After years of complaints, one Northwest man is suing an energy company that built a wind farm near his home.
For about four years Dan Williams said he suffered headaches, dizziness, and loss of sleep. He said it was all caused by the whooshing of wind turbine blades near his eastern Oregon home.
Williams and several neighbors brought complaints to the Chicago-based wind developer Invenergy and Morrow County officials. The residents complained that the noise from the turbines was affecting their health. The county ruled Invenergy had violated state noise standards.
Invenergy officials previously said the county is misreading Oregon’s noise ordinance. Spokeswoman Alissa Krinsky said Invenergy has tried to address Williams’ concerns.
“We have developed – with Mr. Williams’ consent and coordination – an acoustical monitoring system, which ensures that the Willow Creek Wind facility can comply with Oregon law as it pertains to sound levels emitted from wind turbines,” Krinsky said in a statement.
In the lawsuit, Williams is asking for compensation for his physical and emotional distress and for his home. He said his property value has dropped since the wind farm was built.
Many studies are inconclusive about the links between wind turbines and human health. A recent Health Impact Assessment by the Oregon Health Authority found that wind turbine noise affects people differently. The study recommended siting turbines properly, as well as addressing community concerns before construction begins.
For Dan Williams’ part, he opted to move from his home about a year ago. His attorneys hope for a jury trial next August.
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