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Testimony to Vt. Senate Committee for Health and Welfare  

Author:  | Health, Human rights, Noise

Luann Therrien, Sheffield: “Before the turbines were built, we felt we did not know enough about Industrial Wind to have an informed opinion. We did not oppose them being built. We did not oppose the many inconveniences during construction that comes with a project this size. We did not oppose the project, not until it was up and running and creating noise. Creating noise that – unlike what the wind developers will try and make you believe – IS distinguishable above natural sounds. I have never heard anything in nature make a repetitive whoosh whoosh whoosh sound for up to five days straight. And the only thing I have heard sound like a jet flying overhead, except for these wind turbines, is a jet flying overhead. This has now been going on for over a year. …

“My husband has been feeling so bad that he is currently unable to work, his doctor has pulled him from his job. It’s impossible to work when you cannot concentrate due to lack of sleep, a constant pulsing in your head like a painless migraine and have the constant feeling of a head rush no matter what you are doing. Steve wakes up startled during the night in a panic state and can not go back to sleep. He has dry heaves almost every morning and has thrown up a few times. Being pulled from his job being unfit to work means he cannot collect unemployment. We have been living very frugally off of our income tax return. This money will run out, not sure what we will do then.

“Both of us have a lack of concentration. Many days we have this odd pressure in our heads. Can feel the pressure in our foreheads, cheeks even in the front teeth with a feeling of pressure as if something is pressing on the bridge of the nose. Many mornings we wake with the feeling of motion sickness. … When a visitor asked our 3 year old what he thinks of the wind turbines, he put his little hands up and covered his ears. Most nights both of our children have restless nights and both regularly cry out in their sleep. We have no idea what kind of permanent harm may potentially be being done.

“We are getting so tired of feeling like hell everyday. We feel as bad when we get up as when we go to bed. Frustrating isn’t even the right word to described how it feels to get up in the morning already feeling tired, angry and agitated. …

“The 16 turbines are all from just under 3/4 of a mile (5 are under a mile) to just under 2 miles from our home. …”

Sandy Reider, MD, Lyndonville: “In my small private practice I have seen a half dozen or so patients who are suffering from living in proximity to these turbines. For the sake of brevity, I’d like to describe just the patient I saw in my office who first alerted me to this problem, and whom I had known well for several years. He was a healthy, 33 year old man living about 1800 feet from an NPS 100Kw turbine sitting atop a tower 162 feet in height on the top of Burke Mountain. Within a few weeks of its start up in the fall of 2011, he began to experience increasingly severe insomnia, waking multiple times at night with severe anxiety and heart palpitations, and experiencing during the daytime pressure headaches, nausea, ringing in his ears, and difficulty concentrating … all this in a person who regularly had enjoyed 8-9 hours of uninterrupted restful sleep his entire life and was otherwise quite healthy. The diagnosis eluded us both for 6-8 weeks, until finally he and his wife returned from a 2 week vacation during which all his symptoms disappeared, but slowly reappeared within 3-4 days of his return to their home in Burke. … This phenomenon of resolution of all his symptoms when spending his nights away from home was confirmed over the ensuing 9 months dozens of times …

“There several points worth mentioning in this illustrative case:

“First, he had paid little or no attention to the turbine while it was being installed and after it began generating electricity (indeed, the turbine was barely visible from his home and not at all obtrusive in his viewscape). His attitude toward renewable energy was not negative in the least. Naturally, when it became clear to him (and myself) that the turbine was related to his distress, his attitude changed considerably, even approaching a feeling of dread when the wind was up and coming out of the west or northwest.

“Second, at no time did he actually hear any noise or sound. Where he lived the turbine was inaudible. As subsequent patients have described it, the sound is often felt more than heard, a phenomenon typical of low and very low frequency sound pressure waves, perhaps somewhat akin to what big bass speakers in the trunk of a teenager’s car may sound, or feel, like as they drive past your house.

“Third, the 100Kw NPS turbine on its 162 foot tower in this case is quite small in comparison to the 450 foot towers in Sheffield and Lowell, and certainly in comparison to the 500 foot 2.5 MW turbines proposed for the Seneca Mountain Project in Newark, Brighton, and Ferdinand. …”

Stanley Shapiro, MD, FAAC, Rutland: Health Considerations of Industrial Wind Turbines: Issues of Sleep Deprivation and Cardiac Risk [presentation]

As provided by Vermonters for a Clean Environment; where other audio and video testimony is also provided

This article is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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