Associated Press — August 11, 2013
IONE, Oregon — A year ago, Dan Williams moved from his home near Ione’s Willow Creek wind farm to Walterville, Oregon He said he couldn’t take the noise of whipping turbine blades any longer.“It’s hard to explain it to people unless you experience it,” Williams said. “There’s the actual noise that wakes you, but there’s also the infrasound you can’t hear but your body feels. The best I can describe it is like a train or an airplane coming and going.”Williams filed a lawsuit Friday against Invenergy, the Illinois-based company behind the wind farm, for non-economic losses up to $5 million, as well as economic losses — mostly related to property value depreciation — for $170,000.Since Invenergy began construction on the 50 wind turbines at Willow Creek in 2008, it has fought in the courts over noise compliance.First, the fight was over the actual noise limits. Invenergy said the Morrow County noise limit of 50 dBa was acceptable, Williams and a few neighbors argued that the wind farm had to comply with the state limit of 36 dBa.Although neither enforced it, both the county and the state upheld the 36 dBa limit in seven different court findings.“I’m extremely disappointed that county and state of Oregon both agree that there’s violations but won’t do anything about them,” Williams said.After a 2009 noise study conducted on Williams’ property by Invenergy showed turbine noise levels reaching 42 dBa, the wind company embarked on an effort to comply with the noise levels through methods such as triggering turbine shut-downs at certain noise levels. Williams is also claiming the current technology takes too long to shut down after the noise limits are reached.In the complaint filed Friday, Williams claims “emotional distress, deteriorating physical and emotional health, dizziness, inability to sleep, drowsiness, fatigue, headaches, difficulty thinking, irritation and lethargy” as a result of the turbines’ noise and flickering glare.In a statement issued Friday, Invenergy said it wasn’t aware of any alleged health impacts to Williams until he filed the lawsuit and would “vigorously defend” itself against his claims. Read full article, here…..