BROWN COUNTY – The signs against wind farms on the front yard of their country dream house remain, even though Darrel and Sarah Cappelle have left their home.
“As an environmentalist, I thought it was a good idea,” said Darrel Cappelle. “Once they started turning, we quickly changed our feelings.”
They say health problems caused by constant noise from the nearby Shirley Wind Farm forced them to move.
“My wife and my kids were having sleep problems, headaches, muscle spasms,” he said.
In Wisconsin, turbines must be at least 1,250 feet from a home or any other building. The Cappelle family’s property sits about a quarter mile from the turbine. That’s within regulation.
However, they, along with State Senator Frank Lasee, R-De Pere, would like to see that regulatory distance increased.
“I think some of these studies recommend more than a mile from people’s homes,” Lasee told a group of several dozen gathered at Way-Mor County Park in Brown County on Sunday.
Lasee says three local families have moved because of the turbines. He says he plans on presenting a stack of medical studies to the Public Service Commission in Madison this week.
“The area is too densely populated to be a good choice for these industrial wind towers,” he said.
“Siting them over 1000 feet from homes is plenty of distance to dissipate any noise or nuisance,” Dean Baumgardner of the Madison-based Wind Capital Group told FOX 11 News over the phone.
Baumgardner says the Public Service Commission has considered all health implications.
“There have been no medical studies that have been peer reviewed that point to any type of health risk from a wind turbine,” said Baumgardner.
When we asked Lasee where his studies were from, he could not cite specifics, though he said they had been peer-reviewed.
Local wind-energy proponents say the health effects neighbors have felt aren’t wide-spread.
“People receiving checks that have wind turbines on their land don’t seem to have any problem and they live closer to the facility,” said David Vander Leest.
As for those who left the neighborhood, they just hope the Legislature will listen to their concerns about the noise from the turbines.
FOX 11 News reached out to neighbors who have turbines on their properties. They declined to comment. The Shirley Wind Farm operating company could not be reached either.
Lasee says he plans on presenting his concerns to the Public Service Commission on Wednesday in Madison.
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