Supporters of wind energy in Wisconsin – and neighbors who say they’ve suffered losses by living next to wind turbines – have voiced their opinions on a senate bill. That proposal would allow residents living within a mile and a half to sue for damages.
Depending on who was speaking, Senate Bill 167 is needed to recover damages from noise, illness or loss of property values…or something that could damage a thriving industry.
Today’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee drew wind energy supporters who call wisconsin a good area for wind farms, having the 16th best wind resource in the nation and being closed to major power loads.
“When it’s really booming in neighboring states, to leave Wisconsin out of the benefits this industry is creating elsewhere is a problem,” said Chris Conkle, a consultant for “Wind in the Wires”.
Conkle also pointed out that there’s no definitive link between wind farms and illnesses or other effects.
But, property owners from Brown And Fond du Lac Counties say they’ve experienced various maladies. One woman shared her and her husbands stories about a brief visit to one neighboring home.
“I said I have pain in my left ear. As a kid I had a lot of infections in my left ear,” said Sandra Johsnon , Brown County Citizens for Responsible Energy. “I said (to my husband) are you feeling anything.? He said I feel woozy like I took a prescription drug.”
Bill sponsor, State Senator Frank Lasee (R) De Pere, said such legislation is needed to help residents deal with similar issues found with another power problem.
“For years, people had problems with stray voltage and the utilities claimed there was none anywhere,” Lasee said. “Then someone was able to prove it in a court of law. And when that happened we turned around, mitigated and took care of those folks.”
Senate Bill 167 is currently in the committee process. A vote by the full senate has not yet been scheduled.
Local 5’s Terry Kovarik has more.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding