepared to quell the uprising.
That’s when Don Nelson’s voice hushed all other sound. “We’ve made our point,” Nelson, who is in a civil court dispute with GMP over land rights in the project, said.
Some protesters were nodding in agreement, while others were shaking their heads and saying things that indicated they were not willing to back down.
Lamoille County Sheriff Roger Marcoux and Cooper spoke with Nelson and organizers Pat O’Neill of Westfield and Wright, in a tight-knit huddle.
Nelson, Wright and O’Neill asked the officers to give them a chance to convince the crowd to move to the side, but only if the Powsner brothers were released.
The trio spoke with Will Young, who turned and commended the protesters for making their point.
“We have done our job here!” Young said. “We have shown that this is a corrupt, evil system that destroys our ridgelines.”
The industrial wind opposition has to use its resources wisely, Young said, and putting fine money in the hands of the state is not putting money to good use, he said.
O’Neill said the Powsner brothers would still be cited for disorderly conduct but would not be taken into custody after Sheriff Marcoux said he had no authority to un-arrest people and that the state’s attorney’s office would decide whether or not charges would be brought in court.
With the protesters largely in agreement, and slowly moving back from the truck, O’Neill shouted, “But this truck doesn’t move until Ira joins us!”
Wright held the fort in front of the truck, waving a large Vermont flag, until police released the Powsner brothers.
Shouting, “Governor Shumlin, do you hear us now?” the crowd slowly moved aside and allowed the truck to move into the driveway of the wind project.
GMP spokesperson Dorothy Schnure said, after all was calm, “It’s unfortunate that the people who oppose the project blocked traffic… It’s unfortunate for locals to be held up for two hours.”
But she said despite the delay Monday, construction was still on target for completion by the end of the year.
Schnure said that 75 percent of Lowell voters approve of the project that she says will provide power to 24,000 homes and that the Public Service Board found to be good.
The protesters regrouped and Wright delivered closing comments.
“We’re on a track now to stop that kind of crap,” he said. The next step is creating a statewide organization to address industrial wind.
He reminded the crowd that the Public Service Board will hold a public meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Newark Street School regarding the proposed 30-turbine project there.
“We all have an interest in this,” Wright said. “This was a big win.”
RESPONSE FROM SENATOR LASEE
SOURCE: wispolitics.com 13 July 2012 ~~
Recently, the Wisconsin Energy Business Association has felt it necessary to suggest that my office is engaged in ideological war against wind turbines. It’s not surprising that wind special interest groups would attack our position. Responsible wind siting would put their access to taxpayer subsidies and electric user’s pocketbooks in jeopardy. We pay higher taxes (or deficit spend) and electric users pay higher rates to pay for wind energy, the wind is free but the towers are not. More than half of the thirteen million dollars spent to build the Shirley Wind Farm was paid for by taxpayers, by you and me.
The Brown County Board of Health (BCBH) agrees that these Industrial Wind Turbines (IWT’s) are making people sick. In fact, the BCBH adopted a resolution asking for emergency State aid for those suffering around IWT’s. The Board’s resolution continues to state that they believe PSC128 has caused “undue hardship” and real health issues that were supposed to be protected against under state law.
The fact of the matter is PSC128 didn’t follow the requirements put in state law. Act 40 states that a medical professional who is “A member of the University of Wisconsin System faculty member with expertise regarding the health impacts of wind turbines” must help draft the rules. Jevon McFadden, the medical professional on the Wind Siting Council, openly admitted he did not meet these criteria.
My concerns with current wind siting regulation, PSC128, stem from the pleas of many of my constituents to do something about the illnesses they have had since the eight forty story IWT’s have been built too close to their homes in the Shirley Wind Farm, just south of Green Bay, near hwy 43, or as my constituents refer to it, the Wind Ghetto.
Over the past few years, three families have abandoned their homes due to high volumes of low frequency sound, making it difficult or impossible to sleep at night. They suffer ear aches, nausea, tinnitus, dizziness and heart arrhythmia as well as other illnesses. When these families are not near the turbines, their symptoms disappear. Now just to get a decent night’s sleep and end their sickness and their kid’s sickness, some of these families are paying two mortgages. Others want to move, but just can’t afford two mortgages and their homes have been so badly devalued by the nearby IWT’s they can’t afford to sell them.
If the members of WEBA are being honest about their belief that wind turbines do not cause negative health effects, then I suppose I will have three very happy families in my district. The WEBA members can buy the homes these families have been forced to abandon at fair market value before the IWT’s were built and move in or resell them for what they can get now. The Enz family has a furnished empty farm house that they moved out of more than a year ago and it’s available.
7/13/12 Paid pro-wind lobbyist at it again: Denies first-hand experience of people forced from their homes because of wind turbines as if his paycheck depended on it....
PEOPLE SAY WIND TURBINES ARE MAKING THEM SICK
SOURCE: WKOW | www.wxow.com ~~
A group of residents from the Green Bay area came to Madison Wednesday to tell the Wisconsin Public Service Commission that a wind energy farm is making them sick.
Republican Senator Frank Lasee (R-De Pere) accompanied his constituents and claims their illnesses are real. But, a wind energy advocate says there is no credible evidence to back that up.
The four people have all lived next to the Shirley Wind Farm and came to the PSC armed with multiple studies concluding that low frequency noise emitted by industrial wind turbines can have a negative health impact on humans.
“Shortly after the turbines started up, I was starting to feel unstable, unsteady, I had stomach issues,” said David Enz, who chose to move away from that area with his wife less than a year later.
“Three families moved out that’s for sure, but there are many others that are sick and living with different symptoms,” said Enz.
“It doesn’t affect all people, but it affects a significant number of people and we shouldn’t do that to people in their own homes,” said Sen. Lasee.
That’s why even though the State Senate rejected a bill in March that would have forced wind developers to put turbines further away from homes than they currently do, Sen. Lasee is asking the PSC to re-visit the issue.
“Sen. Lasee has been waging an ideological war against wind power for a long time,” said Michael Vickerman of the green energy group Renew Wisconsin.
Vickerman believes that is what is really behind Sen. Lasee’s crusade, adding that no credible studies have found what the people from Shirley are claiming.
“The one prepared for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health specifically says ‘we cannot find any foundation for a set of symptoms that is called Wind Turbine Syndrome,’” said Vickerman.
But, Sen. Lasee says many agencies won’t touch this issue for political reasons.
“If this was something connected with the oil industry that was doing this and making people move from their homes they’d be all over it and screaming bloody murder. But because its green energy, nope we can’t talk about it, there’s no scientific proof, forget it,” said Sen. Lasee.
Michael Vickerman said he is all for more study, but believes it will show the exact same thing the Massachusetts Department of Pubic Health found.
As for Sen. Lasee, he said the studies he’s citing were written by several different doctors and university professors.
He hopes the new commissioners appointed by Governor Scott Walker will take a fresh look at the issue.
WIND FARM OPPONENTS SEEK COUNTY SUPPORT
SOURCE: Pierce County Herald www.piercecountyherald.com
July 12, 2012
The St. Croix Health and Human Services Board will look into health concerns raised by residents of the Town of Forest related to a proposed wind farm in that community.
For the second time in several months, a group of Forest Township residents filled the board room at the Health and Human Services building in New Richmond, Wis. to ask for help.
The HHS Board had previously agreed to send a letter to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services asking for additional study of the possible health impacts of wind energy projects.
Opponents of the Highland Wind Farm project in Forest Township, proposed by Emerging Energies of Wisconsin LLC, say that people living near existing wind farms have suffered varying health impacts ranging from headaches, sleep deprivation and hearing loss.
In a response from Wisconsin Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Kitty Rhoades, the state is relying on three previous studies on wind farms. All of those studies indicate that the impact on a person’s health is non-existent if proper setbacks are followed, Rhoades wrote.
Wendy Kramer, public health officer for St. Croix County, admitted there is a great deal of controversy related to the health impact of wind turbines near homes.
Forest resident Brenda Salseg said state rules require a minimum 1,250-foot setback from existing homes. At least one industry recommendation calls for a minimum of a 1,640-foot setback from homes, she reported.
If the 41 Forest turbines are allowed to be constructed, Salseg said, it’s likely that some residents will have turbines too close to their home and their family’s health will be in jeopardy.
“This is serious stuff,” she said. “This could become a health emergency in St. Croix County.”
Salseg said she also expects more wind farm proposals in the future, which will have an impact on other parts of the county.
HHS Board Chairman Fred Horne said he will distribute the information that Forest residents are circulating concerning possible health effects and the board will discuss any future action at its meeting in August.
If the group chooses, Horne said, county officials could present testimony about health concerns as part of the upcoming Public Utilities Commission hearings in October.
The Wisconsin PUC will make the final determination about whether the Highland Wind farm will move forward. The Forest project is greater than 100 kilowatts in size, making the state agency the one with final say in the matter.
The Highland project was smaller than 100 kilowatts when it was first proposed, but local opponents worked hard to recall Forest Town Board members who were supportive of the project. The new town board eventually rescinded the required approvals, but then developers increased the size of the project to bypass the local approval process.