Marshall County Residents Concerned about Wind Turbine Project

The residents between Culver and Argos are quite concerned about an announced plan to put huge wind turbines on property close to Lake Maxinkuckee.

The Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council and the Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Fund are the latest to come out against the project that has been proposed by Florida based energy company NexEra.

Concerns were generated by an appearance several weeks ago by an Iowa State professor with expertise in the wind generation world. Iowa has the second most wind turbines in the country, second only to Texas.

In his presentation to about 300 interested residents, Professor Roger McEoen was asked about the issue.

“The issue, in terms of problems, is closely related to the citing of the turbines,” said McEoen. “It all comes down to where they’re placed. Are they far enough away from other homes, other businesses, airports, all types of aerial crop dusting activities, irrigation activities, to minimize problems? Location, location, location – that’s the real issue.”

McEoen was also asked about health issues surrounding the placement of the turbines.

“We have looked at cases, and I’ve written about them, of associated claims of health problems. As far as I know, there aren’t any appellate level court opinions about them yet, specifically on the issue, but people have asserted those in their claims. There are some in the works right now that are presently being litigated. We don’t have final published opinions on those yet, but I am familiar with those that are making those claims. There have been some reports of that in the European countries and they’re ahead of us by a couple of decades. There are some established reports of health issues in the European countries and I would imagine that we might see some of the same type of affects in the United States as the industry develops.”

When asked if the population of the proposed area was too dense for the placement of the turbines, he replied, “That’s certainly a concern. One you get out into Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas, that’s much less of an issue because you may have a county that might be 30 miles by 30 miles and may have 5,000 people in it. That’s a different matrix than what you have here. This would be more ripe for problems than what we see as we move farther west in the country. The problems associated are associated with the conflicts of people. You minimize those by getting these large scale developments away from people and that’s easier to do when you have less populated areas. It would present particular issues here where you have a higher population.”