KEYSER – Former Mineral County Commissioner Wayne Spiggle, a member of the Allegany Highlands Alliance, appealed to the Mineral County Commissioners Tuesday to not only forward a petition protesting the noise from the Pinnacle Wind Farm to the West Virginia Public Service Commission, but to also endorse the requests included within the document.
The petition, presented to the commissioners by Tasker Road resident Richard Braithwaite and containing 75 signatures, asks that the wind turbines be shut down between10 p.m. and 7 a.m. and that the county commissioners not enter into any agreements with future wind developers.
“I am quite confident that each of you will take very seriously the petition that is here before you,” Spiggle said.
“It’s one thing to just send it on to the PSC, but it’s another if you actually send it with your endorsement.”
As a medical doctor, Spiggle told the commissioners that while the “whoosh, whoosh, whoosh” of the turbines “doesn’t seem that bad to the average visitor,” it does present a medical issue for someone who is consistently exposed to it.
When asked by Commissioner Richard Lechliter what type of problem the exposure can cause, Spiggle described it as “a chronic anxiety reaction.”
“Some European countries will not allow any turbines to be installed within one mile of an inhabited home because of it,” he said.
“We here in West Virginia have done little or nothing about the siting of wind installations. That needs to be addressed,” he added.
As she listened to Spiggle, however, Commissioner Janice LaRue was also looking over the petition and took issue with being asked to commit to not signing any future agreements.
“I can’t (agree to this) for whoever’s going to be in my chair three years from now,” she said, noting that “it won’t be me.”
“Also, what other projects? We don’t know of any other projects; how do these people know?” she asked, referring to the petition’s reference to “plans for two more projects in our county.”
LaRue also questioned the petition’s request for the commissioners “to join us in Elk Garden so you can describe what you have done for us.”
“Who wrote the petition?” Commission president Cindy Pyles asked Spiggle.
“I had something to do with it, but it was altered (with input from others),” he told her.
Pyles told Spiggle the commissioners would “look over the petition and decide what to do.”