It is human nature to protect the health and safety of one’s family or community. You do it. We do it.
But, as developers of the proposed Highland Wind Farm project in the Town of Forest, we also understand the power of misinformation and its impact on forming opinions.
While support for the project within the Town of Forest remains quietly strong, the vocal opposition has done a laudable job of spreading fear about possible negative health effects from living near wind turbines.
First, let’s start with who we are at Emerging Energies LLC and what’s important to us. We are all Wisconsin natives: we live in this great state, care about our families, care about protecting the environment and would never do anything to harm our neighbors.
In fact, we believe what we’ve proposed for the Town of Forest has tremendous benefits — environmentally, economically and socially. Health experts across this great country have studied the possible health impacts of wind turbines precisely due to expressed concerns of some residents and have found no credible conclusions to suggest there are ill effects.
Here is an excerpt from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services – the very department created to protect our wellbeing — in response to the St. Croix Board of Health Services’ request for additional studies of possible health effects of wind turbines on area residents:
April 30, 2012: “Our review of current scientific knowledge indicates that levels of noise, flicker and infrasound measured from wind turbines at current setback distances do not reach those that have been associated with objective physical health effects.”
Kitty Rhoades, Deputy Secretary Department of Health Services
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health directed a group of independent health experts to research similar concerns about negative impacts from wind farms and that collection of experts concluded there was no scientific basis that wind turbines impair public health.
Similarly, one need only look as far as Kewaunee County on the eastern side of our state where a 31-turbine wind farm has been in existence since 1999. It is the oldest continuously operating project in Wisconsin. No reports of any negative health effects from the wind farm have been recorded since it was built.
To reiterate, we completely understand why some people are concerned based on what they’ve heard from ardent opponents to the Highland Wind Farm — everybody’s first concern is with their family’s health and wellbeing. But the very experts, the regulators, we entrust with safeguarding that health assure us we are safe.
Emerging Energies will continue to engage the public and do our best to answer as many questions as you have. We are fast approaching the Public Service Commission hearings on the project and we hope you will all participate to make this project the best it can be and deliver all the economic benefits to St. Croix County in the form of jobs, payments to communities and clean energy for the state. If you would like more details about the Highland Wind Farm please visit our website at www.highland windpower.com where you can send us a note or get the latest project details.
Jay Mundinger, Emerging Energies LLC, http://www.newrichmond-news.com/event/article/id/36709/group/Opinion/