On March 27, 2009, residents of Mars Hill living within 3600 feet of First Wind's wind facility filed a civil complaint in Maine's Superior Court seeking relief from the "significant harm" caused by First Wind and others by the construction and operation of the site. Medical professionals recognize the health problems related to the turbines at Mars Hill are valid.
WindAction Editorials filed under Impact on People
The divide between wind energy proponents and those seeking to protect the health and welfare of individuals from the ill-effects of the towers is increasing. News accounts are published almost daily from around the world highlighting the serious problems of turbine noise and related adverse health effects, yet wind proponents like Ryan Schryver of Clean Wisconsin insist such reports are the work of a small, but vocal minority of people hell-bent on keeping turbines out of their viewshed. In an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio's Joy Cardin, Schryver dismissed health and safety concerns as exaggerated and argued that the focus on the issue was merely a tactic by wind power opponents in Wisconsin to encumber future proposals.
The public push for renewable energy solutions has quickly filtered into the business and personal market and more and more communities are finding themselves confronted with some of the same land use issues we see with utility-scale turbines. Establishing appropriate siting standards to address minimum lot size, maximum tower heights, property line setbacks, and noise levels are essential in ensuring adjacent properties are not harmed and the health and safety of the public are maintained.
Earlier this month, Dr. Michael A. Nissenbaum, a radiologist at the Northern Maine Medical Center, conducted interviews with fifteen people living near the industrial wind energy facility in Mars Hill, Maine. The purpose of the interviews was to investigate and record the health effects on those living within 3500-feet of industrial-scale turbines.
Last week, First Wind (formerly UPC Wind) hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its newest wind farm in New England, the Stetson wind energy facility located in Danforth, Maine. The event celebrated completion of the 38-turbine (57-megawatt) facility and was attended by 100 state and local officials including Maine's Governor Baldacci, construction company representatives, and local business owners.