Articles filed under Noise from Wisconsin
Characteristic noises would include the footfalls of deer. "I have not seen a deer here since construction began," said Meyer, and the owls and hawks that used to frequent his woodlot are gone, too. While someone choosing to live near a freeway is moving next to the noise nowadays (since we're not building new freeways), in the case of wind farms, the noise is moving in.
The wind siting rules approved by the Public Service Commission, which preempt ordinances like the Town of Union's, allow a nighttime noise level of 45dba-or an approximate increase of 20 decibels over normal rural noise limits. Here, Mr. Bembinster explains how a 20 decibel increase will impact a rural community, and why masking turbine noise is so difficult.
A group of Brown County residents working to stop the wind farm proposed for the southern part of the county cites reports from the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health that suggest wind turbines located too close to homes or schools cause negative health impacts. "It is my opinion as a physician that the best evidence supports that building large wind energy turbines in close proximity to humans has a negative impact on the health," wrote Dr. Herbert Coussons.
A Chicago-based wind developer says the Wisconsin Public Service Commission has no legal basis to assert jurisdiction over a lawsuit filed by an Oakfield family that claims the Forward Energy Wind Farm caused them personal injury and diminished their property value.
For years, Jason and Ann Wirtz poured countless hours into transforming their country farmstead into a place where they could raise their family and grow old together. That dream has been blown away by the wind towers that sprang up around their County Trunk YY farmhouse located a half-mile north of Highway 49. Just 18 months after the 86-turbine Forward Energy Wind Center went online, the couple abandoned the home.
Jason and Ann Wirtz filed a noise complaint with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission earlier this month arguing that noise created by the surrounding turbines in the Forward Wind Energy Center created health issues for their family, created havoc with their alpaca-breeding herd, and forced them to leave their home. "Invenergy has a responsibility not to inflict hardship on the people. That's in the law," said Ed Marion, legal counsel for the Wirtzes.
A former town of LeRoy family has filed a formal complaint, April 1, with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission against Invenergy, a Chicago based energy company that owns the Forward Wind Energy Center located in Dodge and Fond du Lac Counties. Jason and Ann Wirtz and their four children used to reside in a home on Highway YY in the town of LeRoy which was situated within the FWEC.
"The Wirtzes were forced out of their home by the noise and vibration of the wind turbines," said Edward Marion, the family's lawyer. "So, they lost all the money in their house, and they lost the value of their livestock, which is a herd of alpacas."
A family's noise complaint against Invenergy LLC and its Forward Energy Wind Center in Brownsville is spooking wind farm developers trying to do business in the state. "I think it would have a devastating effect in Wisconsin," said Jim Naleid, managing director of Holmen-based AgWind Energy Partners LLC. "People are already avoiding the state because of the political trouble you can face getting a wind farm approved, and now this could just deter them further."
Two Oakfield residents Thursday sued Chicago-based Invenergy LLC for damages they suffered as a result of the development of the Forward Wind Energy Center near Brownsville.
A man who suffers from Tinnitus is worried if a wind farm goes up near his home, his ears would never stop ringing. "I'll be like a man in a torture chamber," said Bernie Hagen. Wisconsin based Allina Energy will begin building the Bent Tree Wind Farm in Freeborn County in April. 122 turbines will sprout up across 32,500 acres.
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.
About eight months ago, Melissa Smedema got wind of We Energy's plans to set up a 90-turbine wind farm in the Columbia County towns of Scott and Randolph. She said she went door to door in Wisconsin communities where wind farms already exist, and heard stories of noise, vibrations, headaches, dizziness and sleepless nights.
As wind-power generation has ramped up, so have concerns about the health effects of living near wind farms. Although major environmental groups such as Greenpeace and the National Resources Defense Council have voiced strong support for wind power, opposition from a few grassroots anti-wind power groups potentially could hinder development in populated areas.
Not long after the wind turbines began to spin in March near Gerry Meyer's home, his son Robert, 13, and wife, Cheryl, complained of headaches. They have trouble sleeping, and Cheryl Meyer, 55, sometimes feels a fluttering in her chest. Gerry is sometimes nauseated and hears crackling. The culprit, they say, is the whooshing sound from the five industrial wind turbines near the 6-acre spread where they have lived for 37 years.
Do you live inside an industrial wind farm? I do. I live within the Forward-Invenergy project. It is a tremendous invasion of our life style and a horrible happening to our area. My wife, our 13-year-old son and I have experienced headaches, nausea, light headedness, lack of sleep because we hear them in all rooms of our house ...I trusted the elected officials of the town and county and the state's public service commission. That was a terrible mistake. If you allow large industrial limits closer than the set backs I mentioned above you will regret it. It will divide your community.
I finally decided to write my opinion on the wind turbine towers. Actually it's more my personal experience. ...I would challenge anyone who thinks wind turbines make little or no noise to live next to one 24/7 for two weeks straight. Then they might be qualified to speak accurately on the subject. The wind turbines are noisy!
Wind turbines are noisy a lot of the time - very noisy. There are two sounds, a motor drone and an intermittent whooshing sound. The noise is constant, loud and penetrating. This noise penetrates my house; especially my bedroom at night, when it is at its loudest because of the cool air at ground level. This noise is with my windows closed. Disturbing your sleep, yes; good for your health, no. Your comment that this is a noise crickets can drown out is wrong. The sound from the turbines drowns out the noise of the crickets. It's obvious you have not experienced turbine noise in your bedroom.
Two brothers-in-law, a country road in northwest Missouri, a fistfight ...Surely it's happened before, but probably never over wind energy. ...At the heart of the dispute: Just how healthy is the noise from wind turbines? ...In Rock County, Union Township residents studied medical and scientific research for months before drafting their wind ordinance, which says a setback of at least a half-mile from inhabited structures is needed to avoid health problems. Tom Alisankus, chairman of the committee that drafted the ordinance, said committee members found in their research that the state of Wisconsin had no medical or scientific data to back a model ordinance with a 1,000-foot setback. Proposed legislation that would have allowed the state's Public Service Commission to set statewide siting standards failed to reach a vote before the session ended last month. Doctors in other countries, including Canada, England, France, Australia and New Zealand, have written papers about similar illnesses in people who live near wind farms. ..."Does noise bother people differently? Absolutely," said Smith, the area audiologist. "It can have a very debilitating effect." But, he said, before anyone can conclude that the wind turbines are harmful, a major study must be done.
What constitutes protection of public health and safety for siting and operating 400-foot industrial wind turbines with capacities of 1.65 to 2 megawatts? That question stirred lots of activity and animosity in Calumet County in 2007. ...Among the common themes were unacceptable noise levels that disrupted sleeping and other activities, shadowing and flickering inside residences, health problems and attitude changes in their families, loss of property value, interference with television reception and Internet services, and refusal by wind energy system owner/operators to deal with complaints. Concerns specific to Calumet County included protection of groundwater in a very sensitive geological area, flight corridors for medical helicopters between Chilton and Fox Cities hospitals and sheriff and state patrol microwave relay pathways.