Library filed under Impact on People from USA
"It's a mechanical monstrosity. ... It's ugly. It makes noise, said Beverly Whitcomb. It makes a whopping sound which will just drive you nuts."
There is less than 4% of native tallgrass prairie left in North America, and two-thirds of it is right here. Once you have experienced the spaciousness and exceptional beauty of open native grasslands, you know there is nothing in the world quite like it. These native grasslands are truly a national as well as a Kansas treasure.
Money will not purchase balm for our eyes or salve for the spirit: a place of beauty provides these. The Flint Hills provides.
Researched and written by Eleanor Tillinghast of Green Berkshires Inc. this is a comprehensive study of the probable impact of industrial wind plants on the rural character, quality-of-life and economy of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. Specific issues addressed include visual aesthetics, tourism, property values, public roads and public safety.
He had been charmed by the spirit of our grassland, and kept coming back.
This is a letter written by Paula Stahl of St. George, West Virginia, about her experiences living in the neighborhood of the 66 MW Mountaineer Wind Energy Center. Formerly known as the Backbone Mountain Wind Farm, the 4,400-acre site has 44 turbines, 1.5 MW each, stretched along miles of ridgeline in Tucker and Preston counties. Ms. Stahl submitted the letter to the Berkshire Eagle and North Adams Transcript, neither of which has printed it.
These levels (noise) are much higher than predicted by the company.
The attached Pdf file provides a comprehensive overview of wind turbine noise related issues.
Although my research started with the visual and spatial aspects of WECSs, and continues to be focused on WECSs effects on “landscape character” i.e. impacts on the spatial environment, with implications for cultural values and social systems of our region. I am equally concerned about the predictable negative effects of WECSs on the natural systems of the Flint Hills. I am concerned about serious cumulative effects and the degradation of: the visual character of our environment; the social fabric of communities that are facing the prospect of WECS-C; the health of biological, ecological components of our regional ecosystem; and the long term viability of our local, increasingly “nature-based” economy.
3.8 Health & Safety Affected Environment, Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures "A number of comments submitted for the scoping process for the Desert Claim project EIS addressed concerns relating to potential health and safety issues. Specific topics indicated in these comments included certain possible hazards that are uniquely associated with wind turbines, such as blade throw and ice throw; health and safety issues associated with electrical and magnetic fields; more common hazards such as fire; and the incidence and impacts of shadow flicker, another phenomenon specific to wind turbines. Section 3.8 addresses these wide-ranging health and safety topics that have been identified as concerns for the environmental review. "
Catharine Lawton's letter to the attorney representing Addison Wind Energy on the developer's failure to represent accurately a number of the dangers associated with icing of the blades of industrial wind turbines.
This document [DEIS] has not provided any demonstrable public need for the insignificant amount of power this facility is capable of producing. No valid, compelling local (or even statewide) economic reasons were offered to potentially offset the overwhelming negative impacts that will result if built. This DEIS is abundant in quantity, but extremely lacking in quality of scientific analysis and entirely deficient in analysis in certain areas. Various mitigations offered are unacceptable or unworkable. The following are areas of analysis that were either deficient or not performed at all:............
Wind turbines to produce electricity on a large scale – “wind farms” – are currently being proposed for parts of Tug Hill. Large-scale wind farms are a relatively new occurrence in the Northeast, and since they are new there are many questions that do not have clear answers.
Kelly Alexander believed that windpower would be a good energy source. He was told the machines were not noisy. No one told him about the blade flicker that shines even through closed blinds or the low frequency noise that penetrates his home with doors and windows tightly closed and storm windows installed. Recently, the turbine owner visited Kelly and asked what he could do to help the situation. He said, “Stop lying about these turbines. Tell people the truth.”
Lincoln Township in Wisconsin sent a survey to its residents to help assess the impacts of 22 turbines installed by Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPSC) and Madison Gas and Electric (MG&E), which went online in June 1999. A summary of the survey comments received is provided in the attached document. After the wind turbines went online, the Lincoln Township Board of Supervisors approved a moratorium on new turbine construction.
This paper, presented at the Windpower ’87 Conference & Exposition in San Francisco by N.D. Kelley, a physicist at the Solar Energy Research Institute in Golden, Colorado validates the fact that turbines (both upwind and downwind) produce low-frequency sound emissions that can negatively impact humans within their homes. Although modern wind turbines are different from those studied in 1987, the research is significant in that it demonstrates the need to test for low-frequency sound emissions and to do so inside buildings.
Calvin Luther Martin, Malone, NY 11/4/05 It’s Friday evening and I just got off the phone with a middle-aged lady who lives on the Tug Hill Plateau near Watertown, New York (USA). What makes this banal fact remarkable is that the woman now finds herself living in a mind-blowing forest of 40-story-high industrial wind turbines. The developers (Is this the right word to use for these people?) have given it the charming name, Maple Ridge Windfarm. Everyone else in Upstate New York knows it as the Tug Hill Plateau: a high tableland famous for its views of the Adirondacks (to the south), Canada (to the north), and L. Ontario (to the west). Also a serious migratory bird flyway. People remember Tug Hill as gorgeous and wild. No more. Sarah (I have changed her name to protect her privacy) was eager to talk. I found her full of homespun wisdom and quick to chuckle, even though she was in obvious pain. This place, which has been home and memories, has become a nightmare. When the turbine salesmen rang her doorbell a year ago to ask what she thought “about renewable energy” (that was their opening line), she soon steered the conversation around to the stupendous view. Look there, she said, pointing to the mountains: this is what I cherish. No more. She is now surrounded by colossal industrial wind turbines. How many? I asked. Fifteen to twenty within a mile radius, she replied. I could hear her despair, her disbelief. The wind companies (Zilkha and PPM) spent the summer feverishly cobbling together their Goliath machines: 187 in this first phase of the project. There are more to come in Phase II. And who knows how many more phases? Besides the dozen plus overshadowing her, there is a power substation mere yards from her backdoor, in a ravine she remembers well as a child. (The ravine was often struck by lightning, she recalled, as she wondered if this was the best spot for a power station. Fond memories often bubbled to the surface as we talked—a surface now rendered incomprehensible.) Sarah took the company-sponsored bus trip to Fenner, NY, to inspect Fenner’s 20 turbines (“Go to Fenner and see for yourself”: they got the same cheery line we get here, in Clinton & Franklin counties). She thought the Fenner turbines huge, but, it turns out, they are not as colossal as what she now has next door. Besides, that was only 20; this is 187. The number boggles her mind. She met a lady in Fenner with a turbine or two on her property. She motioned Sarah aside and whispered not to trust the wind energy company. The woman and her husband are not getting what the company promised, and are suing as a result. The wind salesmen snowed Sarah’s town board. They promised the sun and the moon; the board swooned and said amen. The wind guys managed to talk the town into a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) rather than taxation, to Sarah’s disgust. She was clearly dubious the salesmen would deliver what they promised. And when it came to a public hearing, the town board hid the announcement so cunningly that Sarah was totally unaware of it. The construction has shattered her life. Noise. Roads cratered and potholed and rutted. Trees chain-sawed and bulldozed into piles. Giant pits bored into the earth and filled with rebar-reinforced concrete. Finally, the towers and 40-ton propellers and 60-ton nacelles stacked atop all this. Literally, skyscrapers. The turbines are not yet running; they will be in another few months. Sarah dreads that day: the pulsed thump thump thump; the huge shadow from blades sweeping the landscape, everywhere you look (morning & evening). Sarah has sensitive hearing; she’s especially worried about the low frequency thump, night and day, weeks on end. Already she struggles with 187 flashing red lights. And she tries to compose herself over the floodlit power station next door. When she telephoned the project manager to ask why those confounded lights need to be left on all night, he got testy and dismissed her. The floodlights still drill into her windows. Welcome to Maple Ridge Windfarm. A blasted, ruined, industrialized landscape where there was once serenity. And beauty. Sarah wandered down to the old family farm earlier this fall. She stood on the road and gazed upon vandalism. And wept. She’s angry. She feels lied to. She has a neighbor, a young man and his wife and little children, who is also outraged. The man is building a lovely home; he moved here because of the magnificent views, the beauty. Now, this. He worries about his kids’ health once the generators fire up. Sarah feels helpless, and kept saying she thinks she will move. Driven from her home. She worries no one will buy it, or will offer a fraction of its pre-turbine worth. She foresees town revenues plummeting as people refuse to pay the tax on turbine-depreciated property. In the end, she said, she and her neighbors were not organized well enough to stop the wind salesmen. The property owners and town fathers fell in line perfectly, like sheep to be slaughtered. Yet many of them don’t live on their land, or have moved elsewhere, leaving Sarah and her neighbors to deal with this horror. I urged her to start a daily journal of her experiences and the “progress” of the wind power project. I also urged her to take photographs of her landscape and the windmills. And I suggested she get an electrical engineer to check for ambient underground current, so she can sue the wind companies for stray current once the turbines go on line. I suggested, too, that she and her neighbors get a complete physical and neurological exam before the turbines are fired up, again, to establish a medical baseline for future medical problems. I told her, finally, I had seen the amazing photograph of the Tug Hill turbines in the Watertown Daily Times last month. “Yes,” she mused, “that was taken near my home.” Then added, “It’s actually worse than the picture shows.”