Maxinkuckee Environmental Council, Fund announce opposition to wind farm project

The Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council (LMEC) and the Lake Maxinkuckee Enironmental Fund (LMEF) released a statement last week formally announcing they do not endorse a wind farm project proposed by Florida energy company NextEra. The statement notes the organizations “would like to clarify and comment upon statements made in NextEra Energy Resource’s paid advertisement in the Culver Citizen on August 11.”
It continues: “In response to NextEra’s proposal to install wind turbines east of Culver, the LMEC on two occasions agreed to meet with NexEra representatives to discuss environmental issues surrounding NextEra’s planned wind farm. The Council believes the NextEra ad implied that, as a result of those meetings, LMEC has endorsed NextEra’s proposed wind farm.
“This is incorrect. The truth is exactly the opposite. As a result of those discussions and our research into adverse environmental effects reported at existing wind projects, the LMEC and LMEF do not endorse the proposed wind farm.
“LMEC and LMEF note that there is little indication at this time that the lake’s water quality would be degraded by this project. That said, the environment of the watershed area, as well as all of southern Marshall County, includes many more factors than just water quality – all of which are our concern.
“There is significant documentation that wind turbines elsewhere have caused the destruction of birds and bats, vital for insect control, as well as caused negative effects upon livestock.
“What’s more, medical research has produced statistics showing alarming negative effects upon humans. The noise from rotating blades, reportedly heard over long distances, plus the shadow flicker of moving blades have both caused problems for people. A condition called ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome’ – which includes headaches, nausea, and motion sickness – can become so severe that people are forced to move from their homes.
“The possible negative effect upon animal and human life is our highest concern. However, another significant impact would be the sight of these 450 feet tall behemoths towering over Marshall County. NextEra’s representatives showed LMEC a depiction of the visual effect from Culver’ town park. LMEC found the images extremely disturbing, even at placements several miles from Lake Maxinkuckee.
“In short, the LMEC and LMEF believe that the potential for negative impacts upon multiple dimensions of our environment is simply too serious to risk the installation of these massive machines so close to our population. Unless and until proponents of these wind turbines come forth with incontrovertible evidence that none of these risks will befall our community, the installation of wind turbines should be denied in Marshall County.”
NextEra has proposed placement of more than 60 turbines in Marshall and Fulton Counties, a project whose ultimate approval lies in the hands of the Marshall County Board of Zoning Appeals. Controversy over the project -- which Culver’s parks and recreation board voted last month to oppose -- has grown in recent weeks, as evidenced in part by a widely attended presentation from a group of southern Marshall County property owners last month.