We would like to share our concerns with the people of North Fond du Lac who are being awakened many times through the night due to the noise of train whisties.
They understand what it is like to live without healthy sleep. If you look up the term “sleep deprivation” you realize that this affects many things: Loss of concentration, fatigue, headaches and migraines to name just a few.
Fatigue causes your immune system to be compromised, as well as leading to high blood pressure and even muscle and joint pain. A person who cannot rest is a person who cannot function to their full ability. In the next 60 to 90 days it is hoped that the train whistles will not be heard anymore and the citizens there can regain restful sleep.
Train whistles are not the only problem for residents of Fond du Lac County. Many rural citizens are being awakened and kept awake by the noise of industrial wind turbines. With 168 industrial wind turbines in the county. Many people have been impacted. Several residents have either abandoned their homes or sold their home to regain their health.
Citizens in the townships of Marshfieid and Calumet have been living with this noise for five years. That is why the Fond du Lac County Board recently passed a resolution 23-0 to ask the state to fund and complete a comprehensive study on the impact of wind turbines on human health.
The state should provide an independent health/sound study. It should include testing for infrasound and inaudible Low Frequency Noise as mentioned in the county resolution. The results of such testing by an independent acoustical expert would provide some answers about what is making some peopie ill and help to find real solutions to help these families.
In rural communities the leveI of evening ambient noise is about 35 decibels – on a quiet evening. A proposed industrial wind turbine project named Highland Wind in St. Croix County is based on computer models to simulate a nighttime noise of 40 decibels. Noise limits need to be based on actual field-noise testing in current online wind projects in Wisconsin.
The agreement with the towns of Marshfieid and Calumet in Fond du Lac County is at 50 decibels. During the night, with atmospheric changes such as humidity, the decibel noise level increases five to 10 decibels. This was reported during recent testimony at the PSC technical hearings for the Highland Wind project.
Some audible noise readings in Fond du Lac County wind projects are over 60 decibels. Putting this into perspective, each 10 decibel increase doubles the noise. Fifty decibels is double the noise of 40 and 60 decibels is four times that of 40.
Once you understand the math you will understand the increased noise levels and associated adverse health issues that rural people in Fond du Lac County have experienced for five years.
The same sleep disturbance and health issues that are affecting the citizens of North Fond du Lac are also affecting the rural residents in Fond du Lac County wind turbine projects such as Blue Sky Green Fieid and the Forward wind project. Those of us living near industrial wind turbines are also looking for a solution so we can again live a normal, healthy life.
Elizabeth Ebertz of St. Cloud is a member of Concerned Citizens of Fond du Lac County, a network of rural citizens who reside in industrial wind turbine projects. Its goal is to inform and educate the public about health and safety concerns of residents who live near wind turbines.
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