ORANGEVILLE – A group of about 60 town residents has filed a $40 million lawsuit against the Invenergy wind energy company.
The State Supreme Court suit was filed Aug. 1 in Wyoming County. Invenergy operates the Orangeville Wind Farm within the town.
The suit alleges “constant noise, vibrations and flicker” significantly impacted the plaintiff’s health and well-being, causing sickness, soreness, lameness and disability.
It also accuses Invenergy of diminishing the plaintiffs’ property values, creating noise pollution, and regularly violating the town’s 50-decibel noise ordinance.
The suit asks for $20 million for personal injuries, lost quality of life, and a loss in property value. It also asks for $20 million in punitive damages, compensation for court costs, and any other relief the court deems necessary.
Invenergy said in a statement issued Thursday that it will vigorously defend itself against what it described as unfounded claims.
“While support for renewable energy is strong across our country, we take seriously any concerns of those who live in a project host community,” the statement reads. “That is why we took great care in developing the Orangeville wind farm in accordance with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations. The lengthy authorization process was open and inclusive, allowing extensive opportunity for citizen input.
“In addition, since the Orangeville wind farm commenced commercial operation, the facility has been operated and maintained in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, including local zoning laws, relevant state agency directives, and Federal Aviation Administration requirements.”
This is not the first time legal action has occurred involving the wind farm.
The Clear Skies Over Orangeville group twice sued the Town of Orangeville unsuccessfully in 2010 and 2012. The lawsuits were dismissed each time.
Property owner Robert White also filed a suit in 2011, which said a proposed turbine tower was too close to his hunting cabin off Bantam Road. He was successful, and a special use permit and site plan approvals for the tower were nullified.
Many of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit are couples, representing about 25 different addresses within the town. The plaintiffs include several affiliated with CSOO.
The Orangeville Wind Farm has 58 turbines. Each is about 430 feet tall. Commercial operations began in March.
sdamike posted at 9:05 pm on Tue, Sep 2, 2014:
I would like to chime in here, being located in Orangeville myself. Where we live, we are surrounded by more than 6 turbines with in 1/4 to 1/2 mile I’d guess. it may be more turbines than that im just going by how i can see easily. We moved to orangeville about 5 years ago and were totally neutral to the whole wind turbine issue. We figured lower property taxes would be nice and that how bad can the turbines be? So the fight about turbines went on for years and we never took a side. Then the turbines started being built. It was a mess and you dont absorb how big a turbine is until you see 1 blade being trucked in on a semi with a double length trailer bed. Months later after all the mess, they were done and running. First thing you notice is no more clean night sky, now there is always blinking red lights and if its foggy, the whole sky blinks red.
Then we noticed water vibrating in our barn and in our house. Now we have lived here 5 years and never seen that before. And it happens In Just a plain old water bottle, the water vibrates… like in the movie jurrasic park when the t-rex is coming…its just like that just not as severe.
Then as the weather changed for the worse or if the wind was stronger, we noticed the water vibrations get worse and we also noticed the wind turbines make much more noise. In our house we actually get a type of thumping in the right conditions. Its pretty terrible. I will close windows, turn fans on, turn the a/c on, turn the tv on just to drown out the noises. It also gives me a “I need to get out of here” anxiety feeling…and well, there no getting out of anywhere…its where you live! And we also run our business from here, so no escape at work!
On the bad nights it effects my sleep, I just cant fall asleep. I even tried ear plugs…which will work sometimes.
Thats another thing, forget having your windows open for the most part…especially at night, that seems to always be when the turbines make the most noise. But they can have noisy days if the weather is right.
The one time it was like 3 days of constant thumping and noise…we called the invenergy rep to complain and they sent out some lady…didnt say much and didnt help much either.
We had another instance where she and some head guy from Chicago came…I showed him what the water was doing on a video i had on my phone that I took, and also showed him in person, but he didnt even really acknowledge it. All they care about is the DB meter which is really not a fair measurement of what is going on here. Overall we probably called invenergy 5 or so times to complain over the past 5 or so months. But after a few times it just seemed like the same song and dance and then there doesn’t seem to be a point in calling to complain anymore.
I will say now, i am getting headaches more frequently…not sure if its related, but it has increased. And i feel like i never really get good sleep…probably because the noise they make takes you out of REM sleep would be my guess.
But its the thumping and noise that i cant deal with. Forget open windows, forget enjoying outside. Unless its just the right day with no wind or barely any and the turbine are barely even moving or are just not moving at all…you will hear them.
Looking back now, I would rather pay the higher taxes then have the wind turbines here. They really have changed life in a negative way and i dont think anyone deserves that.
To all that think Im making this stuff up, go live by some turbines…esp. these huge ones we have here in orangeville that are even bigger than the sheldon ones, for at least a month or two, and then tell me what you think.
I wish i would have know about this lawsuit as maybe it will help fix something, the more people the better as there is strength in numbers, but how were we supposed to know about it to get on board?