The rural residents of Clay County do not want to live in an industrial wind installation. They do not want to live with the extra noise day and night, do not want to be subjected to shadow strobing within their homes. They do not want to lose the ability for efficient aerial application on their crops, do not want heavy machinery driven over the tiles that if broken would impact many farms and not just the farm that is leased.
Our Supervisors basically said “hog confinements” for the justification for allowing turbines. Their reasoning is since hog confinements bother people that wind turbines should be allowed to bother people as well. They also feel that they have the support of the residents of Spencer to destroy the peace and character of one section of the County for financial gain even if that financial gain comes from our own tax dollars.
People may say that we “need” the energy to reduce man made CO2. The American Wind Energy Association would tell you that worldwide wind turbines reduce CO2 by 159 million metric tons. That is 1/3 of 1 percent of the 40 billion metric tons of CO2 attributed to man. Even if they doubled their fleet they would not reach 1 percent.
Apex said in a public meeting “that no one in Iowa has any problems.” Yet in the next meeting a farmer came from Harris, Iowa, and told an impassioned story of having to move from his homestead to town after the noise of his own turbines on his own land forced him to move. I have spoken with people all over Iowa with varying degrees of problems from ruined tiles to ruined farms and people with debilitating shadow strobing. There are people who have tried replacing doors and windows at their own expense to block the noise.
There are experts willing to speak on these issues but our Supervisors did not seek their opinions. Mike McCann CRA, expert appraiser would tell you how turbines create property value loss. James Punch, Prof Emeritus, MSU, audiologist and Richard James Adjunct, Prof., MSU, acoustician would speak of the problems associated with turbine noise. Thomas Hewson, BSE in civil engineering would testify that completely decommissioning 87 wind turbines would cost $20,202,079 (2012), not the small amount often quoted by wind companies. Ornithologist Dr. Shawn Smallwood would speak of the large amount of wildlife being killed and driven off by industrial turbines. Kurt Schindler, AICP, district senior educator, government and public policy would show you his report that suggests that turbines need to be sited at least 2,500 feet (about a half-mile) from residences. Our current 1,200 feet will mitigate nothing.
Almost all of the land signed to the Apex Installation is the land of absentee landowners. The people who live within the proposed area collected a petition of 150 signatures there within 24 hours against this installation. It seemed to make no difference to our Supervisors. If it was your home, your business on the line, would you want our Supervisors to listen to you?
— Janna Swanson, Coalition for Rural Property Rights
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