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Brown County reviewing options for controversial wind farm

Members of Brown County’s board of health last month declared eight wind turbines in the Town of Glenmore a human health hazard.

The head of the board says two studies and dozens of resident complaints led to the declaration for the Shirley Wind Project. It’s believed to be the first county or municipality to have made this kind of declaration in the U.S.

“The first thing I want to say is the board of health has never ever said that we are opposed to wind energy,” Board Chair Audrey Murphy told FOX 11. “Our only concern is the health of our citizens of Brown County.”

80 official complaints have been filed by Glenmore area residents between the town and county, according to county officials. In addition, more than 50 affidavits have been filed with Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission. Those health complaints range from sleep deprivation and vertigo, to headaches, nauses and ear pain.

“Duke Energy Renewables operates more than 1,100 wind turbines across the country,” said Tammie McGee, a spokesperson for Duke Energy. “The only health complaints we’ve ever received are about the eight we have in Brown County.”

Brown County’s Board of Health says it wants to hear from Duke Energy before it makes any other decisions about the turbines.

“This is just the first step,” said Murphy. “I think we’ll move slowly and we’ll see what happens.”

A lawyer for Duke Energy says the company sent a letter to the county’s lawyer stating the company objects to the board of health taking any action correlating to any restriction and/or regulation to the Shirley wind turbines based on existing Wisconsin law.

The county hopes to meet with Duke Energy at a special meeting in January.

(Additional reporting from FOX 11)