Entries in health effects (3)

7/10/12 If she was your daughter, what would you do? If it was your home, what would you do?

WBAY-TV Green Bay-Fox Cities-Northeast Wisconsin News



Written by Hannah O’Brien 

Source: Gannett Wisconsin Media  www.postcrescent.com

July 8, 2012

The Ashleys say their daughter Alyssa’s health problems are related to the Shirley Wind Project wind turbines that were built near their home in late 2010, and the only way to stop the headaches, ear pain and sleep deprivation was to move away from turbines.

MORRISON — Sue and Darryl Ashley moved their family out of their Glenmore home last summer and are now working to pay mortgages on two houses so their 16-year-old daughter can find relief from constant headaches, ear pain and sleep deprivation.

The Ashleys say their daughter Alyssa’s health problems are related to the Shirley Wind Project wind turbines that were built near their home in late 2010, and the only way to stop the headaches, ear pain and sleep deprivation was to move away from turbines.

“After staying away from my home for a week and a half, my symptoms started to subside,” Alyssa said, adding that the health problems caused her to struggle with school work. “I could sleep again and my headaches were lessening. The longer I was away, the better I felt.”

Because of health problems experienced by families like the Ashleys, state Sen. Frank Lasee, R-Ledgeview, is pressuring the Public Service Commission to change its rules for the construction of wind turbines.

“This really is about our government not protecting our citizens,” Lasee said Sunday during a news conference at Way-Morr County Park in Morrison, about five miles from wind turbines in Glenmore.

Lasee on Wednesday will present multiple published reports that cite the dangers of wind turbines to each of the members of the Public Service Commission, which is responsible for regulating the rates and safety of electric, natural gas and water utilities. He hopes the commission will suspend the current rules for wind turbines, and that a new commission will be created to write new rules.

The Public Service Commission could not be reached Sunday for comment.

The commission’s Wind Siting Council in 2010 released rules for wind turbines and said there was insufficient proof of negative health effects from wind turbines to support stricter rules.

“The council has concluded that the scientific evidence does not support a conclusion that wind turbines cause adverse health outcomes,” according to the council’s final recommendations to the Public Service Commission, which were released in August 2010.

Dr. Herb Coussons, who also spoke during Sunday’s news conference, said health effects of the audible noise from wind turbines can include sleep deprivation, elevated blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain and an increased risk of heart disease. Wind turbines also can be responsible for stray voltage and groundwater contamination, he said.

“The wind mill is on and off, on and off, on and off and unrelenting,” he said. “The solution though is very, very simple. Puth them where there aren’t people.”

Lasee hopes new rules will be implemented to prevent wind turbines from being built within a mile of residents’ homes, and that property owners’ consent must be given before turbines can be built nearby. The current rules state wind turbines must be 850 feet away from homes, Lasee said.

“I think they’re too close to people’s homes,” Lasee said, adding that Brown County is too densely populated for wind turbines.

“The Ashleys are not the only family who moved out of their homes,” he said.

The Ashleys last year bought a second home, but still have to pay a mortgage on their Glenmore home, “a house that we can’t live in,” Alyssa said.

While the Ashley’s’ new home helps keep Alyssa’s symptoms at bay, moving away has not cured her health problems, she said.

“Last week, when I traveled to Tennessee for a youth rally, the bus drove through large wind farms and I immediately experienced ear pressure and eventually pain, even though I hadn’t been exposed to turbines in months,” she said, adding that she wondered “if this damage and sensitivity would ever leave.”



By Deandra Corinthios 

Source: WGBA-TV /NBC26 / www.nbc26.com

July 8 2012

GLENMORE, WI –A battle over the effects of wind energy are blowing into Brown County again. Several families who live near the turbines believe it is causing them health problems.

State Senator Fank lasee says he’s taking their concerns to the capitol. Senator Lasee wants the rules for wind turbine placement changed, he wants the turbines farther away from people’s homes.

Several families in the Glenmore-Shirley area say they have been forced to abandon their homes to keep their families safe.

Darrel Cappelle uprooted his wife and two young children from their home a year and a half ago after he says wind turbines made them sick.

“We’re about 7 miles way from the turbines now and within a week sleep patterns returned, my wife is feeling much better my son seems to be doing better,” said Cappelle.

Cappelle says the humming and flicker shadow of the turbines kept them up at night, gave his wife anxiety attacks and their kids suffered from ear infections.

“With the refrigerator running or washing machine going you could just hear this constant buzzing,” said Sarah Cappelle.

Senator Frank Lasee will present a stack of reports on the negative impacts of wind turbines to the agency that oversees wind energy in Wisconsin, the Public Service Commission.

Governor Scott Walker proposed a 1,850 foot set-back but Senator Lasee says that’s not enough. He wants the turbines at least a mile away from homes.

“It is my hope the PSC will look favorably upon my request to suspend the current rules, so that the projects being proposed will not move forward, and reconvene a new wind siting council that will give us better setback rules,” said Lasee.

The issue was brought to a vote back in May but the senator was one vote short of getting the rules changed. He hopes this time will be different for the sake of families like the Cappelles.

“Our hope is that eventually we can move back home,” said Darrel Cappelle.

NBC26 tried calling Duke Energy, the company that owns the Shirley windpower project about Senator Lasee’s plans but they haven’t returned our calls yet. The Senator will be making his case to the PSC on Wednesday.

5/28/2012 Getting it RIGHT down under: longer setbacks recommended by government health agency

From Australia


By Graham Lloyd, Environment editor,

SOURCE: The Australian | www.theaustralian.com.au

May 28, 2012 

A “growing body of evidence” that wind farm noise could have health effects has prompted Queensland Health to call for caution when approving wind farm developments.

Queensland Health has in effect become the first government health agency to recommend that wind turbines not be built within 2km of homes. In a letter to Tablelands Regional Council, Queensland Health’s director of environmental health, David Sellars, recommended a “precautionary approach” be taken to approval of the proposed $500 million Mount Emerald wind farm near Walkamin on the Atherton Tablelands.

The Mount Emerald application is for up to 80 wind turbine towers, nine of which are within 2km of houses.

Tablelands horticulturalist Steve Lavis said he would like a moratorium on wind farm projects until all noise and health issues had been worked out. Reported symptoms of so-called “wind turbine syndrome” include sleep disturbance, high blood pressure, headaches, tinnitus, dizziness, nausea, a rapid heart rate and panic attacks.

The Queensland Health letter was in response to a request for information from then Tablelands Regional Council deputy mayor Chris Adams.

Mr Sellers said the council had been advised that the Mount Emerald wind farm would meet all noise-level goals.

“Despite the aforementioned findings,” he said, “Queensland Health recommended wind-farm planning applications be carefully considered, given there is a growing body of evidence to suggest there may be adverse health effects associated with the noise generated by wind farms.

“Research into the potential health effects of wind turbines is ongoing and is being undertaken on an international scale.”

Mr Sellars said the National Health and Medical Research Council was reviewing its position on the possible health effects of wind turbines and was aiming to release a public statement by the end of the year.

“Queensland Health would be likely to be guided by the NHMRC statement, resulting from this research,” he said.

“Until such time, Tablelands Regional Council is encouraged to take a precautionary approach to development applications of this type.”

Mr Sellars said the Victorian government’s new planning guidelines, which ban wind turbines within 2km of an existing home, might be considered to be current best practice.

A spokeswoman for the Tablelands council said the Queensland Health advice in wind farms would be considered by planning officers but the council would make no comment.

Mr Adams, who did not stand for re-election at the recent local government elections, said he was grateful for the advice from Queensland Health and would expect council to take note.

“I am not opposed to wind farms but I think there are a number of concerns,” he said.

The advice from Queensland Health reflected health concerns that were being expressed around the world.

Wind farm opponent and Waubra Foundation spokeswoman Sarah Laurie said Queensland Health was “the first health department in Australia to have acknowledged the obvious problems which currently exist”.

“We again call for governments to ensure that infra-sound and low-frequency acoustic pollution is measured – independently of the wind industry – both inside and outside homes and workplaces at existing wind developments, where people are sick,” Ms Laurie said.

The Mount Emerald wind farm is being proposed by RATCH-Australia Corporation, a Ratchaburi Holdings and Transfield Services company. The company said current estimates suggested the wind farm would produce enough clean energy to provide the annual power needs of more than 75,000 North Queensland homes.

A RATCH-Australia spokesman was not available to comment on the Queensland Health letter yesterday.

Mr Lavis said human health issues were not his only concern with the wind farm proposal.

He was also worried about the impact on the region’s banana industry, which relied on aerial spraying that would not be possible within 5km of wind turbine towers.

“All of Australia’s bananas are grown within 200km of here,” he said. “There is no way you can control the diseases without aerial spraying because of the wet season and the inability to get to the crop with a tractor,” he said.

3/13/12 Too close to home: Not old enough to vote or sign a petition but old enough and close enough to be tormented by wind turbines AND How green is a bird and bat killing machine? Wind industry claims ring false as slaughter exposed



March 12 2012 

by Alyssa Ashley

Since I am not old enough to vote or sign a petition, I would like a chance to voice the truth. On May 8, 2011, I left my home in Glenmore, Wis., due to many health problems that are a result from the Shirley Wind Project built at the end of 2010.

Inside my home, I was able to detect when the turbines were turning on and off by the sensations in my ears. I could not hear or see the turbines at the time; I could feel them. In early 2011, I had been noticing extreme headaches, ear pain and sleep deprivation, all three things that were either a rarity for me, or nonexistent. This caused me to struggle with my school work. I could not concentrate due to pressure releasing from my head, or to the fact that I had very little sleep.

After staying away from my home for a week-and-a-half, my symptoms started to subside. I could sleep again, and my headaches were lessening. The longer I was away, the better I felt. Due to our turbine-related health issues, I spent all summer living in a camper with my family, away from the turbines.

At the end of August, my family reluctantly purchased another small house away from the wind turbines, leaving us paying two mortgages. I have not been in the Shirley area since Nov. 19, 2011, and I do not experience headaches anymore and I can sleep soundly.

My ears, however, are still sensitive to the cold and loud noises. This has never been a problem for me in my entire life, and I wonder if this damage to my ears will ever go away.

When contemplating wind turbine siting, think of me.

Alyssa Ashley

De Pere



Bonner R. Cohen

SOURCE Heartlander, news.heartland.org

March 13, 2012 

The American Bird Conservancy has filed a 100-page petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) requesting replacement of FWS’s proposed voluntary guidelines for operating wind farms with mandatory, enforceable standards designed to protect birds and bats from turbines’ deadly blades.

If FWS accepts the arguments laid out in the Bird Conservancy’s petition, wind farms will be subject to a mandatory permitting system and required to mitigate harm to birds and bats.

Massive Bird Kills

Although wind power supplies only 2 percent of electricity in the United States, FWS reports the wind turbines supplying that power kill 440,000 birds each year. Other analysts maintain the number is much larger because FWS may be overlooking a substantial number of birds that receive mortal wounds from turbine strikes but don’t die in the immediate vicinity of the machines, where FWS counts bird carcasses.

Two well-documented incidents in the mountains of West Virginia shed light on the magnitude of the problem. On a single night in September 2011, a single wind farm atop Mount Storm killed 59 birds. One month later, 484 birds were killed in a single night at the newly constructed wind farm on Laurel Mountain.

In these and other incidents across the country, birds of every description—hawks, bald eagles, golden eagles, the endangered California condor, yellow-billed cuckoos, wood thrushes, and other migratory birds—have lost their lives to wind farms.

Wind Farms Given Free Pass

Migratory birds may pose the biggest threat to the wind energy industry. To date, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act has not been applied to wind firms, but the potential liability could pose a real problem to the industry. The law does not require intent, meaning incidental kills could be prosecuted by the Justice Department.

The legal uncertainty over the potential liability of wind farms might make an FWS permitting process the lesser of two evils for the wind industry. Fearful a permitting process would lead to costly bureaucratic delays, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has expressed a clear preference for FWS’s proposed voluntary guidelines. But a change of heart by the Justice Department leading to prosecution of owners of wind farms for incidental kills of migratory birds would cast a pall over the whole industry.

The industry has never been told it would not be prosecuted. Similarly, if endangered birds or bats are killed in sufficient numbers by wind farms so as to trigger lawsuits under the Endangered Species Act, the industry could be facing even greater uncertainty and costly litigation.

Congress Reconsidering Subsidies

Meanwhile, the wind industry, which has seen its political connections pay off in recent years, is facing a serious threat from another direction: Congress is losing its appetite for subsidizing renewable energy. The spectacular bankruptcy of solar panel maker Solyndra, with a loss of over $500 million suffered by U.S. taxpayers, has made Capitol Hill lawmakers wary of loan guarantees and other subsidies designed to prop up renewable energy ventures.

For years, the wind energy industry has benefited from, and indeed depended on, one such subsidy, known as the production tax credit (PTC). The PTC provides a 2.2 cents-per-kilowatt-hour subsidy for wind power generators for their first ten years of existence. In effect since 1992, the PTC could well expire at the end of this year. In working out a deal earlier this year on the extension of the payroll tax deduction, the House and Senate, despite heavy lobbying by AWEA, refused to include an extension of the PTC.

Without the PTC, the industry will be hobbled in its efforts to compete with cheaper coal and natural gas. With the growing likelihood of an expiration of the PTC at the end of the year, orders for new turbines have come to a screeching halt.

Wind Power’s Environmental Downside

“It’s about time that we look at the downside of alternative energies,” said Marita Noon, executive director of the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy.

“Since the theory of manmade climate change became fashionable, we’ve heard only that fossil fuels are bad and renewable energy is good,” said Noon. “The propaganda shows pictures of black smoke belching out of stacks contrasted with pristine, white, wind turbines. Neither reflects reality. The black smoke was cleaned up years ago. Wind turbines kill birds and bats.

“As Americans make energy decisions, they need to be based on reality, on complete science,” Noon explained. “There is no free lunch, and energy policy should fully weigh the pros and cons of each option.”