Turbines may overtake nature

By RICH CATALANO

Living in Chautauqua County for most of my life has been a wonderful experience. With our fantastic water and land resources, a rural lifestyle seemed to be a good alternative to a busy urban setting. A drive to the lake or a hike in the woods always made life look a lot better. The residents of northern Chautauqua County could achieve a decent quality of life.

My concern is the wind farm being built in the town of Arkwright and surrounding towns. I don’t think the people in the region realize the negative impact that these wind turbines will have on them.

Each wind turbine will be more than 600 feet tall. Do the people of northern Chautauqua County understand that each tower is taller than the One Seneca Tower in Buffalo or larger than the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.? There will be more than 60 of these turbines sprinkled over the hill tops. Most communities along the Lake Erie shore will be able to see these towers, from Silver Creek to Westfield, Forestville to Cassadaga, etc.

These wind towers are the biggest being built and are usually used for offshore ocean sites. Typical tower height on land is 260 feet. I don’t recall any discussion of this in the newspaper. Joni Riggle recently wrote an excellent commentary in the OBSERVER about how “these turbines infringe on way of life.” Do the people from northern Chautauqua County realize that these turbines produce infrasound that humans cannot hear, but is still present? It is reported in medical studies that these sounds affect humans and can cause sleep disturbance, headaches, tinnitus, ear pressure, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, visual blurring, tachycardia, irritability, memory loss and other internal issues.

The wind farm turbine industry is a new business, yet taxpayer subsidized, and decided upon by just a few government officials. The impact on human life is just being studied on this form of electric production. Therefore, why can’t all residents of Chautauqua County have input into this new business, since it affects our quality of life? It seems that there has been little discussion on the health effects on human life; only the economic reasons have been stressed.

We can only imagine what will happen to the property values in northern Chautauqua County due to the health effects. This could affect all landowners in the area. Who pays then? Finally, could there be lawsuits by the people of northern Chautauqua County based upon illnesses caused by these turbines? Who pays then?

Rich Catalano is a Sheridan resident.