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Wind turbine placement must consider vibration effect on animals 

Author:  | Health, Noise, Ontario, Wildlife

When researching the impact the impacts of industrial wind turbines on migration of birds and bats, please consider the following:

I live in close proximity to a wind farm on the north shore of Lake Erie, the closest turbine being 460 meters from my property of 2.4 acres.

This wind farm is located in Clear Creek, Ontario and is comprised of 18 – 1.65 MW Vestas V82’s.

It is an extension of the Erie Shores Wind Farm in Port Burwell Ontario, a wind farm that is comprised of 66 – 1.5 MW GE sle turbines.

I am relating my personal experiences to you so that you might have a background on the consequences of this wind farm.

My home is now virtually uninhabitable because of the infrasound and low frequency noise emanating from these turbines. We (the locals) also believe the turbines/substation is generating stray voltage, a matter we are having trouble in finding a government body for which to be held accountable. I do still live here, but only because I cannot afford the financial burden of an additional mortgage and property taxes.

Upon commission of the Clear Creek wind farm I started to exhibit many symptoms that could be identified with Wind Turbine Syndrome. Because of a layoff this past summer, I now spend each and every day at home. The ensuing constant, prolonged exposure, has caused my health to decline rapidly.

The following is an account of a particularly bad night:

I live in Clear Creek adjacent to the wind farm. Once again, I’ve been woken up by the turbines. I can hear the deep humming sound and I can feel the vibrations through my entire house. Both are even more detectable when I lay my head down to sleep. I can hear and feel them through my pillow.

I can also hear the sound of killdeer outside, and it occurs to me that this isn’t the first time I’ve heard them at strange hours of the night. They seem especially agitated right now, and it strikes me that they, these birds that roost on the ground, are feeling what I’m feeling, perhaps to an even larger degree since they have direct contact to the ground. The vibrations have woken them up as well and they are flying around throughout the night in order to escape them. In fact, these poor creatures have it even worse than I do because they have to keep flying and expend energy in order to be free of the vibrations that are disturbing what they had deemed home for the night. These birds are going to be exhausted before migration even starts. With industrial wind farms from northern Ontario down through the States, where will these birds ever find a resting spot?

Another thing. There are no frogs in my pond this year. It takes 150 paces to circle my pond. It used to be with each step or so I could hear one jump into the water. I don’t believe they could see me coming for all the bulrushes around the edges and with banks 5 to 20 feet high. They were able to detect my footsteps as I approached. It would be my guess that these vibrations are intolerable to them as well. Either that or the vibrations have stopped the eggs from developing. But they’re not there anymore. Not one.

It’s now past 3 AM; 4 hours later and the killdeer are still disturbed. If they don’t sleep now and have to sleep in the day to compensate for it, how do they find time to gather the food they need?

This low-frequency/infrasound is making me dizzy, and the vibrations can be physically felt when I lay my head down. A couple of weeks ago, desperate for sleep, I actually went out to my truck at 4.30 AM, thinking the rubber tires would eliminate the vibrations. This actually worked, although you could still hear the hum and I was still dizzy. Tonight, the killdeer are up in the trees, calling to each other. I think in an attempt to do the same thing.

If this ‘noise’ can make a human skull resonate, make me dizzy, what does it do to the skulls of these killdeer and other small-framed animals? What does it do to their internal organs?

Three times I have traveled 20 km away on bad nights to escape these vibrations. On those nights I could still hear and feel the vibrations through the couch I slept on – 20 km away. I could tell they were from the wind farm because of their cyclic rhythm.

Although the impact of industrial wind farms on migration is necessary and commendable, it is my concern that not nearly enough attention is being paid to the seismic vibrations generated by these wind farms.

In addition to the above account, I have noted killdeer eggs in my driveway that never hatched.

There are alarming reports of fewer snakes in our area.

This in conjunction with reports of stillborn seals in the vicinity of offshore turbines, reports of pregnant women being hurriedly bought-out, silenced and gagged.

Having experienced these vibrations for myself, I really worry about the impact of industrial wind farms on the eggs of all creatures that reside on the ground, in the water; the impact on the environment as a whole.

Vibrations felt from 20 km away.

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

The copyright of this material resides with the author(s). As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Queries e-mail.

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