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Wind Turbines Unhealthy Says State Legislator

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DE PERE, WI (WSAU)A state senator who wants more limits on wind energy turbines says he’ll give evidence to the Public Service Commission Wednesday on the medical risks of living near those turbines.

At a news conference yesterday, De Pere Republican Frank Lasee (luh-say’) said he wants the P-S-C to pass strict rules banning high-tech windmills within a mile of people’s homes, and to require the consent of nearby residents before they can be built. Right now, the limit is 12-hundred-50-feet.

Sue and Darryl Ashley of rural Glenmore in Brown County told reporters they had to move last summer, to give their 16-year-old daughter relief from headaches and sleep deprivation caused by turbines from the nearby Shirley Wind Project. Alyssa Ashley said her health problems subsided after the family moved – but it left them paying two mortgages.

Doctor Herb Coussons said the noise from wind turbines can cause elevated blood pressure, diabetes, and a higher risk of heart disease for those living close by. But in 2010, the P-S-C’s Wind Siting Council said there was not enough evidence of negative health effects to justify stricter limits.

Soon after taking office last year, Governor Scott Walker pushed for longer setbacks for new wind farms at the request of the state’s Realtors. And a legislative committee voted to strike down P-S-C rules which sought to encourage new wind farms. But after lawmakers failed to pass subsequent measures, the P-S-C’s rules were put back in place after the legislative session ended in March of this year.

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