Study Finds No Link Between Wind Farm Sound and Health Impacts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 2, 2013
Contact: Tyson Cook, Staff Scientist, 608.251.7020 ext. 27

Testing finds sound below threshold of hearing in homes near wind farm

Shirley, Wis. – A series of tests on homes near the Shirley Wind Farm in Brown County found no evidence linking low frequency sound from wind turbines to health impacts, according to a study released late last week.

“After testing three homes near the Shirley Wind Farm, scientists were unable to measure any low-frequency sound from wind turbines above the threshold of human hearing from within the homes,” explains Tyson Cook, staff scientist at Clean Wisconsin. “There are no peer-reviewed studies showing negative health impacts from wind turbine sounds below the threshold of hearing.”

The testing was conducted in early December 2012 by four independent firms at the request of the Public Service Commission (PSC). The PSC requested the testing as it decides whether to approve the Highland Wind Project, a proposal to construct a wind farm in St. Croix County that would bring clean, renewable energy to 29,000 homes and create up to 100 jobs.

“It’s important that we fully understand the impacts of our energy sources, which is why we wanted to see this study conducted,” said Cook. “Like others, this study finds no physical link between wind farm sound and negative health impacts.”

Wind farms offset the need to burn fossil fuels, which result in harmful pollution that threatens the health of our families. A poll conducted by a bipartisan research team in January of 2012 found that 85 percent of Wisconsin voters would like to increase the use of wind energy to meet the state’s future energy needs.

“While there is no evidence directly linking wind farms to negative health impacts, there are volumes of studies showing the disastrous impact of air and water pollution from burning fossil fuels,” said Cook. “By moving toward clean, safe energy choices like wind, we can help improve the health of families across Wisconsin.”
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Clean Wisconsin, an environmental advocacy organization, protects Wisconsin’s clean water and air and advocates for clean energy by being an effective voice in the state legislature and by holding elected officials and polluters accountable. Founded in 1970 as Wisconsin’s Environmental Decade, Clean Wisconsin exposes corporate polluters, makes sure existing environmental laws are enforced, and educates citizens and businesses. On behalf of its 10,000 members and its coalition partners, Clean Wisconsin protects the special places that make Wisconsin such a wonderful place to live, work and play. www.cleanwisconsin.org

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