Documents from Wisconsin
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.
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.
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.
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.
In testimony provided before the Wisconsin Public Service Commission in reference to the Highland Wind Farm proposal (102.5 megawatts), acoustician Paul Schomer provides important perspective on why modern wind turbines installed today are creating a greater risk to nearby residents. Excerpts of his testimony are provided below. The full testimony can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
In this case, Glenmore Windfarm # 1, LLC obtained a conditional use permit from the town of Glenmore, Wisconsin, to develop a wind farm there. The company failed to obtain the necessary building permits in time to take advantage of an offer to sell the project's output to a Wisconsin utility. CEnergy sued the town claiming its Fourteenth Amendment due process were violated. In this decision, the district court dismisses CEnergy's complaint. A portion of the decision is provided below and can be accessed in full at the links on this page.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Wisconsin Public Service Commission and the State of Wisconsin enact a moratorium to stop the permitting and installation of industrial wind turbines until further studies are done, solutions are found, and the State's wind siting rule (PSC 128) is modified to implement standards that address ultra low frequency sound and infrasound from wind turbines that will protect the health and safety of residents.
This report was the focus of a study requested by, and partly sponsored by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. The purpose was to determine whether infrasound was present in the homes of three families in the footprint of the Shirley Wind project owned by Duke Energy. These families have reported adverse health effects since the wind turbine facility commenced operation. Two have been forced out of their homes. The Shirley Wind project consists of eight Nordex N100 2.5 MW wind turbines. The below excerpt includes important recommendations for avoiding similar noise complaints at future project sites. The full report can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Brown County Board of Health formally requests temporary emergency financial relocation assistance from the State of Wisconsin for those Brown County families that are suffering adverse health effects and undue hardships caused by the irresponsible placement of industrial wind turbines around their homes and property.
These guidelines were developed based on a need to protect Wisconsin Citizens. The population densities in the areas that most interest wind developers are much higher in Wisconsin than in other parts of the country. Wisconsin citizens are forced to live within wind generation facilities and among industrial wind turbines to a much greater extent than those in other states. The guidelines place the health of the people of Wisconsin first.
This important report documents the finding of 'stray voltage' in the vicinity of the Shirley Wind Energy facility located in Brown County, Wisconsin. Shirley Wind was placed in service in 2011 and consists of eight Nordex 2.5 wind turbines. The facility was developed by developed by Emerging Energies LLC but is now owned and operated by Duke Energy. A portion of the report is provided below. The full report can be downloaded from this page.
"By signing that contract, I signed away the control of the family farm, and it's the biggest regret I have ever experienced and will ever experience."
Invenergy LLC filed this letter with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission stating its withdrawal of the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity application for the Ledge Wind Energy center, a 100 turbine facility proposed for Brown County. The full letter can be accessed through the links at the bottom of this page.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the plaintiffs by attorneys Glenn M. Stoddard and Patricia Keahna, of Stoddard Law Office, alleges that the Town of Forest, its former board members, Roger Swanepoel, Carlton Cress and Douglas Karau, and Emerging Energies, LLC, acted in concert to intentionally violate the plaintiffs' constitutional rights to due process and equal protection of the law, by approving two different wind energy development agreements during 2008 and 2010.
Wisconsin PSC commissioner Lauren Azar submitted this important letter to the Wisconsin legislature in response to newly recommended siting standards for wind energy facilities in the State. Commissioner Azar argues in the letter that the standards recommended do not go far enough in protecting individuals who experience harm from the towers.
These comments were submitted by Herbert S. Coussons, MD to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission The Commission is examining State guidelines for uniform siting of wind energy facilities.
This document represents the WI Wind Siting Council's final recommendations to the Public Service Commission regarding the proper siting of wind energy facilities. The Council was unable to achieve consensus on its findings and recommendations. Included in the document is a minority report prepared by four of the fifteen members sitting on the Council. Appendix B contains the straw proposal proffered by the Chairman of the Council, Dan Ebert. The straw proposal formed the basis of the recommendations.
This report, prepared by Acoustics and Noise Control expert Richard D. Horonjeff, explains how turbine noise differs from other types of noises within a community. The information was submitted to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. An excerpt of the report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking on one of the links at the bottom of this page.
This important document prepared by Dr. Carl V. Phillips MPP, PhD, was submitted to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission as testimony on whether turbine noise is having an adverse effect on human health.