Library filed under Impact on People from Vermont
Annette Smith, executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, who worked with the Nelsons in their opposition, said the Nelsons tried unsuccessfully to find another use for their property once the turbines were built. “Green Mountain Power’s robbed it of its value,” she said. “There’s really no alternative.” Smith said the Nelsons offered to sell the property to Green Mountain Power and then have it donated to nearby Sterling College, but the utility declined.
The Nelsons typify the Vermont dream of working hard, paying taxes and minding one's own business. "Now, we have to add, and be forced off your property by a foreign-owned corporation," the organization said, referring to the fact that GMP's corporate parent is Canadian. "Yes, they were paid for that property, but money runs a poor second to beauty, peace, quiet and a love for your land."
How can it be said that these large-scale wind facilities are benign? Many people have complained about headaches, nausea, lack of restful sleep, heart problems, tinnitus, etc. The complaints have been ignored, hidden, dismissed and/or marked confidential.
This commentary is by Melodie McLane, who is a neighbor of the Georgia Mountain Community Wind project.
Brouha said Monday afternoon that he filed the request on Friday with the PSB in Montpelier. Brouha said the company is not complying with noise standards established as a condition of their permit by the PSB, and he wants whatever changes it takes to ensure that continued operation will be in compliance. Brouha said solutions could include shutting down some of the wind towers, repositioning some of the structures.
Paul Brouha, resident of Sutton, Vermont filed this letter and accompanying reports with the Vermont Public Service Board to show that the Sheffield wind energy facility (40 MW) is consistently operating in violation of the Board's permit conditions relating to indoor noise levels. A summary of what Mr. Brouha is experiencing at his home can be found below. The findings of independent noise experts can be found by clicking the links on this page.
McCafferty said there are multiple problems with wind farms -- such as the aesthetics and the noise associated with them. "People don't come to Vermont to look at wind farms and they don't come to Vermont to hear a lot of noise. So, these are direct impacts on the values," McCafferty said. Before the crowd departed for the night, Wright gave them one last message.
The board has asked for public comment on the impacts of sound from electricity generation plants on neighbors and how to measure that sound -- what is causing health impacts, what is the state-of-the-art science on noise, for example - and then will hold workshops to expand on those issues. In particular, the board wants to know if there should be a workshop specifically to hear from the people who are experiencing health problems from wind turbines and other energy projects.
Reider said he has six patients he sees, including one from St. Albans, who appearing to suffer headaches, sleeplessness, panic attacks, and general discomfort when close to wind turbines, specifically the 100 kw turbines manufactured by Northern Power Systems, the same model to be installed at the prison. “One person had to abandon his home, it was so severe,” Reider said.
Michael Mammoliti is a man under stress. He can’t sleep. He has headaches. His modest home has assumed bunker-like qualities, with some shades in the main room permanently drawn. He keeps the windows closed even in the heat of summer. Mammoliti blames it all on a 121-foot-tall wind turbine, erected by Green Mountain Power in December 2011 approximately 960 feet from his home.
Stebbins says local communities should put their trust in the Public Service Board to assess both environmental and economic impacts of wind projects. Opponents say the PSB criteria are too narrow. So the debate is likely to continue, not only about individual projects, but about the way the state regulates them.
A Vergennes man says a wind turbine near his home is ruining his life and he’s ready to move out. Tuesday he will bring his case in front of the Vermont Public Service Board. “You think I want to live like this? I don’t want to live like this.”
Pam Arborio is a founder of the opposition group, Save Our Senecas. Arborio notes that the survey financed by Seneca Wind did not go to all registered voters in the greater region impacted by the turbines. It was sent to about 400 properties - one ballot per household - only in the surrounding Unified Towns and Gores, known as the UTG. Many of those are camps or second homes. So far, about 280 property tax payers have responded.
When the project was first announced, Lorusso said he was in favor of it, believing it to be clean, renewable and sustainable energy -- a view that changed once construction got underway. "It is not clean," he said. "They blasted. There were swamps there. There were the beautiful trees, the wildlife. It's a hard thing because I have not been able to get to terms with what was taken from me." Since the turbines have been put up, Lorusso said a significant amount of the wildlife has since left the area.
Yet, countryside residents from Vermont to Massachusetts, and elsewhere, now claim not only environmental degradation but personal health problems from the imposing wind towers, which fans praise as emblematic of America’s clean energy future. Mike Nelson, of Albany, Vt., told WCAX-TV last November the resulting noise from the wind tower installments had cost him lost sleep and that neighbors were reporting headaches, symptoms of so-called “wind turbine syndrome.”
If the majority - and most of these projects do seem to have majority support - are going to ask their fellow-Vermonters to pay a price - be it reduced property values, more traffic on the road, more noise or stench in the air, an uglier view from the living room window - that majority ought to be able to tell them (with a straight face) that theirs is a modest sacrifice in return for an undeniable public benefit.
Proximity to industrial wind turbines is making people ill, and the state's program to increase the use of renewable energy sources is a "sham." That's the message a committee exploring the impacts of industrial wind projects heard ...The committee was formed by Northeastern Vermont Development Association following NVDA's July 2012 recommendation that all industrial wind development be suspended for three years until more is known about its impact on local communities.
"The department continues to believe that the identification and correction of noise-related problems is of paramount concern," Commons stated in a brief submitted to the PSB this week. ... The lack of knowledge by GMP about snow impacts, along with Nelson's health concerns, raised the question for the department of whether there were more violations last winter, which prompted the department to seek a stiffer penalty than originally sought, Commons stated.
Geoff Commons is the department's public advocate. He said the board heard credible testimony from Shirley Nelson, a neighbor of the Lowell project, that the turbine sound was harming her health, even at levels produced below the state standard. ...We do get complaints about turbine noise, more or less regularly. And we think it would be appropriate to just basically get more information on the sounds.
Annette Smith, executive director of Vermonters For A Clean Environment, on Monday expressed disappointment in the response, saying "the governor's letter to the Therriens is tone deaf to the difference between public policy moving forward and public health issues occurring now." ..."Chris Recchia's study did harm to the Therriens and there are no ongoing discussions with the PSD.