Library from Wisconsin
The county's Health Board this month declared the Shirley Wind Farm operated by Duke Energy Renewables poses a health risk to its neighbors in the town of Glenmore. Three families have moved out of their homes rather than endure physical illness they blame on the low-frequency noise the wind turbines generate, according to Audrey Murphy, president of the board that oversees the Brown County Health Department.
This week the Brown County Health Board went on record declaring that wind turbines "are a human health hazard."
The declaration of Duke's Shirley Wind turbines as "Human Health Hazards" follows a year long study linking the signature of inaudible low frequency noise (created by the passing of the massive turbine blades past their supporting towers) to the homes that have been abandoned and to the homes where people continue to suffer.
At its Tuesday, October 14 meeting, the Brown County Board of Health motioned and unanimously approved a resolution declaring the Shirley Wind turbines a "Human Health Hazard".
Highland Wind Farm LLC, citing project delays due to a legal appeal, on Sept. 10 asked the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for a two-year extension on a construction start deadline.
Most of the wind-power capacity is within Republican congressional districts, but many politicians in the party have made ending the tax credit part of their agenda. This year, efforts to extend the tax credit have made little headway in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Plaintiff CEnergy-Glenmore Windfarm #1, LLC, obtained a conditional use permit from the town of Glenmore, Wisconsin, to develop a wind farm there. But the company did not obtain required building permits in time to take advantage of a lucrative opportunity to sell electricity generated by wind turbines to a Wisconsin power company. CEnergy then filed this lawsuit against Glenmore claiming a denial of its right under the Fourteenth Amendment to substantive due process and a violation of the town’s state law obligation to deal in good faith. The district court dismissed the due process claim for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and declined to retain jurisdiction over the supplemental state law claim. CEnergy has appealed. The appeals court upheld the lower court's ruling. The facts and procedural background of the case is provided below. The full decision can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Now a bird preservation organization says it’s the USFWS itself that is violating the act, and it has sued the agency over what it says is a rule that could endanger thousands of bald and golden eagles. Indeed, the American Bird Conservancy asserts, the USFWS has committed multiple violations of federal law.
Commissioner Ellen Nowak said the revolving loan fund would "hold the renewable industry more accountable for its own development" and free up more dollars for energy efficiency incentives, which are more cost-effective initiatives for utility ratepayer dollars.
Gearboxes can fail in their first three to five years if there was a design flaw, or within six to 10 years from general wear and tear. Each year a growing segment of the wind turbine market ages and gets closer to gearbox failures, Neumiller said. ..."We're seeing the wear-related failures now and our customers' failure rates are increasing rapidly."
The Wisconsin Realtors Association, Wisconsin Builders Association, Wisconsin Towns Association and others filed suit, claiming that Public Service Commission rule 128 is invalid because it was installed without a housing impact report. A Brown County judge upheld the PSC’s rules and Tuesday’s decision affirmed that ruling.
Dr. Jay Tibbetts, a practicing physician, member of the Brown County Board of Health and Medical Adviser to the Brown County Health Department responds to the Australian Medical Association's position on wind power and the impacts on human health.
Susan Lodl was taken aback when she and other residents in the Sheboygan County village of Cascade received postcards in 2009 describing plans to use about $500,000 of village money on two wind turbines to power a new wastewater treatment plant. ...Lodl said she found a pattern of vague and misleading agenda items that failed to give residents proper notice and a chance for input.
Despite acknowledging that it will not pass, Democratic legislators introduced the Wisconsin Renewable Energy Act, which would mandate a 30 percent renewable energy production requirement for utility companies by 2030. Wisconsin’s current renewable energy goal for utility companies is 10 percent by 2015.
A St. Croix County town has filed suit to block construction of a wind farm proposed by Emerging Energies. The $250 million project, the Highland Wind Farm, has been on the drawing board for several years and was initially rejected by the state Public Service Commission. The commission later reconsidered and gave the project the go-ahead last fall.
“Should the project build, we expect the same ratio of illness and property devaluation as the Town of Glenmore, WI has experienced with Shirley Wind, also developed by Emerging Energies,” said Salseg. Residents, industry experts, and the Brown County Board of Health believe the Shirley illnesses are the result of exposure to low frequency sound, infrasound, and electrical pollution that did not exist before the eight 500-foot turbines became operational. Three families have abandoned their homes and fifty affidavits document similar negative health effects for other Glenmore families.
With a local economy that has struggled with high unemployment, they defended their incentive package, which includes giving away industrial land and making a $1 million investment in a plan to turn garbage into electricity.
Town officials in St. Croix county are suing Wisconsin's Public Service Commission after the regulator reversed itself and approved the Highland Wind Farm last year. Emerging Energies is seeking to erect 44 wind turbines, each standing up to 500-feet tall, in the Town of Forest. In February 2013, Wisconsin's Public Service Commission denied a permit for the project due to noise concerns, but Emerging Energies officials urged the commission to reopen the case, citing new technology that permitted the project owner to control the turbine speeds at night. The PSC agreed and approved the permit shortly after.
The pieces were finally in place to definitively answer the health question: are the wind turbines making people sick? One year later we still don’t know. Why? In spite of its own recommendation of more studies, the PSC has shelved the report for a year and done nothing. Nothing.
A dispute over a proposed wind farm in northeastern St. Croix County has blown a huge hole in the normally tight-knit fabric of the farming community where the project’s developer hopes to build the $250 million project. That may be the only thing opponents and advocates in the town of Forest agree on about the Highland Wind Farm, which would consist of up to 44 wind turbines, each nearly 500 feet tall to the tip of the highest blade, generating a total of 102.5 megawatts of electricity.