Illinois zoning board denies wind farm application, citing health impacts and property value loss

Red Covered Bridge.jpg

Bureau County’s famed 1863 red covered bridge: permit denied for wind “farm”

BCRNews, December 30, 2015

After 40 days of hearings, the Bureau County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) recommended denial of all of the 127 applications of Walnut Ridge Wind LLC (WRW) to build industrial wind turbines. The ZBA considered the testimony of dozens of witnesses and experts on the impacts of such turbines. Six different people who live near projects in Illinois and Wisconsin testified the turbines cause extreme noise, flickering shadows, vibration and sleep deprivation. They suffered from symptoms commonly known as Wind Turbine Syndrome which involves feelings of motion sickness and vertigo. Three of the families abandoned their dream homes to escape the turbines.

An expert testified that neighbors will sustain up to a 50 percent loss in the value of their property. Nonetheless, WRW refuses to site turbines away from people’s homes nor will it agree to any property value protection plan. The ZBA unanimously found “the applicant has not produced sufficient evidence that the project will not diminish residential property values along the footprint.”

Project does not comply with noise regulations

The ZBA unanimously found “the applicant’s project does not comply with the noise regulations at the property lines as established by the Illinois Pollution Control Board and the Bureau County ordinance.” Two experts testified the data also showed the project will violate the maximum allowable noise levels at hundreds of homes.

Likewise, hundreds of homes in the area will be subjected to many hours of the strobe like effect caused by the shadows of the huge turning blades. The ZBA found WRW failed to design the project “to minimize shadow flicker,” and there was evidence that strobe effect can be particularly detrimental to children and adults with epilepsy, autism or those prone to motion sickness.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources warned Bureau County the project is proposed to be built in an area containing several endangered species protected by both federal and state laws. Nonetheless, WRW refuses to move the project to avoid the endangered species or turn-off or curtail turbines as recommended by IDNR. Therefore, the ZBA unanimously found “the applicant has not produced sufficient evidence that the project would not affect endangered species native to the area.”

The evidence also showed the turbine company underestimated the cost to tear down the $400 million project by over $32 million, and the ZBA found “the decommissioning information presented (by the applicant) was insufficient.”

No real tax revenue for the community

A petition was presented by 245 people who own land in the footprint that oppose the project which is three times as many who favor the project. The only response by the turbine company to the overwhelming public opposition was to argue the project will create tax revenue. However, the law which allows the turbines to be taxed as real estate expires on Dec. 31, 2016. When the law expires, companies like WRW will argue turbines are actually personal property and not real estate resulting in no tax revenue.

Read more here.

Comments

Ron Hartlen
Reply

Wouldn’t it be great if this could happen even once in Premier Wynne’s Ontario?

Pat Cusack
Reply

It sure would!

Richard Mann
Reply

Here is a “time line” showing the history of Wind Turbine Noise problems, going back as far as 1979. Each entry provides documentation:
http://cdn.knightlab.com/libs/timeline/latest/embed/index.html?source=0Ak2bgr7C0nhPdGR3S1lEekU3T3p4ZDhUNDdRV2Y2ZkE&font=Bevan-PotanoSans&maptype=toner&lang=en&height=650

1979 “First complaints received from a dozen families within a 3km radius of turbine”.
1981 “Wind turbine operation creates enormous sound pressure waves”
1982 “Closed windows and doors do not protect occupants from LFN”
1982 “NASA research on human impacts provided to wind industry”
1985 “Hypothesis for infrasound-induced motion sickness”
1987 “Wind industry told that dB(A) unsuitable to measure LFN emissions from wind turbines”

2004 “Wind industry knows noise models inadequate” (from Vestas)

2011 “Vestas knew that low frequency noise from larger turbines needed greater setbacks”

Mike Jankowski
Reply

It is good to know there are some people in power who aren’t blinded by greed and ideology and also that WCO gives them coverage.

The truth is, a non-trivial percentage of people living around Industrial Wind Facilities do experience health impacts, which appear to become worse and serious with continued exposure.

We shall remember Wynne ‘s Ontario as one which will chase an idea no matter who it harms.

Theresa
Reply

There is enough evidence to prove Ontario government has and continues to break the law. Is this not embezzlement? The enabler is Dalton McGuinty and the development of the Green Energy Act.
Illionois: “Applicants did not produce significant evidence that the project would not be adverse”. Ontario’s ass backwards approach- for one to prove exposure to infrasound causes serious health problems is blatantly criminal.
Thank you Richard for your timeline. Evidence supporting the claim of the negative impacts on health go back as far as 1979. THIS IS 35 YEARS. The government knew this prior to development of anything associated with renewable energy development.
Wynne’s Ontario is about putting the taxpayper’s money into the pockets of shareholders of IWT companies. Prove different Kathleen.
Is there an investigation by the RCMP regarding the fraudulent activity of the Liberal Government?
“A non trivial percentage of people living around Industrial Wind Facilities do experience health impacts, which appear to become worse and serious with continued exposure”…
I believe the percentage is ~20-25%?! Even one person experiencing health impacts is too many. I do not perceive this to be considered non-trivial.
People who experience health impacts, and are aware that the impacts become more serious with continued exposure, who continue to live in the proximity of iwts, knowingly permitting the exposure of harmful infrasound to their children are guilty of child abuse. There is no excuse why one cannot move away from the harmful environment. Living in your dream home, taking a loss on your property, anything relating to money is a very poor excuse. I am not a rich person, at this point, with my illness, I consider myself disabled; yet I am still managing to cope and survive during this time of serious silent assault on my life. Is this the lifestyle I was accustomed to? Is the lower standard of living my preference? No. It is what it is whether I like it or not. Bottom line, I am alive.
I appreciate the support Mike but one must walk the talk, or no one listens. Just how serious is your problem? Anything is possible.. That is why we continue to fight for justice.
Knowing that something causes a problem and continuing to proceed is negligence of an individual..no claim there. If people living close to IWTS think this will result in a claim that is a money maker, you are wrong.

Mike Jankowski
Reply

Theresa,

Anyone who thinks money motivates me hasn’t a fog-bound clue who I am. I ignored your previous accusation, but now must say you do not understand my situation, motives and variables any more than you understand the term “non-trivial”.

You stated “I believe the percentage is ~20-25%?! Even one person experiencing health impacts is too many. I do not perceive this to be considered non-trivial.”

If you do not perceive this it is ‘non-trivial’ then, do you think it is trivial?

Non-trivial is a term used in the scientific community to describe an amount which is of concern. I agree with you one person is too many.

You say “one must walk the talk”. Who assumes the position of determining what “the walk” is? In my life – I do. Truly I tell you, my talk and walk is concern for not only myself, but all people. I don’t think selling my home to another person would be a demonstration of concern for them. We are doing what we can to monitor and manage our issues and also to leverage the channels available to us to bring about real change for all people, not to run to where we hope more IWTs won’t spring up within 10km of us.

Before I go any further, I invite you to stop making serious accusations about me. You lack the perspective to conclude these things and the tact hinders the effort you see WCO making here that you claim to support. Things are possible – part of the reason I am not turning tail and running.

Peace.

Barbara
Reply

IFL Science, Dec.14, 2015

“Lightning Can Strike Upside Down’

“These sites are quite dangerous, ‘Smorgonskiy told IFL Science’ Tourists congregate around these sorts of sites; without any lightning grounding, they can be incredibly vulnerable.”

http://www.iflscience.com/environment/lightning-can-strike-upside-down-and-without-warning

This website has more information. The journal article itself can be purchased online for ~ $40 USD. Follow the link to the journal abstract.

At present no lightning protection for blades according to this article.

Theresa
Reply

Mike,
I am sorry you took offense  to my response. It was not intended as an insult.   
From my experience, I have realized that often one who is exposed to infrasound is not aware of the harm inflicted on one’s well being at the time; as the sensitivity is one that develops gradually and is one in which involves a serious, possibly fatal health impact. (I have referred to this in the past, likened it to “the frog in a pot of water scenario.” ) I have a concern that maybe at this time, you are not aware of the full extent of the harm happening to your family. After the fact is too late, the damage is done.
You are correct in saying “non trivial in reference to the number of people who are effected by low frequency noise. I apologize for my mix up. Nevertheless you understood what I was meaning to say.  Drs. have assured me that cognitive dysfunction as I experience is to be expected of someone who has suffered effects of exposure to infrasound. 
Anyways, back to your issue concerning my response to your post: As a parent, if I felt that my children, or anyone else’s children for that matter, were in harms way I would do whatever it took, whatever I could do, to keep them safe. Variables would be secondary at this time.
 A few years back, I first met with Esther Writman.  The second time we met was at a protest in Ingersoll. Her words to me, “if there is one thing I learned from you, it is that if something isn’t right, you must say something, speak out.”
I have much respect for the Wrightman family. Esther and her family left Ontario because of the turbines. I’m sure this was not easy. Her family gave up a lot, to keep the family safe. 
Imagine the variables of each and every one of the Syrian refugees coming to Canada. I expect many of them gave up a lot, just about everything; everything for their safety and well being.
A difference between Syrian refugees and wind turbine refugees in Canada is that the Syrians are provided relief from our government  to resettle, adjust to their new life…..just saying.
We do not have to see eye to eye Mike. Again,my apologies. 

Mike Jankowski
Reply

Hi Theresa,

Thank you for replying. I do appreciate you sharing your experience with me but I took issue with some things you stated and the way you stated them in this and a past post.

No worries. I bear no malice toward you, encourage further, respectful dialog and wish you the best.

Take care,
Mike

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