Annette Smith — Vermonters for a Clean Environment — vtdigger.com — November 9, 2012
Recent media attention about wind energy development in Vermont, misses a critical reason why so many communities around the state are saying “no” to utility-scale wind on Vermont ridgelines. It˙s not just about the view.
When you focus solely on the view, you miss some of the other issues that are driving opposition. After working on the subject for three and a half years, Vermonters for a Clean Environment (VCE) knows there are numerous other complex issues — impacts to water quality from stormwater runoff, wildlife habitat fragmentation, bird and bat mortality, reductions in property values, and health impacts from noise in particular. Wind proponents condescendingly state that “people just don’t like to look at them,” in an intentional attempt to marginalize Vermonters who are concerned about wind projects’ impacts. Rather than address the issues, proponents belittle people who are directly affected.
These concerns are not based on selfish hysteria, but science. The Society for Wind Vigilance http://www.windvigilance.com is focusing credible, peer-reviewed science on the health impacts of wind turbines. They held a forum of doctors, acousticians, victims, and other interested people in October 2009, which I attended. Wind turbine noise is not a new story, making it all the more frustrating to see the noise problems left out of almost all the reporting being done in Vermont this fall about wind energy.
The wind industry is in denial about the noise impacts from their huge machines, and refuses all requests to hire experts that are acceptable to neighbors rather than the usual firms who are paid to defend developers’ interests.
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