Library filed under Noise from New York
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?
If you have ever driven off campus, you have likely noticed giant windmills looming on the horizon. Part of a system of some twenty turbines, these iron giants comprise the Fenner Windpower Project, just one component of a nationwide initiative to utilize clean and renewable energy. Operational since the fall of 2000, the mills have the capacity to power about 10,000 homes solely by harnessing the energy of the wind as it sweeps over the Adirondacks and down the Chenango Valley. Despite their efficiency, the mammoth cost to assemble just one of these turbines (about $2.5 million dollars) has stirred local and national debate over cost versus benefit at the Fenner site, not to mention the intrusions they cause for residents.
Industrial wind turbine farms are proposed for the towns of Perry, Covington and Warsaw, NY that will permanently alter the towns. Large turbines create strong noise levels not only from wind through the blades but largely by the turbine mechanisms themselves. To capture the wind these turbines are to be installed on hill tops around the town and thus have significant potential to create a noise nuisance. Wind turbine noise added to the prevailing ambient background sound is an important environmental consideration when siting wind turbines since they are a permanent installation and may significantly impair resident’s enjoyment of neighboring lands or even personal health. Also, relevant consideration of noise impacts and mitigation measures are a specific requirement of a NY State Environmental Quality Review procedure, required before approval of permits.
PLATTSBURGH — An Article 78 action filed against several defendants challenges the State Environmental Quality Review Act process followed for the proposed wind-farm construction in Clinton County. The town councils of Altona, Clinton and Ellenburg, says paperwork filed in Clinton County, "acted arbitrarily and capriciously and in violation of both the spirit and letter of SEQRA when they accepted the FEIS (final environmental impact statement) "¦" Also named in the suit, which cites a Supreme Court date of this Friday "or as soon thereafter as counsel can be heard," are Clinton County Industrial Development Agency, Noble Environmental Power and its Altona, Clinton and Ellenburg wind parks.
HERKIMER - A town of Fairfield resident claims her daughter is in danger of adverse health impacts if a proposed wind energy project is pushed through in the towns of Fairfield and Norway. Resident Lisa Sementilli told county legislators during Wednesday night's session that her 10-year-old daughter suffers from a severe hearing problem that would only be aggravated by the noise produced by the wind turbines. Atlantic Renewable has proposed to construct a series of 65-70 wind turbines in the towns.
I have highlighted a few passages; in particular, the following, which Dr. Pierpont (my wife) tells me is textbook Wind Turbine Syndrome:
Because time seems to be running out on fossil fuels and the lure of non-polluting windpower is so seductive, some people are now promoting windpower initiatives at any cost, without investigating potential negative consequences-- and with no apparent knowledge of even recent environmental history......Throughout my experience, I could not substantiate a single claim developers made for industrial wind energy, including the one justifying its existence: that massive wind installations would meaningfully reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. When you understand this, you realize the wind business is not really that complex. But there are a lot of complicated issues swirling around it that obscure and distract from this main point, issues such as global warming, property values, the nature of wind leases, local revenues and taxes, wildlife, natural views, and a host of others. So how does one know the truth of it all? How does one go about separating the reality from spin?
Dr, Kenneth Jaffe's response to the health and safety content of a June 2006 presentation by the NY State Department of State (DOS) in Delware County, NY. The DOS presentation, which included a discussion of the impact of industrial turbine projects on communities and individuals, is intended to guide local officials in the process of writing regulations. Dr. Jaffe's response addresses what he believes are substantive misstatements, mischaracterizations, biased emphasis and faulty data contained in the DOS presentation.
While the industry portrays electricity-generating windmills as a benign and natural source of power, community opposition to new windmill farms is cropping up across the country - particularly in Eastern states, where there are more people fleeing urban blight to live in idyllic rural towns.
The idea of windmills brings to mind bucolic Renaissance paintings of Dutch landscapes and tulip beds. But that is hardly the experience of some who have to live next to the 400-foot electricity-generating windmills being built across America's breezy plains.
This testimony prepared and presented by Dr. Nina Pierpont is one of the first public acknowledgements of Wind Turbine Syndrome. An excerpt of Dr. Pierpont's testimony is shown below. Her full testimony can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
For those who live among the towers, the consequences of the development are palpable. The construction required building new roads and widening existing ones to make room for oversize vehicles. Hundreds of workers moved into town or stayed in trailers on the job site during the summer rush. The rural landscape was transformed into an industrial setting. Where stands of poplars and fields of corn and hay covered the plateau, the smooth lines of the light gray towers and steady rotation of the rotors now define the view. And the noises changed. The unobstructed wind has always been the dominant sound on the plateau. Now, the whoosh of the wind is mixed with the hum of the machines and a mechanical whomp of the blades turning.
...I want people to be well aware of the negative side of these giant windmills before allowing them to be built in your neighborhoods.