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Delta County Wind Monitor

Advocating for Residents in Wind Turbine Zones

Residents Band Together

Please contact us and join in the fight to right the wrongs that have taken place in Garden Township and Delta County with regard to the wind turbines. If you live outside Garden Township, wind turbines should still concern you. In a May 11 speech at Big Bay de Noc School, Marty Lagina, CEO of Heritage, suggested that wind turbines would help make the whole UP 'green.' Perhaps he meant the color of money?

Garden Residents File Lawsuit against Heritage Wind Energy

We are Concerned Citizens Like You

Concerned Citizens of Delta County educates the public and monitors and holds government and corporate entities accountable with relation to the construction and operation of Wind Energy Systems in Delta County. We are seeking the input of residents and property owners of Delta County regarding wind turbines. More...

Contact Your Officials

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

310 Ludington Street, Escanaba, MI 49829 Phone: 789-5100

Commissioner District 1 / John Malnar: malnar.john62(at)gmail.com

Commissioner District 2 / Patrick Johnson, Gladstone, pjohnson(at)deltacountymi.org

Commissioner District 3 / Mary K. Harrington, Vice Chairman: mharrington(at)deltacountymi.org

Commissioner District 4 / David J. Moyle: dmoyle(at)chartermi.net / Phone: 235-8427 

Commissioner District 5 / David J. Rivard: koi(at)charter.net

PLANNING COMMISSION

Julian Vandecaveye 11314 Hwy. M-35, Perkins, MI 49872 Phone: 359-4477

Benny Herioux 2324 17th Road, Bark River, MI 49807 Phone: 786-5671

Patrick Connor, City of Escanaba Appointment 3405 8th Avenue South, Escanaba, MI 49829 Phone:399-2787

John Denholm 2676 II Road, Garden, MI 49835 Phone: 644-7198

Renee Barron 2948 St. Nicholas 31st Rd, Rock, MI 49880 Phone: 359-4602

Randy Scott 7722 Summit 19.55 Dr., Gladstone, MI 49837 Phone: 428-2414

David Moyle, County Board Representative 1501 1st Avenue South, Escanaba, MI 49829 Phone: 235-8427  email: dmoyle(at)chartermi.net

Dan Menacher, Building & Zoning Administrator 310 Ludington Street, Escanaba, MI 49829 Phone: 789-5189

Contact Heritage Wind Energy

Marty Lagina, Founder and Chief Executive: 

info@heritagewindenergy.com

Rick Wilson, VP Operations:

Rick@heritagewindenergy.com

WIND TURBINE REMORSE

Huron County Michigan Looks for Ways to Cap Growth of Wind Energy Development.

Life here is ‘living nightmare’

Michigan Wind Farm Michigan Wind Farm

This was the headline that greeted Huron Daily Tribune news readers in early March. Residents are becoming  dismayed over the number and affect that 100’s of wind turbines have had in the tip of the Thumb. Residents are voicing increasing concerns about the 328 turbines now in place. Margo Barry who lives in Oliver Township noted that “… pristine farm fields are gone, and in place is a blight of huge white towers and spinning blades, and our quality of life has been taken away, replaced with a pollution of never-ending noise, shadow flicker, red blinking lights and health issues for many.”

Beyond the aesthetics there are new safety concerns. In February a 160-foot, 7-ton turbinewind turbine blade broke during high winds, leaving it dangling and wrapped around the tower. A few days later a 425 foot turbine collapsed in Oliver Township during a snow storm. The owner, Exelon Wind Generation noted it was only the second failure of this kind of turbine over a total global installed base of 7,000 units. The 485,000 pound turbine fell while in an idle state in the early morning hours of February 25th. No one was injured.

Development continues of adding up to 140 turbines in the county over the next 18 months. An attorney representing Huron County has begun the investigation of limiting the number of turbines. Also in the Thumb, three Sanilac County townships recently approved a moratorium or rejected wind energy ordinances. A fourth, Bridgehampton Township, is exploring a moratorium.

Current Wind Energy Projects Planned in 2016
30 turbines in Winsor and McKinley townships
72 turbines in Dwight, Lincoln and Huron townships.
10 turbines in Rubicon Township
30 turbines in Oliver, Chandler and Colfax townships.

Heritage Sustainable Energy sues Garden Township Over Nuisance Noise Ordinance

A response to the original article by Alyssa Baker posted in UpperMichiganSource.com on 5/14/15.

GARDEN TOWNSHIP -- Heritage Sustainable Energy is suing Garden Township for creating two noise ordinances that allegedly are unconstitutional, invalid, and were created with conflict of interest.

The complaint was filed May 12th and deals specifically with Garden Township Ordinances 2014-1 and 2015-2. 

Heritage Energy is also claiming that Ordinances 2014-1 and 2015-2 are extremely restrictive when compared to the Delta County Zoning Ordinance.  

According to Ordinance 2014-1 “From the hours 10pm-6am the sound pressure levels must be 35 dB.” That is a 10-20 dB difference when compared to the 45/55 dB limit provided by Delta County Zoning Ordinance.

Note from DeltaCountyWind: The current turbines in Delta County are not regulated by existing zoning. Current zoning was created after the turbines were conditionally permitted by Delta County, without noise limitations. Therefore, Heritage does not have to limit turbine noise to 45/55 dB and according to neighboring residents, noise frequently surpasses acceptable levels between the hours of 10pm and 6am. If Heritage is within the 45/55, neighbors agree that the sound limits are TOO LOUD for a rural setting.

According to Heritage's complaint, the statements of facts are:

-Heritage Garden Wind Farm LLC and Heritage Sustainable Energy LLC owns and operates 14 wind turbines, 24 hours a day, in the Garden Township, Delta County.

-Delta County has a Zoning Ordinance that already includes sound pressure level limits for the county. “The sound pressure level shall not exceed 55 dB, measured at the property lines or lease unit boundary, whichever is farther. OR a limit of 45 dB measured at the existing dwelling, whichever measurement is less.” Truth: These turbines are not regulated by this zoning as they were permitted by Delta County when no zoning ordinance existed AND 45dB is too loud for a rural setting.

-Garden Township adopted Ordinance 2014-1 titled Nuisance Noise Abatement Ordinance on December 9th, 2014.

-Garden Township adopted Ordinance 2015-2 titled Nuisance Noise Abatement Ordinance which amended Ordinance 2014-1, and will become effective June 1, 2015.

-Several Garden Township Trustees that voted on the ordinances are directly involved in a separate lawsuit against Heritage Energy. Truth: This noise ordinance pertains to any nuisance noise in Garden Township. Nuisance in the ordinance is defined as repetitive, measurable noise. 

-Township Supervisor Ray Young is the father of a plaintiff in a separate lawsuit against Heritage Energy. Truth: A conflict of interest would only occur if Mr. Young was financially benefitting from the passing of the nuisance noise ordinance.

-Heritage Energy created a letter on March 30th asking the board to acknowledge that Ordinances 2014-1 and 2015-2 are void and of no legal effect because of conflicts of interest in Township board members.

-Garden Township has not responded to the March 30th letter. Truth: The letter had no merit. Why should they respond?

The complaint has eight counts against the township.

Count 1: Preemption

Heritage Energy is claiming ordinances 2014-1 and 2015-2 impose sound pressure level limits that are more restrictive than the sound pressure level limits provided by the Delta County Zoning Ordinance.

From the hours 10pm-6am the levels must be 35 dB (compared to the 45/55 dB limit provided by Delta County Zoning Ordinance)

Truth: Heritage Energy has no restrictions on noise emissions and has abused their sound privileges in the neighborhood. A recent sound study done in conjunction with current lawsuits against Heritage and completed by a nationally recognized acoustician show sound emissions between the hours of 10pm and 6am that interfere with sleep patterns.

-Result: Heritage Energy is asking that a judgement is made stating that ordinances 2014-1 and 2015-2 are overruled by the Delta County Zoning Ordinance.

Count 2: Violation of Procedural Due Process

Heritage Energy is claiming that the two Garden Township ordinances are unconstitutional, because they deprive Heritage Energy of their procedural due process rights under the 5th and 14th amendments. Truth: It is the responsibility of the local government to protect the health, safety and welfare of residents. Many residents report sleep deprivation and loss of enjoyment of property due to extraordinary turbine noise. Townships are given Police Power for exactly this type of situation.

-Result: Heritage Energy is asking that a declaratory judgement is made that Ordinance 2014-1 is invalid.

Count 3: Violation of Substantive Due Process

Heritage Energy is claiming that sound pressure levels that do not exceed the level limits provided in the Delta County Zoning Ordinance are not a public nuisance. Truth: A township is able to set its own police power nuisance noise ordinance to protect the health, safety and welfare of residents. 

-Result: Heritage Energy is asking that a judgement is made that both ordinances 2014-1 and 2015-2 are invalid.

Count 4: Conflict of Interest

Several Garden Township Trustees that voted on the ordinances are directly involved in a separate lawsuit against Heritage Energy.

Township Supervisor Ray Young is the father of a plaintiff in a separate lawsuit against Heritage Energy. Truth: A conflict of interest would only occur if Mr. Young was financially benefitting from the passing of the nuisance noise ordinance.

-Result: Heritage Energy is asking that the ordinances are invalid and of no legal effect, and that Garden Township should require Supervisor Young and Trustees Richard and Daasch remove themselves from all further discussion, vote or involvement in ordinances or actions involving operation of the Heritage Garden Wind Farm.

Count 5: Open Meeting Act

Heritage Energy states that allegedly both ordinances were voted on in meetings behind locked doors, were not open to the public, and failed to give the public notice of the meetings. Truth: Votes took place at regularly posted meetings, which were open to the public. 

Count 6: Non-Conforming Use

The 14 wind turbines were constructed and have been in operation since September 14, 2012. Truth: No zoning whatsoever applies to these fourteen turbines. Heritage has continually ignored residents' complaints of noise. Delta County Commissioners claim that they are unable to do anything about the noise because they failed to create any guidelines whatsoever regarding the operation of the turbines, allowing Heritage to operate them as they choose, without regard to the health, safety or welfare of local residents. The police power noise ordinance passed by the township is a measure of last resort in order to protect neighboring residents from excessive noise. 

-Result: Heritage Energy is asking that a declaratory judgement is made that the 14 existing wind turbines can be used in the same manner as they have been operated prior to the ordinances.

Count 7: Equitable Estoppel

 

The 14 wind turbines were constructed and have been in operation since September 14, 2012. Constructing the 14 turbines cost in excess of $50 million.

Before the project began the Garden Township supervisor and several zoning officials witnessed an operational wind farm. At that time the Garden Township did not express any dissatisfaction with sound levels. Truth: The previous administration in Garden Township gained financially when it allowed Heritage to build in the township, creating a true conflict of interest. The current administration led by Ray Young was elected on its promise to bring the current turbines into compliance with township and county zoning standards. In a 2014 survey, 93% of Garden Township residents were in favor of greater setbacks for turbines due to noise.  

-Result: Heritage Energy is asking that a declaratory judgment is made that Garden Township is equitable estopped from enforcing the two ordinances against Heritage with respect to its continued operation of the 14 existing wind turbines.

Count 8: Injunctive Relief

Heritage Energy is asking that permanent relief is given to the company from Garden Township ever enforcing the two ordinances. Truth: Heritage continues to abuse its privileges in Garden Township. Residents have complained of noise since the turbines first started turning. Heritage has shown over and over its lack of concern for preserving the culture, health, safety and welfare of township and village residents, claiming that the company and leaseholders would lose money with any abatement in noise.

 

Does this sound familiar?

Heritage Faces Suit...After Suit....After Suit

Michigan wind developer faces lawsuit over U.P. project

In a small community on the southern coast of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a 28 MW wind farm remains a focus of dispute among landowners, some of whom are bringing the developer into yet another lawsuit over claims about noise.

Traverse City-based Heritage Sustainable Energy’s wind project in Garden Township, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the subject of a lawsuit filed this month in federal court in Marquette. It’s the second suit against the company in a year. Heritage settled a case out of court over six months ago when residents near its Stoney Corners Wind Farm in the Lower Peninsula alleged it was causing health problems.

Read more....

Upper Peninsula wind turbines will kill eagles, other protected species, lawsuit says

By John Agar | jagar@mlive.com on February 05, 2015 at 7:45 AM, updated March 16, 2015 at 3:26 PM

DELTA COUNTY, MI - Some residents of Garden Peninsula, a scenic Upper Peninsula community on Lake Michigan's northern shore, say power-generating turbines have hurt their quality of life and will kill birds, including eagles and other protected species, on migratory routes.

The residents and Garden Peninsula Foundation have filed a federal lawsuit against Traverse City-based Heritage Sustainable Energy seeking damages and asking that the project, with 14 turbines, be re-evaluated or abandoned. They are also trying to stop expansion.

Read more...

Eagle spotted in turbine zone April 8, 2015

This eagle feasts on the carcass of a deer just yards from Turbines G12 and G8 in the Garden Wind Farm on April 8, 2015. 

Falmouth Turbines Determined to Acoustically Trespass into Resident's Home

CONCLUSIONS

The methods used herein allowed for the collection of infrasonic sound pressure levels within the inside of the Andersen residence. As shown in Figure 6, there is a readily identifiable acoustic signature that can be definitively attributable to Wind #1 and possibly Wind #2 located outside the Andersen home. To NCE’s knowledge, this is the first time such measurements have been performed and reported with respect to the Falmouth wind turbines. However, this is not the first time such measurements have been performed, and other researchers have collected low frequency infrasonic acoustic signatures at other wind turbine sites in Wisconsin and Australia (references 11, 12). As reported in these other studies, the same blade passage rate infrasound and harmonic shown inside the Andersen home have been identified.

Given NCE’s signature analysis and the dramatic change in this acoustic signature when the wind turbine(s) are shut down, NCE can unequivocally state that the infrasonic signature captured inside the Andersen residence is 100% attributable to either one or both of the Town of Falmouth Wind Turbines. To put the conclusions more commonly, this study finds that the wind turbine(s) produce acoustic emissions which are acoustically trespassinginto the Andersen home. 

Read Full Report

Wind Turbine Timeline Reveals Industry Negligence

Green Bay Area: Brown County health officials declare wind turbines a public health risk

Brown County health officials have declared wind turbines a public health risk, but they haven't determined how to put their declaration into action.

The county's Health Board this month declared the Shirley Wind Farm operated by Duke Energy Renewables poses a health risk to its neighbors in the town of Glenmore. Three families have moved out of their homes rather than endure physical illness they blame on the low-frequency noise the wind turbines generate, according to Audrey Murphy, president of the board that oversees the Brown County Health Department.

"We struggled with this but just felt we needed to take some action to help these citizens," Murphy said. 

Read More...

DUKE ENERGY's Shirley Wind Turbines Declared a "HUMAN HEALTH HAZARD"

 DENMARK, WI - At the October 14, 2014 Brown County Board of Health meeting, a motion was unanimously approved declaring the Shirley Wind turbines a "Human Health Hazard". The text of the unanimously approved motion reads:

"To declare the Industrial Wind Turbines at Shirley Wind Project in the Town of Glenmore, Brown County, WI. A Human Health Hazard for all people (residents, workers, visitors, and sensitive passersby) who are exposed to Infrasound/Low Frequency Noise and other emissions potentially harmful to human health." 

Read More...

Safety

The manufacturer's recommended minimum safety clearance for a 495-foot tall wind turbine is 1640 feet. Right now, more than 22 families in Garden Township are living in the "runaway turbine" zone. Don't let this happen to your neighborhood.  More...

Setbacks greater than 5 times the height of the full turbine can help preserve peaceful rural settings and keep our residents safe. 

Noise

Zoning in Delta County will allow the next phase of wind turbines to operate at levels up to 55 decibels. 

Too loud!

For rural settings, which are found throughout Delta County, acoustic experts recommend a 35 decibel maximum

Tell your Delta County Board representative to preserve the peaceful settings in our townships by requiring a 35 decibel maximum for turbine operations as measured at a property line of a non-leasholder. More...

Health

 

Sleep deprivation and other health issues can be side-effects of wind turbines that operate above  the recommended decibel limits. More...

                                      

Where will the next phase be built?

Yellow highlighted areas show leaseholder land.

Video of June 2014 Wind Energy Presentation in Delta County