Library filed under Noise from Wisconsin
The request stems from claims of wind turbines affecting the health of those who live near wind farms, such as the Shirley Wind Farm in Brown County. People have said the wind turbines generate low-frequency sound, which causes headaches, nausea and sleep disruption.
New Brown County Board of Health member Jim Crawford, of New Denmark, has indicated a belief that some of the symptoms being reported are psychological and can be addressed via counseling. But the majority of the board said the people complaining of nausea, vertigo and sleep problems deserve to have their complaints taken seriously.
The panel voted 2-0 Thursday to remove the restrictions and require Highland to comply with a complaint resolution process and abide by noise limits in state regulations -- 50 decibels during the day and 45 decibels at night.
The Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy (BCCRWE) of Wisconsin have called for former Health Director Chua Xiong’s conclusions regarding wind turbines and health concerns to be dismissed due to the flawed process by which submitted evidence was selectively reviewed and inconsistently weighed, or ignored altogether. A summary of the situation is provided below. The full request including evidence and exhibits can be accessed by selecting the links on this page.
Zima said he asked the human services committee to take action because it oversees the board of health, where most of the debate on this issue has taken place so far. "I just feel its important that we get a hearing, a thorough review, and that it's not just left to what I consider at this point a stacked committee at the health board," Zima said.
Add another name to the list of people reporting health effects when they spend time near the Shirley Wind Farm: Former Brown County Health Director Chua Xiong. "The times I have been out there by the Wind Turbines, l get such migraine headaches," Xiong wrote to Health Department intern Carolyn Harvey on Nov. 21. "I think I should take some preventative Tylenol before I head out there."
An open record request by residents of Brown County, Wisconsin, has exposed documents showing that former Brown County Health Officer Chua Xiong experienced severe migraine headaches when around the utility-scale wind turbines at the Shirley wind facility. The emails between Ms. Xiong and her intern can be accessed by selecting the document links on this page.
In this powerful letter to the Brown County, Wisconsin Health Board, acoustician Robert Rand explains his obligations under INCE Rules of Practice to notify the appropriate authorities if he believes his professional judgment pertaining to human health impacts has been overruled. In this instance, Mr. Rand is responding to a decision by the county's health officer, Chua Xiong, to rule against the work of the Health Board and find that there is insufficient evidence to show a relationship between wind turbines and health concerns. Mr, Rand was one of four acousticians who studied the noise issues at the Shirley Wind facility. The final report showed that all of those involved with the study, including acousticians who work largely for the wind industry, agreed they had found sufficient evidence to classify low-frequency noise and infrasound emanating from the turbines as a serious issue.
"it's a constant stress -- and you feel it, and you hear it. ... it drives me nuts," said Joan Lagerman, who lives among the 88 turbines in Fond Du Lac county. "When you leave and get away from it, you don't have the pressures, you don't have the headaches, you don't have the ringing of the ears, those kinds of things, you cant sleep at night."
Joan Lagerman of Wisconsin explains how wind turbines near her property have produced serious health impacts on her family. WE Energies, a utility in Wisconsin, operates the Blue Sky Green Field facility consisting of 88-turbines across 10,600 acres located between the townships of Calumet and Marshfield in Fond du Lac County and not far from the east shore of Lake Winnebago. Lagerman and her neighbors are surrounded by the 44 towering turbines spinning in Marshfield.
Choking back tears, Lagerman, 55, said Thursday she can’t take it anymore – the constant headaches, insomnia, hypertension and anxiety that came on after the wind farm was erected in 2008. “Doctors can’t find what is causing my health problems, but I can tell you when I leave home, they all go away,” Lagerman said. Just down the road, Elizabeth Ebertz, 73, lives in quiet agony in her home.
Around 40 people attended the Brown County Board of Health meeting Tuesday where they urged Health Director Chua Xiong to reconsider her position and asked board members to look into other ways to shut down the wind farm. "I’m imploring all of you to fight for me, to fight for my family"
People from across the state attended this meeting, and after seeing and hearing the tearful reaction of the impacted residents after making her announcement, Health Director Xiong returned to the podium and pleaded for patience while fighting back her tears. It is beyond comprehension that she would ask the residents that have already been suffering for five long years to be patient with her while she monitors the situation “on an annual basis”, stating, 'it might take me five years, ten years, but I know it is something that has to be done'.
Brown Co. Board of Health in 2014 declared turbines in the Shirley Wind Farm emit low-frequency noise that poses health risks. About 20 families experienced health issues they blame on the turbines. In a devastating setback for people living near the Shirley Wind farm, Brown County's health director on Tuesday declared that insufficient evidence exists to link wind turbines to illnesses suffered by people who live near them.
Judge Vlack ruled that more explanation by the PSC was due as to why six sensitive residences with health conditions were selected for lower noise standards while eleven other similar residences on record were denied consideration. Judge Vlack also made note of apparent ex parte communications between PSC staff and the wind developer in the selection of the six sensitive residences that excluded participation by the Town and the Forest Voice in those determinations.
The issue has long plagued local health boards in Massachusetts. Fairhaven, Mass., for example, in June 2013 shut down the town's two turbines at night in response to complaints about sleep deprivation. Falmouth, Mass., found in 2012 that one turbine was violating local ordinances because it was too close to a home and emitting too much audible noise -- not infrasound. But the controversy spurred studies by acousticians, including Rand, that concluded the turbines produce sounds capable of disturbing nearby residents and may lead to annoyance, sleep disturbance and other impacts. That led multiple residents to file lawsuits seeking damages for their health problems, claiming the turbines were to blame.
Numerous residents living within, or in the environs of Duke Energy's Shirley Wind project in the Town of Glenmore, WI are now displaying 4' x 4' yard signs stating what the Brown County Board of Health officially declared, namely, that the Shirley Wind turbines are "a human health hazard" There are now 20 families displaying the signs, many of which are shown on this page. Visitors to this page are encouraged to share these photos with others. The photos can be downloaded in high resolution by clicking the links below.
The board in October said the turbines make an inaudible sound that sickens even those who live outside the 1,250-foot boundary required by the Wisconsin Wind Siting Council, an advisory body with members appointed by the state Public Service Commission. The ruling is remarkable for several reasons.
The board declared at its October meeting that wind turbines operating in the town of Glenmore produce what is known as infrasound, or inaudible noise that sickens residents, even outside the 1,250-foot distance from their homes that is the requirement of the state's wind-siting council.
In what appears to be the first of its kind ruling in the United States, the Board of Health in Brown County, Wisconsin, where Green Bay is located, has declared a local industrial wind plant to be a human health hazard. The specific facility consists of eight 500-foot high, 2.5 megawatt industrial wind turbines.