"He lives in the shadow of a wind turbine and says it's ruining the health of his family." (Huron County, Michigan)
Jul 7, 2009
“‘The sensation we feel from the turbine…[is] that rumbling feeling you get when someone with a loud speaker system in their car drives by. You feel that in your body.’ And it keeps his whole family awake at night. They’ve tried sleeping pills, white noise machines, doctor’s visits—anything and everything—but when the wind blows there is no peace, very little quiet. ‘We are not allowed to get to that dream state, when those turbines are spinning and producing energy.'”
With appreciation to Bossco
“The True Cost of Wind”
Are Wind Farms Ruining Quality of Life?
News Anchor: They can be good for the environment and good for the economy, but those wind turbines also come with a price. Do the benefits outweigh the costs? The I-Team’s Bill Walsch went to Huron County to find out, live and local now to tell us what he did find. Bill?
Bill Walsch: Sam, the fight over wind turbines sometimes pits neighbor against neighbor. The man I spoke with tonight didn’t want to be identified. He lives in the shadow of a wind turbine and he says it is ruining the health of his family.
Wind Farm Resident: This is our new neighbor. Accept it. Adjust. Whatever we have to do. If it’s noisy to us outside we play music.
Walsch: But it isn’t just the noise, according to this father of two, it’s the the vibration.
Wind Farm Resident: That rumbling feeling you would get when someone with a loud speaker system in their car drives by. You feel that in your body. That is the sensation we feel from the turbine.
Walsch: And it keeps his whole family awake at night. They’ve tried sleeping pills, white noise machines, doctor’s visits, anything and everything, but when the wind blows there is no peace, very little quiet
Wind Farm Resident: We are not allowed to get to that dream state, when those turbines are spinning and producing energy.
Huron County Board Member: Yes, we know we have complaints.
Walsch: Today the Huron County Board of commissioners held their first subcommittee meeting designed to deal with residents’ complaints. John Deere Wind Energy owns this wind park. They’ll conduct a noise study there starting next month.
Wind Company Representative : It will be a sampling program. And in those samples we will try to include turbines that have been highlighted by residents as being of particular concern.
Walsch: Critics say the original zoning ordinance allows the turbines to be too close to houses. County board board commissioners say they are sympathetic to the several complaints they’ve gotten. They’ll consider changing that zoning ordinance.
Commissioner David Peruski: We want to use what we learned in the Bingham Township and other Townships and apply that to the zoning ordinance to eliminate or mitigate maybe future problems.
Walsch: But changing the zoning ordinance will do little for this man and his family.
Wind Farm Resident: Because if you don’t have your health, any amount of money isn’t worth what we’re going through, and what other people are going through.
Walsch: The man we spoke to tonight says he isn’t against wind energy. He says he has friends, relatives, neighbors, who want wind turbines on their property. He just prays that the county or John Deere can come up with a solution to his family’s plight. And he thinks any future wind turbines should be placed at least a mile away from homes.
For the I-Team, I’m Bill Walsch, WNEM TV-5
Anchor: Bill, thank you. There are about fifty turbines in that project in Bingham and Sheridan Townships, and many more are planned. Huron County has been identified as having a high level of wind potential.