Wind turbine noise and flicker in Altona, N.Y.

Thu, 12 Feb 2009

Dear ——,

Please see the below emails detailing my concerns as a landowner in the midst of the Altona Windpark. I have not gotten a single response to this (2nd) email (18 days ago). The first email elicited a phone call from Lisa in which she said she was looking into getting awnings for me; Dan and Brett were looking at the TV issue; they wouldn’t do any sound tests until all were up and running. I haven’t heard any more regarding ANYTHING!

The visual effects of the windpark are very disorienting. I can see turbines from all but one window. They give me a feeling of motion sickness and dizziness. The sound on a breezy day like today is maddening. I have been told that I am in a unique position in which the sound reverberates/echos/concentrates on/to my home. I am constantly expecting to see an airplane overhead. At night the flashing lights have four or five tempos/patterns between all that I can see and that are currently running — not in sync.

I am appealing for any help that you can give to me.

Thanking you in advance for your time and consideration.


Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2009
To: Lisa Vigneault
Cc: Dan Nugent; Brett Hastings
Subject: concerns


I know we discussed all of this but the only issue I have addressed in writing was the television reception. I am not sure what can be done to rectify any of this, but I need to voice my frustration, concern, disappointment and anger and hope for some relief.

1) TV reception has been adversely affected, especially on channel 5, WPTZ. One night last week, the interference was “keeping time” to the turning of the turbine.

2) I can hear the “whoosh, whoosh, whoosh” of the turbines from within my house. It is not anything like the steady hum of a refrigerator … there is NO comparison.

3) The simultaneously flashing red lights are horrendous. They are not in sync with the SFRL on either the microwave tower or the met tower, both of which are completely visible to me. They leave “trails” when you look away as well. The park is not all “up and running” yet either, so I am sure it is not going to get any better.

4) There are turbines out every window except one at my house. When I wake in the morning, they are centered out each of my bedroom windows (one of which will be blinking). When I slept in last week and woke, from my bed, I could see the shadow of the blades turning on the tower sections of turbine 60. Two weeks ago, when I was washing my truck at ten a.m. the shadow of the blades was falling on the tree line between me and Montreal. (Nice view no more.) Sit on my couch and they are in both front windows, the front door, the rear window and the screen room window. Get a cup of coffee or go to the pantry and you are confronted with approximately 15. Stand or sit on the front porch, 21. I invite anyone to spend a day at my home, into the evening when they are lit. At the right time of day the sun is behind the ones on the kitchen/pantry side and I get the added bonus of flicker.

5) All along I have been told how “worth it” this was going to be, how unobtrusive they would be, how they wouldn’t really affect me much. Now I am being asked didn’t I know this was going to happen? Wasn’t I shown maps? Why didn’t I speak up sooner? By the time I ever heard anything about Noble coming to town, Ron Hoy, Cory Lucia and Terry Boyea had already been signed up. What could I have done? I did not sign anything until Terry was going to lose a turbine. Prior to that, I refused all agreements with Noble.

While this may not seem like much of anything to anyone, I am the girl who lived in the middle of the corn fields for ten years; the girl who lives outside from the break of spring ’til the fall of fall and any nice day thereafter. I put in a beautiful “bird sanctuary”, an expensive garden, etc, etc. I am the girl who weeds the driveway to continue having something to do outside. The wind park has completely ruined the quality of my life in this home that I love.

Thanks for listening and I await response/reaction.


Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2009

Dan Boyd, I apologize for not addressing this to you as well originally. I will forward my previous email to you.

You all need to come here and experience this. Dots and elevation lines on a piece of paper mean NOTHING. I have just stood in my kitchen recording the flicker. (8:15 a.m., January 24, 2009) My head and body are trembling, dizzy, vibrating; the right way to describe what is happening to me right now eludes me. I do know that it is very uncomfortable. This feeling is from standing in my kitchen and subjecting myself to the flicker for about six minutes in order to document what has happened to my home. This is unbearable. I can not even imagine what I am going to do this summer if I am not able to buy another home. Live here, board up the windows, mow at night, let the garden go to weeds, and wash the truck in Plattsburgh? This is completely unacceptable. I have lived here for ten years, enjoying the serenity, the view, the peacefulness. It is now like an airport runway (lights), an airplane hovering overhead steadily, or an under-maintained amusement park ride (sounds), and a discotheque (flicker). I am emotionally and physically sick and distraught over this. I am not in a very good position to purchase another home as my job is done on Friday. I know getting a loan is going to be difficult until I have again been employed for a year. Selling the house is not going to be the easiest in this economic climate, not to mention the buyer needs to be oblivious to what the turbines have done to this piece of God’s Country. I have more than tripled the value of this home in ten years. What has this wind park done to it? In my eyes, it has erased ten years of blood, sweat, tears and considerable money and hard work.

Lisa, you made a comment to me about not biting the hand that feeds me. I have worked for Noble for 2-1/2 years. Yes, I have drawn a paycheck; I am also eligible for HEAP (heating assistance). I truly think that being an employee and being a landowner should be totally separate issues. I had planned to live here for the rest of my life. I don’t see that as possible now. I just put in a new wood furnace, Bilco doors, and a new well, NOT because I planned to move in the next year! I don’t think it fair of anyone to think I should shut up and accept what happened here just because I was an employee for a relatively short time or because somewhere in thousands of pages the town was warned. Awnings will not solve the problem. Curtains will not cure the problem. Yes, I could maybe stand in the kitchen and get my coffee, but what about as soon as the weather breaks and I have my coffee on the porch and come back in at bedtime??? Trees would help a lot, but they need years to grow. What about the sound? We all know it is going to change with the season. Come now when they aren’t all running and get a clue about what I’m talking about. TV reception? I have already purchased my digital converter boxes. They didn’t help. What are we waiting for on that? I am at my wits end. I need solid answers from you, not Lisa calling and quoting what is in the town laws, studies from other areas, statements in the DEIS and FEIS, etc. I am a real person with a REAL problem. I am asking very seriously for solutions, not rhetoric and quotes. Again, I invite any and all to come experience this first hand. Come with the attitude of a girl who has worked harder than hell to come full circle from a bad marriage complete with debt, bad credit and nothing but a mobile home and a junk car. I really don’t care, but come see and hear what I do. I’m quite sure that no one could HONESTLY say there is nothing wrong with what happened here. I was recently introduced as “the girl who lives in the industrial park”. Nice.

I suggested to Tim McNeil that Noble Operations buy the house. It would be a perfect site for an Ops building for the Altona park. Tim remarked that it is in the middle of nowhere, why would they want it. Well, maybe because it is in the MIDDLE of the damn park.

I have been warned not to send this email as it may impact the offer of a contract to return as a consultant or to be rehired in the future. I find that disturbing, but if it is true, so be it. I have been a good, loyal employee and have earned my keep. This is my future.



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