Articles filed under Impact on People
Nimby-ism (Notin My Back) is almost understandable when talking about a gas pipeline or an ugly McMansion. But when it comes to environmentally friendly, quiet and- some say- beautiful windmills, an astonishing number of people are saying "no". Melanie Wold asks, "Why? Is it all the dead seagulls?"Editor's Note: This article appeared in the October 2006 issue of Shattered Magazine. The pdf version is available via the link below.
Now that the major potential stumbling block of just how much noise would be produced by three giant wind turbine installations topping out at nearly 400 feet over Beaver Ridge in Freedom lies behind them, members of the town planning board return to their deliberations this Thursday on the application by Competitive Energy Services (CES) to build the $12 million wind power project. That session, which could conclude the board’s role in the project, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the town offices.
Richard Tamplin, the planning inspector who heard the appeal, ‘applauded’ the ‘dedication and persistence’ of Mr and Mrs Bradford and acknowledged that the urgency of meeting Devon’s renewable energy targets for 2010 weighed very heavily in favour of the proposal. However, he judged the benefits were even more heavily outweighed by the unacceptable harm to the character and appearance of the distinctive local landscape around the appeal site. The adverse impact on the viewpoints of Brent Tor, which he said was ‘such an unusual and special place’, and Pork Hill, ‘would damage the special qualities of the National Park’. The size and motion of the turbines would destroy the fragile quality of this ‘quiet, still landscape’ and would be ‘wholly inappropriate’ to the setting of Brent Tor and the scheduled barrow cemetery on the crest of the Beacon just below. The ‘alien feature’ would also cause ‘significant harm to the longer views’ from the National Park and the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. One of the statutory purposes of Dartmoor as a National Park would be compromised. He also considered there would be a significant adverse effect on the residential amenity of people living up to two kilometres from the site.
Be wary of individuals preaching the benefits while avoiding mention of ill effects from wind turbines. They probably are set to make a bundle off the things.
His distaste for wind-generated energy may have begun as a “not in my back yard” sentiment. But as he learned more about the industry, Rankin said, his attitude hardened. With several of his neighbors, Rankin filed one of the first anti-wind-industry lawsuits in the state, arguing that wind farms are a public nuisance that do little to help the state’s energy needs. “One of the things that really energized us is how quietly, how stealthily and surreptitiously these people worked behind the scenes,” Rankin said. “The lack of regulation, combined with the state renewable-energy mandate, is making Texas a prime spot for these wind companies. But I can tell you, nobody wants to live next to them.”
A Nova Scotia man and his family claim to have been left homeless after the noise from a nearby windfarm made his family home in Lower West Pubnico uninhabitable. Daniel d’Entremont says that two of the 1.8-megawatt turbines that make up the 17 turbine farm, are located just 300 metres from his home. As a result he says that his children developed disruptive behaviour and his family’s health suffered. D’Entremont’s angry that when councillors from the Municipality of Argyle, which covers Pubnico, developed their bylaw determining the location of wind turbines in relation to residential properties they came up with a 300-metre setback.
Villagers today fear they are being besieged by wind farms as plans for more huge turbines have been announced. An energy company has revealed proposals to build up to seven giant turbines north of Roos, near Withernsea. The scheme, by Energiekontor, is the fourth earmarked for land around the small Holderness village.
When the Siddells moved to rural Ayrshire, they hoped for a life of peace and quiet. Now, at night, they say they can’t hear the television properly because of the wind turbines that loom over their converted steading.
Some residents of Auckland, New Zealand, have been complaining about a mysterious and uninterrupted hum haunting the country's largest city. The low-frequency noise is audible only to a small number of people. But for some, it is so bothersome that they have put their homes up for sale or have started taking anti-anxiety medication. Editor's Note: To listen to the 'Auckland Hum', visit NPR's website via the link provided below.
The Freedom Planning Board should revisit its decision to close the hearing and ask CES to address lingering questions about project. A few weeks’ delay is less important than ensuring the board meets its responsibility to abutting landowners and other residents of Freedom.
Expansion of the nation’s electricity generation by wind turbines may be eco-friendly, but it’s not winning hearts and minds in local communities, says Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Morgan Williams. Dr William’s report – Wind Power, People and Place – released today, said tensions were being increased by the limited scope for most New Zealanders to be involved in wind power development.
A Nova Scotia man who abandoned his home, claiming noise from a nearby wind farm made his family sick, says a study by an audio expert proves his case, even though a report to the federal government concludes the exact opposite. Daniel d’Entremont and his family left their home in the southwestern Nova Scotia community of Lower West Pubnico last February. D’Entremont says the 17 wind turbines that tower over the community — the closest just 400 metres away — were sending low-frequency vibrations into the house. This inaudible noise, he claims, deprived his family of sleep, gave his children and wife headaches and made it impossible for them to concentrate.
The public needs to hear all of the FACTS and if it appears that the project could be detrimental in any way than it should not be constructed.
A Turitea man says he will be forced from his home because Mighty River Power told him noise from wind turbines in the reserve will make his house uninhabitable. Mark Nicholls has been living in his slice of paradise for 10 years. He has 20 hectares of native bush, 13ha of pasture, which he farms, and a view to die for. It is so private that he can bathe on his veranda.
McLean County officials have filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit over a Wind Farm outside Ellsworth. Rene Taylor has filed a civil lawsuit to stop construction on parts of the $700 million project saying she has health and safety concerns about the Twin Groves Wind Farm.
What EnXco Inc. in 2005 said it would do after Kittitas County rejected its wind farm north of Ellensburg it did Monday: the wind power development company filed a downsized wind farm proposal with the state in hopes to get better treatment and possible approval.
Experts agree that LFN, at sufficient levels, may be a health concern for those who are sensitive to its effects. The effects of inaudible levels of LFN have not been sufficiently studied to date to rule out the possibility of health effects, but commentators have weighed in on each side of the debate. Setbacks and noise surveys are common requirements imposed on new wind farm developments, in part to minimize the risk of wind turbines causing health effects on local residents.
Renewable energy sources are a great hope for the future. But there is a time and place for everything. The time for the construction of wind power facilities is after environmental impact studies. The place is anywhere away from people and off of ridge-tops.
The commercial wind industry is making a mockery of environmental and renewable energy advocates who support them. They're often ruthless in their local activities, and will no doubt disappear long before we can hold them accountable for their indiscretions against us and against the planet. Where, I wonder, will Invenergy and others like them be when society realizes the folly of it all?
A new report suggests a wind farm in Pubnico Point isn't the health threat a local resident claims it is. Daniel d'Entremont lives next to the wind turbines, and, he says, it's like having a pebble in your shoe: It's not terribly uncomfortable at first, but over time it becomes unbearable. D'Entremont says his wife and and one of his children are losing their eyesight because of low-level vibrations from the turbines. But the report, prepared for the federal government, says any low-frequency vibrations are not significant enough to be a concern.