Last August, DeWayne and Elaine Wilkie purchased a home in Jefferson County in upstate New York, moving back to the area of Mrs. Wilkie's youth. They decided to move for medical reasons, as the constant noise and attendant vibrations surrounding Mr. Wilkie in his former community, Fort Lauderdale, FL, might negatively affect the pace maker/defibrillator inserted in his chest.
The Wilkies learned only after moving into their new home that they lived within the Horse Creek Wind Energy project site, a wind farm proposed by Iberdrola/PPM. The 130 megawatt, 62 wind turbine project is slated to span 11,800 acres in the towns of Clayton and Orleans.
No one disclosed to the Wilkies that their new home would be surrounded by turbines. While feeling betrayed and financially limited in their options, the Wilkies have not faced their biggest fear-- and the fear of their doctors.
Mr. Wilkie's doctors consulted with electrophysiologist Dr. Osman, as Mr. Wilkie's medical report states : "[Dr. Osman] has concerns that low frequency noise range of these wind turbines could interfere with the proper functioning of Mr. Wilkie's AIC defibrillator leading to shutting down of the device".
The American Wind Energy Association dismisses the hazard, stating it "does not have scientific information to prove and establish that it [low-frequency noise] is a widespread problem".
Windaction.org asserts the comments by the electrophysiologist pertaining to Mr. Wilkie's pace maker cannot and should not be ignored. Without established legislation regarding wind turbine noise, vibration, and other possible turbine emissions, reviewing boards should take great care in determining setback distances between wind turbines and human occupied buildings. The town boards of Clayton and Orleans are now aware of Mr. Wilkie's situation. The question is whether they will knowingly allow the wind turbines to be sited within harms way and become life threatening to Mr. Wilkie and others like him.