SUAMICO – Experts will discuss wind turbines and their possible effects on human health Tuesday during a public meeting in Suamico.
Brown County officials have invited four authorities to discuss issues and answer questions from people who have concerns about potential impact from the turbines at the Shirley Wind Farm.
Richard Schadewald, a county supervisor who heads the Board of Health, said the event will feature scientists from multiple sides of the wind issue.
Some people, including several living near the either turbines of the Shirley site, believe low-frequency sound from the turbines can cause sleep problems, headaches, nausea, irritability and other symptoms. Others insist no evidence exists to link windmills and illnesses.
“I have been told … this is a first of its kind informational format – i.e. players from multiple viewpoints and agendas being questioned together after presentations,” Schadewald said.
» Robert W. Rand, the principal investigator at Rand Acoustics LLC. With more than 35 years in the field, Rand has spend the past eight years investigating wind turbine noise, and has furnished reports and expert testimony at federal, state and local hearings. He has reported experiencing health effects when he visited the Shirley site.
» Mark Werner heads the Environmental Epidemiology and Surveillance Section in the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, where he has worked since 1997. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health and the Zilber School of Public Health at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
» Dr. Robert McCunney is an internist who is board certified in occupational and environmental medicine. He evaluates and treats occupational and environmental illnesses in the Pulmonary Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He is a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studies occupational and environmental health hazards.
» Physician Herb Coussons has been in practice for 25 years – the past 15 in Green Bay – and is an assistant professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He has evaluated and cared for six people living near the Shirley Wind project, and says there is evidence linking wind turbines and adverse health effects.
County officials plan no action on the wind issue Tuesday, Schadewald said.
Over the past several years, Shirley Wind has divided some of its neighbors – some have moved from their homes – and posed a challenge for county officials. The Board of Health declared the wind farm a human-health hazard, but the county’s former health director later reported that insufficient evidence existed to link the wind farm to people’s health issues.
North Carolina-based Duke Energy Renewables bought the wind farm in 2011. Electricity produced at Shirley, which can power an estimated 6,000 homes, is sold to Wisconsin Public Service Co.
If you go
The public is invited to a meeting Tuesday on wind turbines and concerns about potential health effects. The meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. at the Bay Port High School Performing Arts Center, 2710 Lineville Road, Suamico. Hosts include the Brown County Human Services Committee, and county Board of Health.
The Glenmore Plan Commission and Town Board will meet at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Glenmore Community Center, 5718 Dickinson Road, to conduct a five-year review of the conditional use permit for the Shirley Wind project.
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