There’s a lot we don’t know about the possible negative health effects of wind turbines.
We know there are studies that show few problems related to living near a turbine. We know there are studies that show more problems related to living near a turbine.
We know some people who live near a turbine say they have no problems. We know some people who live near a turbine say they have serious problems.
What we don’t know is a true conclusion – a definitive answer. Perhaps it’s because some wind turbines pose a problem, while others don’t. Perhaps it’s because some people are more susceptible to health problems while living near a turbine, and others aren’t.
We just don’t know for sure.
That’s why we agree with a statement by a member of the state’s Public Service Commission, which approved new wind turbine siting rules last month. Lauren Azar said that the PSC has the ability to revise the siting rules, if information about health effects arises.
In a letter to a legislative committee that also has to approve the rules, Azar wrote, “While I support the overall rule because it will promote the development of wind in Wisconsin, the rule fails to provide a much-needed safety net for people whose health declines because of a wind turbine located near their home. As new information becomes available, the Commission can revise this rule.”
The siting rules, developed by a task force stacked with wind-energy proponents, create uniform standards for where turbines can be placed. The goal was to establish a statewide standard, rather than patchwork rules determined by counties or other municipalities.
The goal should also be to protect public health. Given how much we don’t know, Azar’s statement makes sense.
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