Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

April 14, 2013

April 14, 2013: Letters to the editor


Mass. finds turbines too costly to remove

Last week, two towns in Massachusetts have responded to complaints and curtailed operations of wind turbines.

Falmouth local government had voted unanimously to remove the town’s two turbines, but the $14 million price tag is too costly. The turbines went on line in 2010, and in May 2012 the town began turning them off 12 hours a day due to complaints of noise and physical and mental health problems that began with the turbines’ operation.

Energy-conscious residents who whole-heartedly supported wind energy became vehemently opposed when faced with the reality of headaches, sleeplessness, anxiety and vertigo related to noise, infrasound, vibrations and shadow flicker from industrial turbines sited too close to residences. Wednesday a Fairhaven, Mass., selectman called for turning off the town’s turbines at night to spare 57 families from ill effects.

All over the country and the world, people have learned the hard way that industrial wind installations must not be installed within a mile of homes. We cannot afford to learn the hard way! Every day more is known about the best siting of turbines to preserve quality of life for people. Restrictions and greater setbacks are being implemented everywhere.

Our federal government is burdening taxpayers with staggering debt while doling out billions to wind companies that are rushing to take advantage while the money is available. Let’s slow down the gravy train prompted by federal subsidies and do what is right. The financial gain of a few land owners must not be more important than citizens’ ability to inhabit and enjoy their very homes.

Anyone who reads the Tribune cannot help but be aware of the recent battle waged by Tipton County residents to halt the proliferation of wind farms. Their county commissioners have listened to residents’ concerns and responded with a moratorium on new wind energy projects while they review their zoning ordinance.

The Howard County commissioners meet at 8:30 a.m. Monday in the County Administration Center, 220 N. Main St., third floor, Room 338. Attend and let them know there is opposition to wind farms in Howard County.

Susie Cox

Greentown

Responsible setting of turbines needed

Elected officials should do the required research before deciding if and where industrial wind turbines will be located. It seems they are listening only to the sales pitches of the wind turbine industry. Please realize that facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

Wisconsin officials have looked at the research on how people are harmed by living too close to turbines. They examined the December 2012 report of the scientific study done at the Shirley Wind Farm (owned by Duke Energy) in Brown County, Wis. The findings of this report were so significant that Wisconsin denied the application for the Highland Wind Farm on Feb. 14.

Wisconsin’s Brown County Human Services Committee has approved a measure to ask the state to pay emergency aid to families living near the Shirley Wind Farm. The committee says the state allowed “irresponsible placement” of industrial wind turbines.

Wisconsin state Sen. Frank Lasee has heard the complaints about health and financial harm of his constituents in the Shirley Wind Farm and has responded. He is working on legislation that would make it easier for people who have been harmed by industrial wind turbines to sue for damages.

The bill would allow anyone harmed by industrial wind turbines to sue the owner of the turbine and the owner of the land where the turbine is located. They could seek damages for loss of property value, cost of moving, medical expenses, pain and suffering, attorney’s fees and any other loss as a result of an industrial wind turbine too close to their home or property.

 You must realize the Shirley Wind Farm has just eight wind turbines. Phase 1 of the Wildcat Wind Farm already has constructed 125 wind turbines; phase 2 will have 40-60; phase 3, 40-75; phase 4 is unknown. The Prairie Breeze Wind Farm proposal includes 93 wind turbines.

Counties in Indiana need to consider the welfare of all their residents before allowing turbines to be built. I want to encourage all Indiana county officials to be responsible in their decision-making concerning turbines. I am glad the elected officials in Tipton County have responded to the concerns of citizens and are re-examining the county’s wind ordinance.

Indiana may have wind, but it is also populated with people. Responsible setting of turbines is necessary, and they may not be a good fit for sections of Indiana. I don’t believe anyone in Indiana wants to duplicate the problems Wisconsin is experiencing.

Pat Slusher

Kempton