Recently, the Cumberland, MD newspaper reported a story of the effect an Everpower project, known as Twin Ridges, is having on residents of a PA community near the Maryland state line. Noise, a constant hum, headaches and shadow flicker from 68 turbines built by Everpower are described. Residents report that they receive no resolution of the complaints they file with the company. What is perhaps one of the most surprising points made in this story by Everpower’s representative, Michael Speerscheider, is that when they measure noise levels, they “filter out” the “background noise”. Siting procedures and rules for noise differ from state to state and community to community but it would have seemed to us that a “normal” background noise level would have been agreed upon prior to building the facility and that current noise levels would assume that anything over the preconstruction background noise would be due to the wind turbines. To have Everpower claim that by using their own equipment, they are within noise limits seems odd to us.
UNU has consistently expressed concern about complaint resolution procedures which even today have not been proposed by Everpower for the Buckeye project. To read that after 20 complaints have been made by one family, the problem continues at such a level as to motivate the family to post a huge sign by their driveway saying “This is God’s Country – Why am I living in the dark, deep, depths of Hell?” is certainly troubling.
A comment filed by another resident following the newspaper story speaks to the finances of the Twin Ridges project. “Time for accountability and transparency….Twin Ridge is project name, but it is Big Savage, LLC is a subsidiary of Everpower. They received $65,408,684.00 on Jan. 24, 2013 from the US Treasury. In addition, it also received state subsidies: “Matthew Karnell, director of the Commonwealth Financing Authority’s programs division for the Department of Community and Economic Development, said the agency awarded Twin Ridges a $12.7 million grant that was essential to construction So, total federal and state subsidies equaled: $78,108,684 . Good grief….
Tammy and Joe McKenzie believe they live in the “dark, deep depths of hell” beneath the shadow flicker, high- and low-frequency sounds emitting from wind turbines that are part of the EverPower Twin Ridges Wind Farm.
The wind farm is located on the Big Savage Ridge area near the Maryland-Pennsylvania border.
Some of the 68 wind turbines that are part of the farm can be seen from Cumberland when looking through the Narrows and from Frostburg and Mount Savage.
The project went into operation in late 2012.
“It causes a lot of problems because I’m not leaving here,” said Tammy McKenzie, who was visibly upset during a recent interview at her home. “This is our dream home and we should not have to give it up … We have lost the enjoyment of our home and our property — something we have worked our entire life on.”
The sound of the wind turbines causes Joe McKenzie to feel pressure in his head and he can sense whether the turbines are turned on without looking due to ringing in his ears, Tammy McKenzie said.
The McKenzies say they measured decibel readings as high as 87 but were told those results aren’t accurate because they didn’t use a professional meter.
The companys engineer who conducts the noise abatement analysis uses a meter that filters out background noises and measures just the sound of the wind turbines, said Michael Speerschneider, chief permitting and public policy officer with EverPower….