Jack Spencer — Michigan Capitol Confidential — April 16, 2013
‘We’ve moved our beds to the basement … so I can try to sleep’
A group of 17 Northern Michigan residents have filed a lawsuit claiming a new Consumers Energy wind farm has been making people sick.
According to the lawsuit, the $250 million Lake Winds Energy Park wind farm, south of Ludington in Mason County, was built too close to homes. The lawsuit says residents are suffering from dizziness, sleeplessness, headaches and other physical symptoms because of the noise. The 56 turbines (some as far away as a half mile) also are causing vibrations and flickering lights in houses, the lawsuit says. Economic losses are also claimed in the suit.
The lawsuit was filed April 1 in Mason County Circuit Court and claims the plaintiffs will continue to suffer harm, including physical injury, emotional stress and loss of property value if they continue to be exposed to the wind farm’s operation. Monetary damages in excess of $25,000 are being sought as well as a court order for Consumers Energy to cease and desist in its activities and put an end to the problems.
Dan Bishop, director of corporate communications for Consumers Energy said the company doesn’t usually comment on pending litigation, but said the company has worked to resolve complaints.
Cary Shineldecker is one of the 17 plaintiffs. He and his family have lived in their house 18 years and fully own it. At a local meeting, two months before the lawsuit was filed, he described how the turbines had been disrupting their lives.
“We’ve now moved our beds to the basement in a storage room,” Shineldecker said. “After living in my house for 18 years, [we’re sleeping] in a storage room on an air mattress so I can try to sleep . . . so my lovely wife can get up and go and try to teach second graders and be awake in the morning. Continue reading, here…..