Last night’s town hall meeting at the Tyrone Senior Center with 30th District Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr. was full of great information and answers to many questions and/or rumors that have been circulating in Tyrone over some major issues. Our readers will get a full dose of the highlighted topics Senator Eichelberger addressed the rest of this week in a serious of articles I have prepared. There was too much to write about for one article.
I personally was interested in what Blue Knob resident, Dr. Todd Stull said at the meeting about his situation with the noise generated by the wind turbines at the Gamesa constructed Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm. I decided to use my opinion space to make room for Dr. Stull’s opinion on the wind farm. I think the people of Tyrone who were not present last night, whether for or against wind development on Ice Mountain, should be aware of his situation. Regardless if a borough resident will not be directly affected by wind turbine noise, there are people around here that it will affect.
Again, the following is Dr. Stull’s opinion:
“There’s a major windmill issue. These companies come through the townships, and I know they’re coming through Tyrone, and they’re trying to get windmills put in. These companies are coming through and trying to railroad the townships and municipalities to get wind power and turbines placed.
“I’m speaking from personal experience because where we live in Blue Knob, we have six of these turbines that have gone up in the last two years. The closest one is within 2,500 feet of our house, and it is a major issue with the noise. It is not a ‘trivial problem.’ I describe the noise as that of a jet circling over your house at 5,000 feet, and it just continues to rotate and rotate. It’s not always there. It depends on how fast the blades are turning. But, these companies are coming through and are telling the townships, and I know they told our township, that they don’t make any noise.
“They come through with what I call ‘bogus ordinances,’ where they rubber stamp these things. The company produces the documents that say ‘here’s ordinances for decibel levels and number of feet from a dwelling,’ and taking not into consideration the topography of the land. To my knowledge there’s been no pro-active study by these companies, such as an environmental impact study, to see exactly if they put turbines here in the prevailing wind, what is going to be the impact down wind of those.
“We are living in a situation where the sounds penetrate our house. I’m losing sleep. They frequently let these turbines go at high speeds in the middle of the night. It’s not uncommon for me to be woken up at 3 a.m. and not be able to get back to bed. I’m a physician, and I have to be at my best. I’m doing procedures on patients and it is not a fair situation for myself, for my patients, and not fair for the other residents who are affected by this. We’re not the only ones affected; we have a petition with 40 names on it.
“You need to know this up here in Tyrone, because we’re trying to fight this. Unfortunately, we’re fighting it from this angle, because they’re already up and they’re already making the noise. We started this fight a year ago, and we are no further along than we were starting a year ago. And they’re still making as much noise as they ever were, with no end in sight.
“I’m not against putting in green energy. I’m not against wind turbines. What I am against is the irresponsible placement of these turbines in places that are not appropriate.
“Should anyone have to have their property violated with this sound? Should you not be able to sleep? Should you have to put up with the noise issue in sleep? No you shouldn’t, nor should anybody else.”
6 March 2008
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