After personally experiencing negative impacts of industrial wind in Wyoming County, I am commenting on Apex LLC’s proposed inhumanity to people by trying to shirk their responsibility to conduct health studies before placing a massive industrial electrical facility among homes in Niagara and Orleans counties.
I wholeheartedly agree with Somerset Supervisor Dan Engert, who argues that health studies should be required of proposed wind projects. To ignore the protection of the health, safety and welfare of all who live, work and play on the shores of Lake Ontario, for the expressed reason of saving the multi-million dollar corporation money (therefore circumventing necessary health studies), is an abandonment of common sense and due diligence.
Just four short years ago in 2011, Dr. Christopher Ollson, a Canadian scientist, wrote in the Environmental Health Journal about the importance of baseline noise and infrasound monitoring and assessing the effects of wind turbines on human health both emotional and physical. Dr. Olson and Dr. Loren Knopper said, “It would be imperative to ensure robust study design prior to study initiation, which then would include acoustical engineers, health scientists, epidemiologists, social scientists and public health physicians …”
So, when the Virginia-based wind power giant Apex LLP – driven by generous government subsidies and funded over 65 percent by my tax dollars – came into a Niagara County Board of Health meeting to persuade them that placing massive industrial wind turbines along the Lake Ontario shorelines, among people’s homes and recreation areas, poses no health threat, they brought along paid consultants.
Dr. Ollson, now in Apex’s employ, spewed the garbage that industrial wind facilities “pose no health threat.” Never having lived in a turbine project, but financially motivated in 2015, he now states, “If people are concerned (about their health) they should see their local physician.”
Which is it, Dr. Ollson? “Put a quarter in the jukebox and it’ll sing any tune that you want to hear.”
It is very difficult to live, concentrate, sleep or otherwise relax in your home when there is a constant, magnified continuous drone and “wump, wump, wump” sound as three separate 150- to 200-foot-long blades pass the turbine tower. The sound varies depending on amount of wind and the temperature, dampness, et cetera.
In winter and spring, the noise will be even more intolerable, as the leaves are gone off the trees; amid what used to be the winter silence, that noise dominates your life most unpleasantly. It is never-ending, a high-pitched whine similar to the sound a jet engine makes when coming in for a landing.
Unless you’ve lived under the turbines, you can’t understand this. However, excessive and continuous noise has been used as torture by militaries all over the world in times of war.
Nighttime turbine noise is louder when the ambient noise of the countryside is less. Most sound studies find ambient night-time noise of the countryside is approximately 15 to 20 decibels, while independent sound studies have registered turbines at 70-plus decibels at night, depending on weather conditions. Every six-decibel increase is perceived as doubling of the effect of noise.
Unusual nighttime noises come from industrial turbines; combined with their industrial-size disk brakes, which grind and creak and get louder with age, and the vibration from infrasound, which permeates the house, it all can be felt as well as heard.
As an extremely angry New Yorker and founder of Save Ontario Shores, I speak for many people in this state and this country who are tired of being forced out of our homes, taking losses on our largest investment in most cases, because of a failed 30-year-old technology that doesn’t work, can’t power a 60-watt light bulb consistently and cannot be dispatched on demand, since the wind does not blow 24/7, between 25 and 37 mph, 365 days a year.
Despite thousands of wind turbines all over the world, carbon dioxide has not been reduced, nor has one coal- or gas-fired fossil fuel plant been shut down because of industrial wind factories.
Cathi Orr is a Somerset resident and self-described Wyoming County “wind refugee.”