Kudos to Cindy Chapman and the Stop Hallam Wind organizers, because these Nebraska citizens have legitimate questions and concerns. For instance, who would want a 436-foot wind turbine in their backyard? To help in visualizing this height, the Nebraska State Capitol is 398 feet. If you are driving east on Interstate 80 toward Lincoln, at what point do you see the Capitol? At a distance of 10 miles, 15 miles, or perhaps farther? Are these 54 turbines in question the landmarks we Nebraskans want to see from Lincoln to Beatrice?
The average decibel level for a wind turbine is 50 decibels at 300 meters, or 984 feet, and is listed as “moderate” noise comparable to normal office noise. The difference with wind turbine noise is that it isn’t contained in just an office, it is everywhere; and if a resident lives near the turbine, this noise is in every room of his house.
Nebraska takes pride in being the migratory route for 7 million to 9 million ducks and about 3 million geese. Ducks Unlimited states that the average altitude for flying fowl is 200 to 4,000 feet. Look to the sky when these feathered friends fly over and ask yourself if they’re as high as the State Capitol. Notice also how many are in the V-formation. How will these birds know if the wind turbine is running at night, let alone what is ahead during the daylight hours?
Many states have legislative involvement, i.e., guidelines and regulations, regarding the construction of wind turbines. Questions do need to be asked. There should be just as much discussion on the realities of wind farms, including the “what ifs,” as there is and has been of oil pipelines.
Randall Hansen, Lincoln
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