GREEN BAY – Critics of the Shirley Wind Farm have a new ally on the Brown County Board of Supervisors: Guy Zima.
Zima said in an interview Wednesday he believes the claims of some Glenmore-area residents that the nearby wind farm is causing health problems. He also said he believes the Brown County Board of Health has been “stacked against” those residents and the county has so far “just blown them off.”
Zima requested the human services committee dismiss a ruling by former Health Director Chua Xiong that people’s health problems can’t be linked to wind turbines. He also asked the committee to explore possible legal action against the wind farm operated by Duke Energy Renewables.
The committee met Wednesday but decided to hold the issue until its next meeting because Zima was unable to attend the meeting.
Zima said he decided to get involved after hearing a citizens group opposed to the wind farm present their case in front of the county board earlier this month.
Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy argued Xiong did not take into account significant scientific evidence linking illnesses to wind farms when making her decision. The group’s president, James Vanden Boogart, presented the board with his own report of more than 60 pages.
Zima said he asked the human services committee to take action because it oversees the board of health, where most of the debate on this issue has taken place so far.
“I just feel its important that we get a hearing, a thorough review, and that it’s not just left to what I consider at this point a stacked committee at the health board,” Zima said.
The human services committee briefly took up the issue in February when Chairman Erik Hoyer suggested forming a task force to study it. He withdrew his proposal a week later, saying he believed nothing could get the county closer to any answers.
Debate about the eight wind turbines started shortly after they went on line in 2010. Some people living near the wind farm have complained of headaches, sleep disturbances and other health issues they blame on low-frequency noise from the turbines. Duke Energy Renewables argues studies show no clear link between turbines and the health issues claimed by people who live near them.