As most of you know, Honey Creek (Apex) is attempting to construct industrial wind turbines in our county which will negatively alter our community environment.
My husband and I always try to respect the right of people to do what they wish on their own property but in this situation their choices have a direct negative impact on us. Our quiet, rural setting, natural wildlife, physical health and property value are all being threatened. We live on a family farm and hope to live out our days here.
It is hard to accept that we and our home are facing this danger. These colossal turbines are projected to be some of the tallest land turbines in the nation, possibly up to 650 feet in height. That is almost twice as tall as Perry’s Monument at 352 feet. They will be higher than the Arch in St. Louis, which is 630 feet tall! Both of these are singular constructions with no exterior moving parts. It is hard to imagine living in the midst of an army of these monstrosities. Even so, we originally were willing to learn about the project and keep an open mind. We listened to representatives in our home and did research.
Through our research we learned about many of the negative impacts from these “wind farms.” The noise alone is documented to cause health problems such as headaches, nausea, tinnitus and sleep deprivation. “Loud or persistent noise increases stress which could lead to diseases.” (Environmental Health Perspectives). This statement was in reference to cardiac concerns. Alec Salt at Washington University School of medicine, after extensive research determined that turbine noise “can be hazardous to human health.” One of the concerns of he and his colleague, Jeffery Lichtenhan, was the infrasound that cannot be heard.
“Salt and Lichtenhan concluded that infrasound and low-frequency noise can result in ‘localized endolymphatic hydrops,’ which is swelling of the inner ear. That condition can result in dizziness and loss of equilibrium.” (Center of the American Experiment) In the same article German researchers stated negative effects on people even at 4 kilometers (2.485 miles) from turbines. And, in 2019, due to health concerns, the Board of Public Health in Madison County, Iowa recommended that turbines should be 1.5 miles from residences.
It was also determined that turbine height should be no greater than 500 feet. In Ohio, our understanding is that the turbines are permitted to be as close as 1125 feet. A mile is 5280 feet! As populated as our area is, to respect even a distance of a half mile would allow very few wind turbines, certainly not the 60 to 144 that has been suggested. We have seen many documented situations where residents have had to abandon their homes because of the noise and vibration. In the cases we are aware of, the turbines were 2,000 or more feet away! We have spent nearly 50 years caring for and improving our property and wish to protect the lifelong investment we have made in our home. Along with our own health concerns we have seen documentation on wildlife endangerment, harm to livestock, impact on water tables, increasing dangers for pilots doing aerial applications on fields or performing life flights in cases of emergencies, and, of course, the damage to our land and roads during construction.
We can imagine the noise, congestion and inconvenience this would create before the turbines even begin to operate! Some of our friends and neighbors say that they have property rights so they should be able to put the turbines up if they want to. It is true that they have property rights. So do we, but there are limits. For example, we have a ditch that passes through our property.
Over the years we have made an effort to keep it clear to make sure the water is able to drain off of the properties upstream from us. We are required to protect their drainage. If we fail to fulfill this obligation, the county can have the ditch cleaned and send us the bill. Our rights are not allowed to do harm to others. These turbines threaten our health, our environment, and the value of our property. Our neighbors do not have the right to willingly harm us.
These gigantic wind turbines might eventually prove to be a fine source of energy, but the first experiment with them should be in a much less populated area. Until all of the ill effects are determined, thoroughly studied, and resolved, they need to only be constructed in isolated areas.