(Life sucks) In the Shadow of Wind Farms

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This is a very comprehensive study, investigating individuals from all over the USA, regarding the negative effects of living in the shadow of BigWind…

A six-month GateHouse Media investigation found that wind developers representing some of the world’s biggest energy companies divide communities and disrupt the lives of residents forced to live in the shadow of their industrial wind farms.

Reporters interviewed more than 70 families living near three dozen current or proposed wind farms. They also spoke to 10 state and local lawmakers, read hundreds of pages of public-service-commission records about wind projects, reviewed court filings in seven wind-related lawsuits and inspected lease agreements from at least eight wind farms.

GateHouse Media also identified through public documents and media reports an additional 400 families living near industrial wind turbines that have publicly complained about shadow flicker, noise, health problems and/or misleading statements by wind companies in an effort to solicit land agreements.

The investigation found that companies convince landowners to sign away their property rights for generations based on the promise of potential profits and the minimization of potential problems associated with wind turbines.

Those problems include shadow flicker, loud noises and low-frequency vibrations that have driven dozens of families from their homes. Many of them claim to have suffered serious health issues from the turbines before departing. Some say they’ll never be the same.

The wind industry has known about these issues for years – many of its contracts contain clauses acknowledging these effects – but it denies turbines affect human health, even as complaints mount nationwide.

Landowners often overlook potential problems until it’s too late. Many who sign contracts can’t terminate the agreements, even if they later beg for relief from what they deem intolerable living conditions. Some covenants bar people from suing or even publicly criticizing the projects.

Those who don’t sign agreements can face the same impact of living near wind turbines erected on neighboring properties. But they receive no compensation for the shadow flicker, noises and vibrations…

Wind developers have settled more than a half-dozen such cases nationwide, even while admitting no wrongdoing. Among the companies to settle is Michigan-based Consumers Energy, which owns Lake Winds Energy Park. The Shineldeckers were among several neighbors who sued the company…

Proposed wind projects also have fractured rural communities across America, pitting neighbor against neighbor in fights over property rights and money.

Many worry about the impact these turbines will have on their homes – some families interviewed have moved out of their houses after wind farms started operating; others have stayed but suffer from shadow flicker, noises and vibrations.

Elected officials tasked with voting on these developments have, in many cases, signed their own contracts with the wind companies, raising concerns about conflicts of interest.

Cary and Karen Shineldecker in their Mason County, Michigan, home. | Lucille Sherman | GateHouse Media

Among the investigation’s findings:

• Despite a growing chorus of complaints, the wind industry has expanded largely unopposed. Ten years ago, less than 300 industrial wind farms dotted the U.S. landscape. Today, more than 1,000 exist. Much of the growth has been funded by American taxpayers. Billions of dollars in state and federal incentives have made wind farms so profitable that companies are racing to develop them before the handouts disappear.

• Industrial wind turbines generate countless complaints nationwide about sleep disturbances, migraines, nausea, ear pressure, blurred vision, tinnitus and heart palpitations. Rampant reports about such effects from the Shirley Wind Farm in Brown County, Wisconsin, prompted the local Board of Health to declare the turbines a human health hazard.

• Wind industry officials have denounced people who complain about these symptoms, calling them misinformed or “anti-wind.” Some wind companies offer money or other concessions to frequent complainers, often in exchange for silence and a waiver for turbine-related claims. “I call it a shut-up clause,” said Jim Miller of South Dakota, who refused to sign such an agreement with Florida-based NextEra.

• Wind developers have used what some landowners describe as misleading tactics to get their contracts signed. Attorneys asked to review several such contracts called them one-sided, giving wind companies sweeping control over people’s property with few rights for the landowner.

• Wind farms have divided communities across America. Contracted landowners eyeing profits spar with neighbors opposing turbines near their backyards. Lifelong friendships can end. Families sometimes fray. Hopkinton, New York, resident Janice Pease said she stopped talking to relatives who support a proposed wind farm in their town. Pease adamantly opposes it.

Turbines from the Glacier Hills Wind Park in Columbia County, Wisconsin, churn in the late afternoon sun. | Arturo Fernandez | GateHouse Media

WIND INDUSTRY DENIES CLAIMS

GateHouse Media reached out to seven wind energy companies, including some of the nation’s largest, and two nonprofit groups that support the wind industry. Those representatives denied almost all of the investigation’s findings.

Every wind industry official interviewed said that relatively few people complain about wind turbines compared to the thousands of Americans living peacefully among the structures.

“We have 1,300 turbines in operation across the United States,” said Duke Energy spokeswoman Tammie McGee. Except for one wind farm in Wisconsin, “we don’t see these types of complaints at our other turbines.”

Many of the people who do complain, several representatives said, are well-known among industry insiders and comprise a small but vocal group of anti-wind activists…

When asked about the studies that do establish a link, those same wind officials disputed the validity of those papers and the credentials of the researchers…

People might be annoyed by wind turbines, several wind representatives said. But they’re not getting sick from them…

Rather than divide communities, they said their projects improve the lives of all residents. Some towns hold festivals commemorating their wind farms. Enyo Renewable Energy Principal Christine Mikell mentioned the Wind Fest in Spanish Fork, Utah, which hosts a nine-turbine wind farm.

“We have hundreds of landowners who are pleased to have us come to their communities,” said Bryan Garner of Florida-based NextEnergy Resources, the biggest wind energy producer in America with more than 100 wind farms…

 

Communities can also benefit financially from wind farms. The construction of these multi-million-dollar projects employs hundreds of temporary workers and adds new, taxable revenue to local and state coffers…

FORCED TO MOVE

As the wind industry continues to expand, so do its critics.

Hundreds of residents nationwide have claimed industrial wind turbines make them sick. Several families say the structures have forced them from their homes…

“People don’t give up their homes for no reason,” Ed Hobart said, responding to claims the symptoms were all in his head. “It had financial and emotional and health impacts on me and my wife that we will never be fully recovered from.”…

When the sun passes behind those blades, it creates a strobe-like phenomenon called shadow flicker that can disorient and nauseate those forced to live with it….

But even as complaints mount across the nation, the wind industry steadfastly denies turbines impact human health.

“We are aware of some of the cases where individuals come to believe that wind turbines are the cause of their health concerns, and we feel great sympathy for anyone who is suffering from illness of any kind,” said Dahvi Wilson of Apex Clean Energy, which owns several wind farms nationwide.

But, Wilson said, science doesn’t support their claims. And until it does, the company will continue to build wind farms based on current best practices.

The wind industry frequently cites a 2014 Health Canada study that found no direct association between health problems and wind turbines. The study involved more than 1,200 residents in 18 wind farms.

But the same study also found wind turbines “highly annoy” about one in 10 people, especially those living closest to the structures and those exposed to turbine noises exceeding 35 decibels.

That annoyance is “statistically related” to reports of migraines, tinnitus, dizziness and high blood pressure….

Researchers using low-frequency meters have found a link between wind turbines and “sensations of uneasiness and personal disturbance,” as well as “extreme pressure” and “headache or nausea or dizziness.”

One of the first to do this was Neil Kelley, a now-retired scientist from the National Wind Technology Center in Denver. The U.S. Department of Energy and NASA hired Kelley three decades ago to investigatecomplaints about their wind turbine near Boone, North Carolina.

Kelley and his colleagues determined after extensive testing that “the annoyance was real and not imagined,” the result of acoustic impulses.

Kelley did not return calls for comment.

LIKE MOTION SICKNESS

These acoustic impulses – or low-frequency sound waves – stimulate parts of the inner ear responsible for balance, motion and spatial orientation and that they provoke symptoms similar to motion sickness, some researchers say.

“If you’re sitting still and something is causing the same fluids to move, your brain doesn’t know that it’s a false signal,” said Rick James, an acoustical engineer who has written papers on the subject. “But you open your eyes and say, ‘I’m sitting still, but I feel like I’m moving.’”

The Minnesota Department of Health noted the phenomenon in 2009 paper. It found low-frequency waves cause more problems inside a house than outside because, rather than block the pulsations, the walls amplify them.

Darlene Mueller wept as she described how turbines in the Blue Sky Green Field Wind Energy Center in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, sickened her inside her home…

 

DRAGGED THROUGH THE MUD

But some wind farm residents who spoke out about their problems said the industry belittles them. It dismisses their complaints as unfounded or labels them troublemakers, multiple people said.

It has silenced many of their neighbors whom they said suffer the same symptoms but fear the consequences of speaking out…

After Cary Shineldecker went public about his experience in Michigan’s Lake Winds Energy Park, an energy company executive singled him out at a meeting several states away.

Mike Blazer of Chicago-based Invenergy claimed to know Shineldecker’s medical history. He told a crowd in Clear Lake, South Dakota, that Shineldecker’s health woes stemmed from alcohol use, obstructive sleep apnea and an irregular heartbeat – not wind turbines…

Shineldecker said he was stunned to learn about the incident from an attorney who attended the meeting. He said he has neither sleep apnea nor alcohol problems and never received a diagnosis for those problems.

“All I ever had to go on was my integrity and honesty and work ethic,” Shineldecker said, “and then to be belittled and treated like some whack-job psycho liar is kind of unbelievable.”

Iowa wind farm resident Terry McGovern said he faced disparagement by Apex Clean Energy.

The Virginia-based company accused McGovern of holding “a personal anti-wind agenda” and claimed he would spread misinformation and generate unfounded fear of wind energy ahead of a public presentation he gave.

Apex made the claims in a July 2017 letter it sent to landowners discouraging them from attending the presentation, held near the site of its proposed Upland Prairie Wind farm in northwest Iowa.

McGovern denies holding an anti-wind agenda but is publicly critical of the industry and its business practices. His Iowa Wind Action Group calls for greater setbacks for industrial turbines to protect human health.

“Instead of focusing on the issues, they try to discredit the person,” McGovern said. “That way, they can avoid talking about the facts.”..

 

 

via In the Shadow of Wind Farms

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The ‘rest of the story’ about Van Wert, Ohio turbines

How often does BigWind create a positive atmosphere in the community? How often does it bring unity? How often do Facts relay the Truth? rarely…..

To the editor,

Citizens for Clear Skies is a group formed to bring the truth to the community on the dynamics of wind energy. We are accused of only being negative from the opposition group. This is our collaborative response to their last letter:

We see significant reductions in this technology globally due to governments becoming more educated in time over the detrimental impact to consumer power bills.

We see an intermittent “resource”, one that is rarely present when consumers need it most….

We see structures that bring an “urban” feel to the country by dominating the skies, not the peace and quiet we feel we deserve by choosing to live rurally.

We see greed at the expense of your neighbors in their property value depreciation.

We see companies that use schools as their primary pawns, then paint those opposed as anti-school and anti-community.

We see taxpayer backed technologies that put hundred of millions into the pockets of company investors, while providing a fraction of that profit to a community affected….

We see farmers that have a choice whether to prevent urban sprawl or choose to sell their land.

We see a community where farmers by far have the most capital and land, as compared to other residents.

We see and hear countless stories of shadow flicker, sound and vibrational disturbances that cause serious negative health impacts on many, not non-intrusive objects to farm around.

We see trespass zoning and zoning laws that protect all citizens, not someone’s right to circumvent laws that have existed much longer than this technology.

We see small town residents buying into the massive expansion of government instead of maintaining the small government principles that make our country work better.

We see energy that is inherently more expensive and less reliable when we need it most, one that does little or nothing to reduce CO2 emissions.

We see an issue in climate change, one where relevant studies and data from opposition is completely suppressed by a willing media to promote their leftist agenda, rather than allow public debate.

We see a negative contribution to a country already 20 trillion dollars in debt, a debt that our children will have to repay at some point, the kind of big government that would make Eastern European countries proud (while they are ironically reducing this technology significantly)….

We see community and family division, not a positive attitude, solely created by this intrusion.

Hopefully Van Wert really digs into this issue and realizes what is happening globally with this technology. Recently one wind developer claimed that Ohio was not a solid wind energy resource. Wind energy is being fought and failing in many places in the country, not just Van Wert. People in the Blue Creek foot print are suffering. There are ample testimonials of families and their dealings with wind energy. It is claimed that wind energy will attract people to live here, but we find that to be dishonest. Ask someone considering relocation to Van Wert if they would buy a rural property under monstrous wind turbines, or would choose to live in the city or elsewhere? We think that answer is pretty obvious.

Citizens for Clear Skies

Sometimes, turbines make grown men cry

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The following letter elicits many emotions that range from beautiful to maddening, but this is why we fight. This is why we care. This is why we must stand up to the injustice that BigWind brings into our communities…

“I’m home, safe and sound.”Words that should always go together.
But yesterday I had an emotional visit with Ted Hartke and his beautiful wife Jessica.
I was returning from Missouri and, with nothing but time to kill on my 11 hour drive home, I gave Ted a call.

He pointed out that I would be very near the home he and his family abandoned due to wind turbine noise and he would like to take me through the now-empty home. So I took him up on the offer.
We spent a long time together…
It is hard to describe the feelings Ted and Jessica expressed as we visited in front of the abandoned home that was once their dream.
Violated? Robbed? Victimized?
All the things that were so important to them only three years ago- before the turbines went into operation-things like getting the yard just right, picking the right paint colors and flooring, and commemorating their new-home-in-progress with their very young children’s hand prints in freshly poured concrete- were stripped of their precious value by by the nuisance trespass of Chicago-based InvEnergy, a multi-billion dollar wind energy corporation with little conscience.
As soon as the turbines went into operation, the noise from the nearly 500′ tall turbines invaded their home and deprived them of sleep. When operating at or near their rated capacity, every pass of the a turbine blade sent low frequency noise pulsation through the wall of their home, stealing their rest.
Nothing would stop they noise. They moved all their beds into the interior of their home in a futile attempt to escape invading energy. They asked Invenergy to stop the turbines and they sometime complied. But in the end, profits were more important than people.
So they abandoned their dream home that was in “just the perfect spot with a perfect view” and instead took on a second home and a second mortgage and all the additional expenses that come with two homes. Maybe some would have just left the lender high and dry. But Ted and Jessica aren’t those kind of people.
Ted and Jessica have finally found a new home and are improving that new home like we all do.
New homes usually bring joy and a sense of new adventure. But Ted and Jessica’s new home experience is haunted by dark thoughts born of bitter experience.
The first thought (expressed in my words): “We already went though the hard negotiations couples go through as they decorate a home together. Paint colors, finishes, landscaping, kitchen designs. It is stressful enough for a couple to do once. But now we are forced to go through it again due to someone else’s negligent behavior.” And the second thought: “Dare we invest our emotions into another home when our hearts were broken in those moments the turbines started to spin just three years ago?”
The feelings are the feelings of grief and loss. And violation.
They struggle together, recovering from trauma- an unnecessary and pointless trauma- that, unbeknownst to them, began years ago as opportunistic and now faceless lobbyists roamed the nation’s legislatures under a false cloak of credibility selling a bogus cure for an over-hyped disease. And their trauma was enabled by all-too-willing engineers and planning commissioners who violated their oaths to protect human beings from harm.
They profit. Ted and Jessica paid.
Just like Cary Shineldecker and Karen L. Ward Shineldecker paid. And just like the David Peplinski family and all the other past and present litigants and victims in Huron County, Missaukee County, Delta County, Mason County and across the Midwest. They borrow against their retirement to hire attorneys to then spend years in court trying to recover their most precious commodity- a home, safe and sound. And at best they receive money. But money does not bring justice.
Ted said to me “Imagine being at a party and seeing a man tapping your wife lightly on the shoulder, again and again. That would be annoying for my wife. But how much worse would it be for me as her husband to have to stand by and be powerless to stop it? Those turbines-InvEnergy turbines-reached through the walls of our house and touched my wife and my children and I could not make it stop.”
That is when Ted and I, two grown men well over 6 feet tall, “tough rugged and independent”, stood in his Illinois driveway and wept.
People think wind turbines look cool.
But sometimes wind turbines make people cry.
Cary Shineldecker and Karen L. Ward Shineldecker and I have wept. Ted and Jessica and I have wept. I have cried many times when talking to victims of irresponsible wind development and with those who try to halt it.
I am not ashamed. I weep for people who are needless victims.
And I also weep for those who watch suffering and do not weep…and do not make it stop.
-Kevon Martis

Illinois residents hear the truth about BigWind and say NO

It is incredible that BigWind denies the truth about the noise, flicker and vibrations, when there are individuals, all over the world, experiencing the problems! Will Wind Turbines become the next scandal like cigarettes? Not only do you read about individuals affected by BigWind, in this article, but you can read the 2nd link (bottom of page) about more individuals suffering in Illinois. One affected citizen complains about noise and he resides 1.5 miles AWAY from a turbine!?! We must be vigilant to stop the efforts of BigWind attempting to reduce our setbacks in Ohio  – below 1,250 feet…..

After 40 days of hearings, the Bureau County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) recommended denial of all of the 127 applications of Walnut Ridge Wind LLC (WRW) to build industrial wind turbines. The ZBA considered the testimony of dozens of witnesses and experts on the impacts of such turbines. Six different people who live near projects in Illinois and Wisconsin testified the turbines cause extreme noise, flickering shadows, vibration and sleep deprivation. They suffered from symptoms commonly known as Wind Turbine Syndrome which involves feelings of motion sickness and vertigo. Three of the families abandoned their dream homes to escape the turbines.

An expert testified that neighbors will sustain up to a 50 percent loss in the value of their property. Nonetheless, WRW refuses to site turbines away from people’s homes nor will it agree to any property value protection plan. The ZBA unanimously found “the applicant has not produced sufficient evidence that the project will not diminish residential property values along the footprint.”…

 

Source: Zoning board denies wind turbines applications | Bureau County Republican

additional: Illinois wind problems

Will Everpower ignore resident complaints in Ohio, too?

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 $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….

via Residents say wind turbines cause heartache – The Cumberland Times-News: News.

906 Homes IN OHIO are less than a mile from a turbine…. | Welcome to Greenwich Neighbors United

This is Huron county, Ohio, where a developer has proposed another project for Ohio. Do you have friends/family that live there? Call them and ask them to get involved! Don’t think this couldn’t be YOU next….

Take a look, what we now call home, Greenwich, Ohio an historical rural farming community will become a Wind-Powered Electric Generation Facility unless “We the People” let our governor, state and federal representatives, the Ohio Power Siting Board [always include case no. 13-0990-EL-BGN when communicating with them] on down know of your displeasure! Get moving Greenwich, click on the menu buttons to the left, you will be taken to the page where you may email them. Oh, and by the way, our township trustees are still also very much a part of this, so don’t forget to become involved at both the township & county levels see schedule below!…

via 906 Homes are less than a mile from a turbine…. | Welcome to Greenwich Neighbors United.

Farmers’ coalition warning us about BigWind !!!

Please share with your neighbors and family members. The $ offered to farmers is very enticing….

The Informed Farmers Coalition IFC was formed five years ago to study the impacts of wind turbines on our agricultural and residential community. The group consists of past or present union iron workers, school teachers, township officials, lawyers, a farm manager, a plumber, a fireman, a mechanic, school board members, county board member, union truck drivers, a dentist, retail workers, construction workers, nurses, union equipment operators, hospital workers, a social worker, bookkeepers, a school administrator, salesmen, an electrical engineer for Com Ed, an EMT, numerous local business owners, large/small landowners, homeowners, and of course, farmers – many of whom are the third and fourth generation on that farm. Many are lifetime residents of this agricultural community.

They have discovered, through sworn testimony throughout the state, that people are suffering from the same health issues, noise disturbances, untruthful wind company promises, property value losses, etc. The ongoing research brings the discovery our local landowners may be responsible for the property taxes and decommissioning of the wind turbine should the wind company walk away from the project. The turbine property tax bill stays in the name of the landowner with the bill being listed c/o of the wind company. So ultimately if the wind company doesn’t pay, it will be sent to the landowner.

IFC became aware some of our local landowners with signed contracts had never seen a map where their turbines were projected to be placed. The map presented with the petition to the county also shows underground transmission lines. Some landowners were not aware transmission lines would go through their property and did not think they had signed up for that. One landowner agreed to a contract but for only 80 acres of his property. But when IFC was researching at the county, they discovered his contract was filed containing all 560 acres of his property.

The real experts about wind turbines are the citizens living among them. IFC has attended numerous county meetings across the state of Illinois only to realize the people testifying under oath all have the same story – homes where they can no longer live or sell due to noise and health issues; wind companies that townships must sue to collect their rightful money; trespassing of heavy equipment on non-participating land that compact the soil for years as well as damage crops and tile; crop dusting problems; GPS systems that no longer get a signal; cell phones and TV reception problems; etc.  IFC is aware that Lifeline helicopters may not choose to land in a turbine area; this was needed this spring for a local farm accident. A letter from a school superintendent states the children in his school district are suffering from the effects of the turbines, since they went online.

IFC also became aware that once a person signs a contract they have agreed to a gag order that restricts them from talking about the wind company…

via Guest Commentary | BCRNews.com.