November 14, 2012

Board of Health examines impact of wind turbines

WBAY | Nov 13, 2012 |

Brown County health officials met Tuesday night to discuss concerns about wind turbines. The meeting comes amid a new proposal for an even bigger wind farm project that would be the largest in the state.

The wind turbines towering above farm fields south of Green Bay are some of the tallest in the country, but now the Shirley wind project could pale in comparison to what could be in store for Brown County. And that has some health officials concerned.

“Now they’re realizing that even experts on the proponent side are acknowledging how low-frequency noise is a definite concern for people living around turbines,” Steve Deslauriers says.

Inergy wants to build 100 wind turbines in Brown County, making it the county’s first commercial wind farm and the largest in Wisconsin.

At a Brown County Board of Health meeting, officials discussed the health effects documented by Glenmore residents living near wind turbine projects, hoping to find a way to prevent the building of a new wind form in the works for Morrison, Wrightstown, Glenmore, and Holland.

“There seems to be an alignment between the symptoms they’re experiencing, their effects on their health, and low-frequency noise around people,” Deslauriers said.

But not everyone living near a wind turbine is against them. Roland Klug says it’s necessary to build more renewable energy projects, and he isn’t concerned about any potential health effects.

“The wind is up there free, blowing all the time. so you got to tap into it,” Klug said. “You’ve just got to use everything available. Can’t just forget about it because a few people are against them.”

Tuesday night the board decided to send a letter to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission with personal accounts from people who claim to have been affected by the wind turbines, in hopes the commission will assess any health impacts of low-frequency noise from wind turbines.

The PSC has yet to turn down a wind project in the state.

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