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October 22, 2020

10/16/2020 9:50:00 AM
Moratorium needed to correct Wind Turbine siting distances

Dear Editor,
The Wisconsin legislature should immediately declare an emergency moratorium on all new industrial wind turbine (WT ) installations until such time as the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (WPSC) and its advisory Wind Siting Council (WSC) can update the PSC 128 wind ordinance document. This document controls the siting distances of WT from residential homes and other structures with respect to the health and safety of citizens living in the areas around WT.
The current outdated setback distances were developed when WT were 1/3 the size of today's 650- to 700-foot giants. The WSC is a group that advises the WPSC on the siting or location of WTs next to residences. It has not met in many years; and as a result, the setback distances in the current PSC 128 WT document are considered dangerous and hazardous to individuals living in the WT vicinity. Current setback distances of 1250 feet should be at least tripled. The Health Department in Madison County, Iowa, is recommending a WT setback distance of 7920 feet.
There are many health/safety effects that have been consistently documented over a period of decades and must be considered in updating setback distances. The danger of ice and blade throw is serious. National Wind Watch Mar 3, 2018 mentions blade throws up to 6,560 feet can occur. On Sept 18, 2020 in Adair County, Iowa, a 177-foot, 18,000-pound WT blade broke off and landed in a corn field. Farmers in the area are concerned for their safety.
In addition to these dangers, headaches, nausea, tinnitus, disorientation, depression and many other physical symptoms are attributable to low-frequency sounds emanating from WTs. Turbines also produce many types of obnoxious sounds than can be heard miles away, shadow flicker, vibration, visual blight, and the ever-present flashing red lights at night 24/7/365.
The outdated setbacks have and will continue to endanger the lives of our friends and neighbors who live in industrial WT zones. This has made our fellow Wisconsinites' lives miserable, painful, even tragic. Many good people have been forced to move from the farms and homes that they worked hard to build and develop over many years.
The Wisconsin legislature must meet to declare a moratorium on industrial wind turbines until the WPSC and its advisory WSC can develop rational, sensible, and realistic residential setbacks to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of all Wisconsinites. Please contact your state representatives and senators and ask them to quickly act on this WT moratorium. You can also contact your township and county board members, informing them of this serious problem and asking them to impose a moratorium on new WT construction. Our lawmakers need to consider the needs of the many, not just the few WT hosts and companies.
George Schwarzmann Jr.
Platteville, WI

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