BELVIDERE – At the request of the Concerned Citizens of Boone County, the county health department has looked into whether wind farms can create health problems.
After studying the data and talking with officials from Lee County, the county’s board of health has found no public health issues.
While individuals reportedly had problems with different aspects of wind turbines, such as flicker and sound, health department Administrator Cynthia Frank said Friday their six-week study found “nothing specific to everyone.”
The health department is preparing a statement of its findings, which currently is being reviewed by State’s Attorney Michele Courier.
The matter was discussed briefly at the county board’s health and human services committee meeting Oct. 4, when committee Chairman Marshall Newhouse said the Concerned Citizens brought up the potential health effects of wind energy.
“The evidence did not pass the test of being scientific,” he said.
Newhouse, Frank, and board of health member George Sprecher met with four members of the Concerned Citizens on Sept. 15 and discussed the issue. During that meeting information provided by Sprecher, an electrical engineer, enabled the full board to “understand and mitigate some of the negative comments about stray voltage.”
There was minimal discussion from the health and human services committee.
“The adverse health effect was not defined well enough,” member Paul Larson said.
Newhouse said the matter likely will go before the planning, zoning building committee, another standing committee of the county board.
Revised regulations for wind farms in Boone County currently are before the zoning board of appeals. A second public hearing has been set for 7 p.m. Oct. 23 at Belvidere City Hall, 311 Whitney Blvd.
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