January 31, 2012
During my reporting on the problem of wind-turbine noise, I have interviewed a number of homeowners who have abandoned their homes due to the noise. One of those people: Wisconsin resident Dave Enz. After talking with him on the phone, he sent me the following statement. I edited only for punctuation. I have added some follow up questions at the bottom of his statement. — RB
My name is David Enz. My wife and I used to live about 3,000 feet from the nearest wind turbine driven generator. There are five more within about one mile of our home. These Glenmore turbines are some of the tallest in the state at 492 feet.
We raised our children in this house we built in 1978. It was a great place to live but we can no longer live there. We are now living with children, friends and in our RV. So far we have received no offer of compensation. We get sick in an hour or less most times when we return to get food or different clothes. Other people also get sick when they spend time at our place. We found new homes for our dog and chickens so they could be cared for. We try to go to our home when the turbines are down because we are fine then. The turbine owners are going to sound test our home, but it doesn’t matter what the test results are, the results for us are we can no longer live in our home. We and others get sick outside and inside the buildings. From the research I have done our symptoms are consistent with the other folks who are driven out of their homes.
Some of the symptoms we experience are headaches, ear pain, nausea, blurred vision, anxiety, memory loss, and an overall unsettledness. This is no way to live in one’s own home! I believe there needs to be health studies done to find out what the cause of the serious health issues is, and what rules need to be in place to protect people. The present rules do not address this problem. I think different types and sizes of wind turbines produce these effects over greater distances, therefore measurements should be in place based on what is causing the adverse health effects on people. I cannot understand how the people sworn in to protect the citizens can let companies profit from the pain of the people.
We are not like some other countries where people don’t have rights and freedoms. This is America where the goal is to have liberty and justice for all, not a country where the rich and powerful rule over them. The wind industry claims their turbines are not the problem but throughout the world when wind turbines go on line the problems show up. I believe if this was in any other industry they would be shut down, until they proved they were not the cause. I am not a rocket scientist, but if the health issues are present when the turbines are running and gone a while after they shut down, it sure would cause me to think maybe there is a connection. Why doesn’t the turbine industry have to prove they are not the problem instead of the people proving they are?
With so many people with the same or similar health symptoms, I think if this was a drug that would be evidence enough to remove any drug from the market. The people that are hurt aren’t getting any government funding to pay for a study but the industry sure is. These health issues are so unbearable they are forcing us and others from our homes. Do wind companies have this right to take away our freedom to live in a house we built, raised our family, and planned to enjoy?
— Dave Enz, October 22, 2011
Questions emailed to Enz by Robert Bryce. Replies received October 25 and 30, 2011
Q: May I publish all or part of the note you sent me?
A: Yes, you may.
Q: How old are you? How old is your wife?
A: I am 68 my wife is 66 years old.
Q: I assume you are now retired. Is that so? What was your occupation prior to retirement? In what town did you work?
A: Yes I am. I worked as a millwright in a paper mill for over thirty years. I worked in Green Bay.
Q: Have you sued the company that owns the wind turbines? If not, are you planning to?
A: We haven’t been approached yet to settle and don’t know if we will be.
Q: Could you sell your house in Glenmore if you attempted to do so? Or have your neighbors and others been alerted to the problems you are having?
A: We have been very open about our health issues with the neighbors, town,county and state.We thought about selling but if the new owners got sick.the money wouldn’t be worth it. I don’t think anyone would buy it at it’s pre- turbine value even if it would sell.
Q: Are other people in your area experiencing similar problems?
A: I believe there are at least two other families that need to leave their homes to get relief from their symptoms.
Q: How did Senator Lasee become familiar with you and your story?
A: I don’t know for sure but they called and asked if I would do an interview with Senator Lasee for TV. I did it because people need to be informed.
Q: What is the best outcome for you? That is, what would be a fair resolution of the situation you now face with your home?
A: First of all the industrial wind turbine setting rules would be in place to protect peoples health. That means health studies need to be done and a measurement system developed that can insure setbacks are right. As to your question, either move us with fair compensation or move the turbines. We don’t think we could ever regain what has been lost by our family due to this injustice.
Q: You said you built the home in Glenmore in 1978. Do you own it free and clear or do you still have a mortgage?
A: We built it and own it. Have a small equity loan now to purchase our motor home we now call home. Makes the wife nervous since she doesn’t like debt.
Q: What’s the approximate value of the home?
A: Don’t know because we never had it appraised. Best guess: $300,00 to $500,000.
Q: You said you and Rose raised your children in the house. How many children did you raise there?
A: Nine wonderful children. They also feel the loss because they helped build the house and out buildings. As a family, we have a lot of memories connected to this property.
Q: How many acres is your place?
A: A little over forty.
Q: On whose land were the turbines built?
A: Our next door neighbors.
Q: Are you getting any royalty payments from the turbines? If so, how much?
A: Not a dime thankfully
Q: If you are not getting payments, who is and how much are they getting?
A: Some of the neighbors received a good neighbor payment of $1,000 one time I was told. I was also told if you live within 1/2 mile you receive a small yearly payment. The turbine host have a well-kept secret. Maybe the
Town of Glenmore could shed more light on this. You can find them at townofglenmore.wi
Q. Do you have a lawyer? If so, could you provide me with his/her name?
A: I do not have a lawyer at this time.