The following letter, written by Steve Rusk of Van Wert, Ohio, is one resident's experience with life inside a wind project's "footprint". It addresses some of the intangible factors in assessing damage to property values and health for residents living in a wind industrial zone.
Hello, I used to live in the Blue Creek Wind Farm at 10038 Elm Sugar Rd. Scott, Ohio. In July 2012 the bank sold my home at considerable loss for $16,500, down from a prewind farm appraised value of $73,000. This devaluation wasn't due to any obvious aesthetic damage the property had suffered nor the fact that no one looking to move to the country wants to live in an industrial zone. This depreciation was caused by the risk factors associated with living there, primarily infrasound exposure. Besides adverse health effects, selling a residence in a wind farm is also risky. Failure to to call out the presence of infrasound can result in a lawsuit, even declaring it's presence may not be enough protection. When the property owner participates in the sale the owner assumes most if not all of the risk and the bank is protected.
Lack of regulation means there are no established standards for safe levels of exposure to infrasound, any exposure must be recognized as dangerous. Lack of regulation also means there are no laws to compel the wind farm companies to tell you their machines produce it. The wind farms generate an ambient area of infrasound extending well beyond their boundaries with roving hot zones depending on wind speed, direction, turbine placement, etc. Due to the large number of variables actual infrasound levels can be determined only by extensive mapping of the site after the wind farm is in operation.
Blade thump is produced when a wind turbine blade tip passes the supporting pylon at approximately 200 mph. The pressure buildup that occurs, in addition to auditory noise levels, generates an inaudible burst of infrasound that comes out essentially as a beam spreading outward into a fan shaped area at ground level, at right angles to wind direction in the direction of blade rotation. Reaching out to a mile or more with lesser amounts going in the opposite direction, the intensity and area depending on blade speed and other factors. These bursts penetrate all structures, we lack the technology to protect buildings from infrasound penetration. These infrasound fields are hot zones, when 2, 3 or more fields overlap one another you have intensely hot areas. At a top operating speed of 19 RPM with 3 blades, that is 57 bursts per minute being generated by each and every wind turbine in operation. Each pulse passing through your body like a shock wave acting as a hammer on every cell, whenever the turbines are in operation. Nerve cells are most easily injured by this effect, developing nerve cells much more so. There are serious health risks even for healthy adults living with frequent exposure to infrasound and especially for children, the elderly and individuals with various health conditions.
Once symptoms develop it may be too late for some and even short term exposure may result in lasting effects on some children. The quarter mile setbacks currently required are point blank for exposure to the infrasound generated by wind turbines.
To those of you living near the wind turbines or about to be, please note one simple fact: We live in a society that doesn't change it's ways until the body count gets high enough... sometimes not even then.
There are two things happening right now:
1. The wind farm companies will intensify ongoing lobbying efforts to obtain protection from lawsuits (Torte Reform). Specifically, protection from the class action lawsuit which is what the wind farms are.
2. Residential properties in or near wind farms are toxic assets, as the news spreads banks will cease making loans on these homes and those potentially so.
Van Wert, Ohio