July 29, 2019
Opinions, Pennsylvania

Residents raise concerns over turbine project

July 25, 2019. tnonline.com

There is currently an industrial wind turbine project proposed for Packer Township and Nesquehoning Borough which will be located on the top of the Broad Mountain. The project, 21 turbines, most up to 656 feet tall (possibly the largest turbines in the U.S. to date), has been presented by Liberty Power, Ontario, Canada, as a potential advantage for the residents and environment. As concerned residents of Packer Township, we feel that it will have a huge negative impact on our lives, property and environment.

We think of Packer Township as a hidden gem in Carbon County. Driving on Quakake Road (Route 4010) going west from Weatherly, you’ll see beautiful countryside bordered by Spring Mountain to the north and Broad Mountain to the south. A quiet valley of farmlands and well-kept homes, there are fewer than a thousand residents living in fewer than 400 homes scattered among the farm fields and forests.

Packer Township doesn’t have any motels, restaurants, gas stations or box stores. That’s why we moved here or chose to stay here to raise a family. It’s safe for our children to play outside; we know our neighbors.

We’re a close-knit community who care about family and where we live.

We researched industrial wind development and found many concerns. We learned that Broad Mountain Wind Project is promising economic benefits and jobs, but in turn, the most prominent landmark in our township, Broad Mountain, will become an industrial power plant, possibly leading to the detriment of the health and welfare of our community.

One big concern is property value impacts. Common sense would tell anyone that an industrial wind power plant with turbines up to 656 feet tall will have an impact on our property values.

Pick up any home sales flier and you’ll see that “the beautiful view” is a major selling point for a property. Even though national studies conclude that wind projects do not negatively impact property values, we know that homeowners across the U.S. have sold their homes for a loss if they lived adjacent to a wind turbine project.

Some people even abandon their homes. National statistical studies often skew data, but many Realtors do find that property values decrease when an industrial wind project is built nearby.

Wind turbines can also be noisy. Since Pennsylvania has variable and intermittent winds, the turbines don’t spin all the time, but when they do, the sound is carried downwind. This noise is different from wind rustling the tree leaves. Some people describe wind turbine noise as “jet engines circling overhead,” or “washing machines in the sky.”

It can be especially disruptive at night, when the air close to the ground might be still, but it’s windy at the blade height. The blades create a loud thumping noise each time they pass the tower. Many researchers show that the noise from wind turbines disrupts sleep. Loss of sleep leads to stress, and stress can cause many health problems.

A different type of noise produced by industrial wind turbines is called infrasound. Infrasound can’t be heard, but some people can feel it. Not everyone reacts to infrasound, but people who are sensitive to it will get headaches and become dizzy and nauseated. Research from all over the world shows that infrasound can have such a severe health impact that some people have abandoned their homes and moved away to regain their health.

Another concern is impacts to the streams, wildlife, forests and wetlands on Broad Mountain. We know that a state-endangered bat, the northern long-eared bat, lives on Broad Mountain.

Over 290 acres of forest will be disturbed, and forest fragmentation caused by 6.5 miles of new roads and clearings for turbines will increase the number of invasive species that degrade our forests.

Water runoff could pollute the streams, including eight watersheds on Broad Mountain, five of which are classified as exceptional value watersheds which have the highest value of water quality recognized by the state.

These are just a few of our concerns.

For more information or to help, please go to SaveBroadMountain.com.

Thank you.

Concerned Residents of Packer Township

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2019/07/29/residents-raise-concerns-over-turbine-project/