Senator, worried about WTS, calls for turbine moratorium (Wisconsin)

Oct 12, 2011


State Senator Lasee introduces bill to ban wind turbines in Wisconsin.  Says research is needed to show wind farms are safe

—Doug Schneider, Green Bay Press-Gazette (10/11/11)

Glenmore, Wisconsin—The sights and sounds outside her son’s window made Sarah Cappelle consider something once unthinkable: Trying to sell the home in which her family has lived for generations.

The two-story house off Glenmore Road has become less dream, more nightmare since wind turbines were erected in 2010 on farmland just to the southeast.

Worries about the effects of the structures prompted Cappelle and husband Dave to stand in support Monday as state Sen. Frank Lasee, R-Ledgeview, proposed a state ban on wind-turbine construction until studies have deemed the turbines don’t harm humans and animals.

“It’s not fair to put something so noisy and so large so close to people, unless you can be sure it’s safe,” Lasee said.

A bill he introduced Monday would declare a moratorium on construction of wind farms until the state Public Service Commission is in possession of a report that ensures turbines like those dotting the landscape in this southern Brown County town don’t cause health problems. He wasn’t sure if the bill would gain the support needed for passage in the chamber, but said proposing it is the right thing to do.

Wind farms have prompted passionate debate, but limited agreement, on their long-term impacts on humans. And lack of regulatory agreement in Wisconsin, particularly on the issue of how far a turbine must be from a property line, has tempered developers’ enthusiasm about erecting wind farms. A corporation earlier this year scrapped plans for a 100-turbine development in the Morrison-Glenmore area.

Backers of wind energy say it is a clean, safer alternative to coal and nuclear energy, pointing to the fact that they don’t consume fuel and don’t produce ash or other waste. They also say wind-development could create thousands of jobs in technology and construction. Opponents say turbines can be noisy, unsightly, problematic for birds and bats and, most important, cause vertigo and sleep disorders. Concerns are growing about a condition labeled “wind-turbine syndrome,” and a daylight phenomenon called “shadow flicker.”

Regulators say the state’s wind developments are safe, and that they fall within noise-emission limits.

The Cappelles believe their toddler son’s inability to sleep, their 6-year-old’s recurring ear infections and Sarah’s never-ending colds are a product of the Shirley Wind development near their home.

They say that family members had never had health problems until the turbine near their house went into service last fall. That prompted consultation with a real estate agent — where they learned that no one likely would pay fair market value for a house with a view of a wind turbine.

“My mother grew up here. My grandmother was here for 50 years,” Sarah Cappelle said. “This is where I always wanted to raise our kids. But now, I’m not sure if we should stay.”

Lasee said he knows of at least three Glenmore-area families who have left their homes because of health problems that, while not formally diagnosed, didn’t appear until nearby turbines went on-line.

  1. Comment by Sharon Eddy on 10/12/2011 at 3:09 pm

    I have been enduring one about 1,500 ft. from my property, going on two years now, and am grateful for the moratorium of a year to study the impact on those of us who have had ill effects from them (there are two turbines now).
    It was so bad that I had to leave my own home and stay with family to recuperate from lack of sleep, headaches, etc. Not once, but three times. I kept a sleep journal for about 2-3 months and filed it with the Town of Falmouth as Heather, on some committee, wanted to know what we were experiencing. The town’s form sent to myself and surrounding neighbors was a laugh. I always said a scientific study needed to be done and keeping a sleep log/journal was my way of contributing. I would love for some others to do the same. It’s amazing what they reveal. Oh, and one more thing. When I asked for a copy of the wind speeds of the turbine to see if there was a correlation to the numerous times I was woken up by the closest one, the Town of Falmouth sent me a letter stating it would cost approximately $200. Amazing! That much for two months of just the wind speeds.

    I am happy to finally hear that there are senators who actually think of people and not the almighty dollar and greed. My hat goes off to Senator Lasee of Wisconsin for what he is doing.

  2. Comment by gail on 10/12/2011 at 5:31 pm

    News from Germany:

    In a short lecture by Dr Med Manfred Nelting (31 May 2010) on page 8 of his slides you can read the following: Continuous low frequency noise leads to reduced breathing rates, which in turn results in a worsening of repiratory diseases and oxygen supply. (translated from German)

    This confirms the Cappelles’ suspicions.

  3. Comment by sue Hobart on 10/12/2011 at 5:57 pm

    Has anyone sold their homes, and how much below the real value do they go for?
    for sale

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