By Miriam Raftery
Photo: Wind turbines at Kumeyaay Wind facility in Campo
September 23, 2014 (Campo, California) – “Looks like we dodged another wind project bullet when the Campo tribe voted down Invenergy's Shu'luuk Wind project,” Boulevard Planning Group Chair Donna Tisdale wrote in an e-mail to East County Magazine.
She forwarded a link to an article on a $40 million lawsuit filed against Invenergy by 60 neighbors of the company’s Orangeville Wind project in New York. Neighbors allege that the facility has violated noise limits and caused significant harm to health and property values: http://www.windaction.org/posts/41275-lawsuit-filed-against-invenergy-in-relation-to-orangeville-wind-farm#.VB83JPldV8E.
The suit alleges that the project has created a nuisance that has caused residents to suffer a loss in their quality of life and property value due to the wind energy project. According to the complaint, wind turbines were built within 800 to 1500 feet of the plaintiffs’ properties. Plaintiffs contend that the project has caused “constant noise, vibrations, and flicker to enter Plaintiffs’ property, significantly impacting the health and wellbeing of the Plaintiffs and causing them to become sick, sore, lame and disabled.” The projects also destroyed rural views, the suit states.
The turbines regularly exceeded the town’s noise limit of 50 decibels, the suit contends. Invenergy failed to abate the nuisance or engage in mitigating measures, “intentionally continuing the nuisance that they have created.”
Causes of action include trespass, nuisance and negligence. The suit contends that the Defendant knew or should have known that its actions would cause excessive noise, vibration, and flicker effect to surrounding homes and properties, breaching its duty of care to neighboring property owners.
The suit seeks $20 million in compensation for personal injuries, lost quality of life and loss in property values and seeks an additional $20 million in punitive damages.
Invenergy has said it will vigorously defend the suit and insists that studies have found no link between sound form wind turbines and adverse health impacts, the Arcade Herald reports.
In fact, however, there is a lack of peer-reviewed science on the issue, though numerous residents living near wind turbines around the world have made similar complaints, including some residents living near the Kumeyaay wind facility in Campo. There have also been numerous anecdotal cases of livestock liiving near wind turbines suffering serious health effects that farmers and ranchers attributed to noise, infrasound or vibrations from the wind facilities. Recent studies in audiology journals have suggested a link between certain health problems and exposure to wind turbines and Dr Nina Peirpont of Johns Hopkin Medical School has identified Wind Turbine Syndrome as a medical condition.