Articles filed under Impact on People
Falmouth Board of Selectmen halted operation of the town’s second wind turbine Tuesday, June 20, after a Barnstable County Superior Court judge deemed the town-owned power source a nuisance.
A Barnstable Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered the town of Falmouth to shut down two town-owned wind turbines. ...In an emergency meeting Tuesday night, selectmen instructed the town manager to comply with Moriarty’s order.
The growth of wind farming in Missouri creates green energy and less dependence on out-of-state- coal. But the impacts of turbines and transmission lines may also spark neighbor-to-neighbor, farmer-to-government, and rural-to-urban tensions.
While it was a celebration toasted with champagne, officials unveiling the Niagara Region Wind Farm still felt the need to defend their cause.
A group of families in a north Cork village who sued a wind farm operator claiming the huge turbines adversely affected their health have settled their High Court actions.
Under the proposed rules, noise from large turbines would be limited to 42 dBA during the day and 39 dBA at night; smaller turbines would be limited to 42 dBA. ...Developers also would have to build large wind turbines away from local residents by a distance of 10 times the height of the turbine.
In several records, staff noted that wind turbine noise exceeded regulations: ““Staff have attended at the complainants homes on multiple occasions … noise measurements were obtained…subjective observations were made by Provincial Officers…the conclusion of the POs were that the noise emissions from the wind turbines were causing an adverse effect contrary to S. 14 (1) of the EPA at the complainants locations…”
Of the nearly 3,200 reports, 1,730 didn’t get site visit from ministry staff. Action on another 1,424 incidents was listed as deferred or planned. Only 24 public complaints on wind turbine operations between 2006 and 2014 were given priority status, according to ministry records obtained by Wind Concerns Ontario. Wilson said noise issues were the most common complaint.
This powerful document identifies and explains how the Ontario Government through its Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change dismissed, ignored, and otherwise failed to address thousands of wind turbine noise complaints in the period from 2006 to 2014. Nearly 3,200 reports of noise complaints were made during that time and in more than half the cases, the government took no action. The wind power industry was virtually self-regulating as the Ministry relied on predicted noise modeling to determine compliance rather than actual measurements. An excerpt of the report released by Wind Concerns Ontario is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
A Washington headline Wednesday asks "Is 'Big Wind' making people sick?"
Back in the 1960s, Yale psychology professor Stanley Milgram conducted a research experiment whose results shocked the nation. Participants were told that they were taking on the role of “teacher” in a study of methods to improve learning. An authority figure told the “teacher” to administer increasingly powerful electric shocks to a “learner” in the next room whenever a question was answered incorrectly. There actually were no shocks and the learner was part of the research team, but the “teacher” heard increasing cries of pain with each “shock” administered. Even as the intensity of the shocks approached the maximum of 450 volts, the authority insisted that the shocks should continue – that the anguished screams, the banging on the wall, the pleas about heart conditions, and ultimately the ominous silence from the other room should all be ignored.
Both Cindy Cobb and Sandra Wolfe from Calhan, Colo., live in the shadow of Golden-West, and blame the turbines for deteriorating health. They report dizziness, nausea, loss of sleep and headaches. They say their symptoms coincide with when the wind farm became operational in September 2015. Cobb adds lethargy and high blood pressure to the list of symptoms ...According to Wolfe, the relentless spinning causes stress and loss of sleep. She has resorted to sleeping off-site from her own property.
At the end of the two-and-a-half-hour conversation, Glenn said there were two takeaways: conflict of interest at the local level and that the social fabric of Michigan's communities is being destroyed. The point of the meeting was to discuss the future of wind development in the Thumb.
At the public meeting, Cllr Brendan Cronin (Ind) said he strongly backed the local campaign, ‘Sliabh Luachra Windfarm’ and residents who objected, and said he has seen the consequences of what wind turbines do a to region. “This has a devastating effect on families and it splits communities without question. It’s a huge problem,” he said.
The injury created by continuous thrumming sound waves is hard to grasp for people who haven’t been exposed. Aggrieved neighbors have sought to establish, through monitoring, that the sound at their homes is excessive. The utilities and wind developers have been dismissive, characterizing complaining neighbors as cranks or hypochondriacs.
The message from a packed room in Gneeveguilla on Monday night rang out clearly: “No one wants these monsters of wind turbines near our homes, our families, our children, our schools or on our land. They are not wanted in any shape or form”.
“So when Invenergy talks about most of the time the noise will be controlled and most of the time the lights won’t hit your house and It'll be one or two%. Well I know what it's like and it's huge when you are the 1 or two%."
About a year later, the board ruled in favor of Georgia Mountain Community Wind and determined that noise coming off the spinning turbine blades was not in excess of its state permit. But in that ruling the board said the McLanes and the Public Service Department could request additional testing if they could convince the board that the previous sound testing was not accurate.
If Iberdrola proceeds with Horse Creek, the project will become embroiled in a contentious and costly administrative law proceeding. Iberdrola will use the procedural advantages of Article 10 to oppose Home Rule and attempt to override opposition from residents, local governments and other project stakeholders.
Editor’s note: This commentary is Mark Whitworth, who is president of Energize Vermont, a statewide organization that supports sustainable energy development that protects our environment and respects our communities.