Articles filed under Impact on People
The neighbors gathered in Dan and Tina FitzGerald's kitchen had a list of grievances about five wind turbines proposed for the mountain in his backyard. The list began with this: A fear their voices will not be listened to. "We feel there is a tremendous amount of money stacked up against us," said Darlene Ross, who would have a view of the turbines from her home on Arrowhead Lake.
SWEETWATER, Texas | Now, as more than a century ago, the wind that whips constantly through this stretch of West Texas leaves the local community divided.
The state of Massachusetts through the Green Communities Act is about to set standards for responsible development of land-based commercial wind turbines. The current standards for setbacks are the least protective in the world. Many of the communities south of Boston have seen concerned citizens' groups spring up in protest of the placement of commercial wind turbines too close to residential property.
This series of letters appearing in the Wisconsin State Journal provide important insights into how Wisconsin residents feel wind energy facilities in their communities and the State's efforts to assume authority over all siting of wind farms.
Noise was one of the possible side-effects that most concerned Wolfe Islanders prior to construction of the $475-million project. Health surveys conducted on people living near wind farms in Europe and the U. S. have registered a number of medical disorders they blame on the machines -- sleeplessness, depression, anxiety and even tinitis, a ringing in the ears possibly related to turbine noise. By the end of next month, all 86 turbines will be turning.
P.E.I.'s environment minister says he plans to eventually introduce new laws to limit nuisance noise. The move comes after the provincial department received complaints from people who live near wind turbines and a motocross park. Environment Minister Richard Brown said he's a strong believer in people being able to enjoy the peace and quiet of their homes.
I am compelled to respond to Kevin O'Kane's letter to the editor that appeared in a recent issue of this paper.
It's either a great blessing or a total mess, depending which side you talk to. For every argument supporting or against local wind energy development, there's seemingly an equally strident counterpoint. It's been no different over the past four years regarding the High Sheldon Wind Farm. The sparring included vocal debate and a failed lawsuit by some residents opposing the project.
Nearly 350 people attended a meeting Thursday in Cottonwood regarding the Transmission Agency of Northern California's proposal to build 600 miles of power lines across the state. Steve Kerns, a biologist who helps develop environmental impact reports for wildland resource managers, spoke to a gymnasium so full that some were forced to stand or sit on the floor.
Families who live on a portion of East Ridge Road and Mountain Road on the backside of Mars Hill say, at times over the past two and a half years, they've lived with unbearable noise. They feel their complaints have been ignored. Read and watch their story as reported by WLBZ Channel 2 in Maine.
I didn't ask to have wind turbine complexes placed near me and my neighbours. I've lived here for 20 years and some neighbours, for a lifetime. We do not deserve to have our families and homes exposed to this for ANY reason. The fact that these wind turbines are so ineffective is only insult to injury, literally. The government needs to decommission the turbines that are causing such problems instead of adding more to the problem.
To the champions of wind power, the resistance is benighted and intolerable. "In a state that prides itself on its progressive renewable standards," says Eric Callisto, chairperson of Wisconsin's Public Service Commission, "getting our wind resources stymied at the local level is not acceptable." But to wind power critics, those restrictive local ordinances are enlightened and appropriate. Cartoonist Lynda Barry, a fixture in the Reader for years and now a Wisconsin resident, says she used to support wind power but believes its partisans have shut their eyes and ears to its victims, to people suffering physical ailments caused by living near the turbines.
But as wind farms proliferate, so do complaints about them. While some people experience no negative effects whatsoever, others have even resorted to leaving their homes to get away from the windmills they claim are making them sick. While research into the problem is lacking, some who live near the big turbines cite a raft of adverse health effects, including severe headaches, insomnia, dizziness, ringing in the ears, exhaustion, and even blood pressure and heart problems.
High-school teacher Sandy MacLeod is near tears as she reaches into her coat pocket and pulls out a plastic bag filled with a dozen or so orange earplugs. "I wear these every single night," she says, though occasionally she'll "switch to headphones" to muffle the sound of the wind turbine near her home. "But it doesn't matter. The noise still gets into your ears." And, she insists, it's making her sick.
Shasta County residents fighting the power line plan make up just one pocket of resistance. A Yolo County environmental group and the Colusa County Board of Supervisors have expressed concerns about the planning process. Faced with opposition and mountains of questions, the Transmission Agency of Northern California, often referred to as TANC, extended public comment for the project's environmental study until May 31. Some critics suggest a more radical route: Restart the process from scratch.
The Town of Lyme wants the state Department of Environmental Conservation to consider the possibility that noise from Galloo Island Wind Farm could annoy town residents on Point Peninsula. "Whereas the Impact Statement declares the noise generated by this project poses no significant noise impact, the Town of Lyme respectfully submits this letter expressing its concern to the contrary," states an April 29 letter from the town to DEC and the town of Hounsfield.
Our work has shown that people in Mars Hill living within 3,500 feet of turbines there are truly suffering, in a real medical sense. Clearly, any regulation that results in placement of turbines, anywhere in Maine, at less than a 3,500-foot setback is courting a bad human outcome, regardless of sound modeling used by the industry to show there will be no ill effects in that range. As clearly demonstrated by post-construction measurements at Mars Hill, the model used by the wind industry for that project was seriously flawed.
Under controversial proposals, two 400ft wind turbines could be built on Salt Hill on the crest of the South Downs National Park, at East Meon, near Petersfield. But many local people and South Downs conservationists have vowed to fight the proposed scheme, which has been unveiled by Volkswind, one of Europe's biggest wind farm developers.
The Town Board most recently heard from Cohocton Town Justice Hal Graham, who signed a lease with First Wind for a turbine that began operating in January on his Lent Hill Road property, about 2,000 feet from his house. He now calls it a mistake. Since First Wind's Cohocton wind development went live - and even prior to that, during the construction phase - nearby homeowners have complained about turbine noise. Graham likened the noise from the tower on his property and another on a neighbor's property that's only 1,050 feet away to jet engines.
Does the Town of Orangeville have the right to permit an industrial site that could harm a neighboring municipality? Who will defend the rights of Attica residents to clean water and an unpolluted reservoir? We all can appreciate the need for clean energy. However, we do not have the right to expose our neighboring municipalities to the drainage, runoff pollution and threat to water tables that will accompany Orangeville's industrial wind farm.