We are “Victims of Industrial Wind” (which is also the name of our open Facebook group, with members from around the world).
We are the Therriens of Sheffield. Many already know our story. We own 50 acres abutting First Wind’s Sheffield project. We have spent more than 18 years living here, cultivating a beautiful sugar bush. Yes, we live off grid. Yes, we live near the Interstate. The interstate is quiet at night, unlike the wind turbines that make noise 24/7 more often than not. The Interstate also does not make a repetitive obnoxious noise that wakes you then keeps you awake, night after night.
We did not oppose the industrial wind power plant at any stage. From proposal to construction, we had no idea what to expect so we were not about to judge.
We never once harassed any employees working on the project nor with First Wind. Not until the project began operating, only when we experienced the noise first-hand, did we begin to understand and wonder just what we were facing. About six months in, we started to realize the project was affecting us. Less than one year in, everything started to add up for us, correlating the connection between the sounds and how we felt. We hardly could believe it was true until we started reading up on wind turbine syndrome. This syndrome is real, too darn real. The exact same symptoms are echoed worldwide.
These facts about wind turbine noise and health have been known for a long time and totally ignored by our federal and state governments. These elected people who are in charge of protecting the public have chosen to blindly believe the big wind developers, while turning a deaf ear to towns and residents to be impacted for the good or bad by industrial power plants.
Health studies should have been done before big wind turbines were put close to people, but they weren’t. Instead we get literature reviews done by people with financial ties to the wind industry who claim there are no “direct” health effects. It has also been spread far and wide that anyone who opposes clean green energy (laugh) is a NIMBY (not in my back yard) or that people are only seeking financial gain by falsely claiming to being negatively impacted.
Positive outcome studies are funded by industrial wind, and they get to hand-pick their experts. The nonpositive studies are done by honest hard-working individuals who face public persecution and possibly the loss of their jobs if they go public with their negative findings.
Just ask Dr. Henrik Moller of Denmark, a highly respected academic noise researcher who was fired after exposing the Danish government’s role in covering up the health risks caused by wind turbine noise pollution. Kind of says a lot right there, doesn’t it?
Even with all this information, no precautions were taken to prepare in advance to rectify any problems that may arise. Various problems have arisen, and yet they are still largely ignored because no one knows how to solve any problems pertaining to industrial wind power plants. We hear “this is all new to us.” Well, it is old hat to us.
The Public Service Board has held hearings and workshops to hear both sides of the story. Now you would be led to believe that both sides would be given equal time to be heard. No, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The developers’ side has gotten most of the time while attending victims have to sit and be further insulted and mistreated in the process and are lucky to speak at all. We attended the PSB’s Morrisville workshop and will never participate in another unless it is to protest. It was that much of an insult.
So here we are nearly three years into this nightmare and no closer to a resolution then we were on day one. We had asked First Wind to buy us out for $150,000. This prompted a meeting where we were told of a possible option to pay us $45,000 for our house and two acres, but it was not an official offer. This is what we were told: “It’s what I think I can do so it’s not as though it’s First Wind’s thing.”
Yeah, right, the head of safety and compliance out of Boston is not about to stick his neck out with talk of a “possible option” if he hadn’t already had some kind of approval. We expected to be low-balled but not to this extreme.
It seems they are well schooled in the art of approaching a town, making promises that the project will cause no harm — while quietly buying/paying off select home/land owners because they know there will be harm. The paid-off residents have signed nondisclosure agreements so they cannot say one word against the project. The developer then sits back after construction and waits for surrounding residents to become so desperate to move they will sell at almost any price. Then try to act like a good neighbor by offering a possible option at a ridiculously low insulting price. And they wanted us to sign a nondisclosure for this pittance.
Luann Therrien lives in Sheffield.MORE IN PerspectiveWe believe Robert Appel’s commentary, “Racial bias plagues Vermont, too” (Rutland Herald and... Full StorySeven years have passed since I wrote the first Weekly Planet column — nostalgic readers can... Full Story
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