RAYMONDVILLE – Two wind farms have until next week to answer a lawsuit in which residents accuse wind turbines of creating noise, devaluing property and posing possible health risks, federal court records show.
Records show U.S. District Judge Hilda Tagle requested that Duke Energy and E.ON Climate & Renewables North America and other defendants answer accusations by Feb. 6.
The companies re quested Dec. 27 that the lawsuit originally filed Nov. 27 in 197th State District Court here be moved to federal court.
Twenty-three residents including Willacy County Commissioner Noe Loya and Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Juan Silva Jr. filed the lawsuit, arguing the companies built wind turbines on their properties that created “nuisances.”
Elon Hasson, spokesman for E.ON in Chicago, said the company was reviewing the lawsuit.
“We develop all of our wind farms in a safe, state-of-the-art and responsible manner,” Hasson said in an e-mail. “We believe these claims will be shown to have no validity.”
Tammie McGee, spokeswoman for Duke in Charlotte, N.C., declined comment but added the plaintiffs consented to the placement of turbines on their properties.
The companies built “hundreds” of wind turbines that stand 467-feet high and weigh 7 tons on the properties of plaintiffs who received or will receive money and tax benefits that will ex ceed $50 million, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit states the companies “carelessly and negligently failed to adequately disclose the true nature and effects that the wind turbines would have on the community, including the plaintiffs’ homes.”
The companies told residents that the wind turbines “would not be noisy, would not adversely impact neighboring houses and there would not be any potential health risks,” the lawsuit states.
But the wind turbines create noise, reduce property values, interfere with television, telephone, satellite and Internet reception and destroy “scenic countryside,” the lawsuit states.
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