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County Board to hear wind turbine report; Study’s data answers some legal issues

DANVILLE – Vermilion County Board members will hear preliminary data results from a study of noise caused by Invenergy wind turbines.

Michael Blazer, an environmental attorney for the wind turbine company, is slated to reveal the details of the study, which has gone on since the month of August.

Contacted on Friday, Blazer said the study has been completed, but the report on that information is still under way. He hopes to have the report to the county board by the end of December or in January.

There are “mountains of data” to determine the conditions under which the complaints are being made,” Blazer said.

The study is the result of complaints voiced by the Miles and Hartke families, both of whom live in the Hope area near two wind turbines. The Hartkes, who have the nearest turbine 1,665 feet away from their home, contend the turbine causes sleep deprivation and health problems for parents and children.

The Hartkes began to voice their complaints about the turbines in January and in the past have compared the sound produced to a semi running outside their window.

Blazer said the preliminary data has answered some legal issues with regard to the situation, but the early information to be released will not provide a conclusive answer to the actual complaint.

He declined to release the preliminary data on Friday, saying it would be “unfair” to board members.

Blazer spoke to the county board in October, telling members that if the turbines are found to be causing a problem “we are going to fix it.” He noted that includes possibly curtailing the certain turbines or dealing with topographical issues.

The Invenergy California Ridge wind farm – which includes 134 turbines with 104 of them in Vermilion County – officially began operations at the end of December. Plans remain active for a wind farm in the Hoopeston area, although the Apex Wind Energy Inc. has not filed for a county permit to begin construction.

Two experts – one originally selected by Invenergy and a second hired at the request of the Hartke and Miles families – are handling the study. The study, however, is being conducted on property adjacent to the property of each family because neither has allowed the experts on their land as of July 29, Blazer said in October.

Blazer told board members in October it is “physically impossible” to measure or determine the noise levels inside the Hartke or Miles homes without coming onto their property.

The Hartkes said after the October board meeting her family will wait to see the results of the study before deciding on its validity.