August 12, 2013

Morrow County resident lawyers up when turbines don’t pipe down

By Andy Giegerich, Managing Editor | Portland Business Journal | Aug. 12, 2013 |

A Morrow County resident has filed a lawsuit charging that wind turbines near his ranch are excessively loud.

Dan Williams filed the suit against Invenergy, the Chicago company that built and operates turbines near his 209-acre ranch. The spread is just north of Heppner, in eastern Oregon’s Morrow County.

Williams filed the “Nuisance/Trespass/Permanent Injunction” case a year after he moved because of the turbines’ noise. He said he became physically sick and couldn’t sleep. Plus, the nearby turbines reduced his property value, Williams said in the suit.

He’s seeking north of $10 million in punitive and other damages.

Invenergy operates the Willow Creek facility.

“Invenergy came into this valley with little consideration for folks like me who were already living here,” Williams said in a release detailing the case. “The turbines they built are noisy and the effects on me have been devastating. I treasured the peaceful, quiet existence at my home.”

Williams now lives in Blue River, near the McKenzie River.

Morrow County’s court ruled two years ago that the wind farm wouldn’t have to change its operations despite neighbor complaints.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality stopped enforcing noise regulations in 1991 due to budget cuts, leaving it up to local governments to take action.

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