RIGA TOWNSHIP, MI (WTOL) – Residents packed into a special meeting Tuesday night to hear competing opinions about the effects of wind turbines near their homes.
Several firms are interested in building turbines in farmlands in Riga, Palmyra, Ogden, and Fairfield townships.
Deanna Goddyn of Riga worries about one that might be built right across her street.
"Some people have hearing aides in my family. Does that affect their being able to hear and everything? Will it cause a constant ringing in your ears?"
At the packed meeting, the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition brought in sound expert Rick James. He and the IICC believe the turbines could create serious health problems in Lenawee county and across the state line into Sylvania and Berkey.
Kevon Martis, of the IICC, said, "You will be exposed to low frequency and infrasound which, a significant percentage of the population, maybe 20 percent or so, it creates vertigo, nauseousness, and sleep deprivation."
But Exelon, one of the companies that wants to build the turbines, brought in their own sound consultant.
Peter Guldberg said they would not generate sound higher than 45 decibels, which is similar to the inside of a library or an empty conference room.
Guldberg added, "People shouldn't have any fear about this project because it is going to be built right. It is going to be built to a much more stringent sound limit than what applies to any of the existing wind turbine projects here in Michigan today."
The citizen coalition isn't calling for the project to be scrapped but says 45 decibels is too loud. They also want setbacks that are far enough to protect neighboring properties.
The Riga township trustees will ultimately decide if the project should be approved.
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