Construction of Na Pua Makani wind-farm in Kahuku hasn’t started yet but opponents continue to protest near the project site. Health and safety for their community is top-priority, but for one local farmer it’s personal.
Tara Burlew’s organic farm “Pono Produce” sits less than a football field away from the Kahuku Wind Farm.
She said her family moved to the North Shore community about three years ago, but ever since she’s noticed her health spinning out of control.
“I’ve had a lot of headaches, fatigue, occasionally I feel like this weird vertigo dizziness that comes over,” Burlew said.
She said she also experiences eye strain when the sun shines through the spinning windmills.
Burlew has seen doctors and has tried glasses but the symptoms continue.
Only recently, she said she learned her problems may be connect to the turbines next door.
“We all have our health struggles, but when you learn that there could be something, a machine, nearby causing them, its alarming.”
Burlew said she recently attended a neighborhood board meeting where the planned construction of eight, new, 568-feet tall turbines was discussed.
She explained she heard many other Kahuku residents raise red flags about what the 12 existing wind turbines do to peoples and animals health and their reasons against adding more. She disclosed her husband – who is on the neighborhood board – also experiences symptoms. They’re now considering moving to another Oahu neighborhood.
KITV4 has heard of other residents of Kahuku and surrounding communities who have experienced similar symptoms
The company behind the new turbines – AES – claims: “wind turbines have no adverse effect on human health or environmental health. No studies have identified a direct link between turbines and long-term health impacts.”
The company adds:
“After performing extensive studies and securing all of the necessary permits, we are confident that we are building a project that is safe and, ultimately, will help Hawai’i meet its renewable energy goals… Studies conducted around the world found no evidence that wind farms cause any negative physical health effects. Additionally, no scientific peer-reviewed study shows a direct link between living close to turbines and physiological health effects.”
KITV4 has learned that other families have moved from Kahuku to escape the wind farm. We’d reached out to health experts at Hawaii’s Department of Health for their take on possible health risks, but we didn’t yet hear back.
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