Lawsuit seeks to stop wind farm
BLOOMINGTON -- A Bloomington attorney compared a $500 million wind farm set for construction in eastern McLean County to a psychedelic disco party that will have nearby residents vomiting in their back yards.
In a lawsuit filed last week, attorney Jack Vieley accuses the McLean County Board and Horizon Wind Energy of ignoring or downplaying the potential dangers of the facility, including high voltage, cancer risk and noise and shadow pollution
, among other complaints.
He?s representing Lawrence and Rene Taylor, an Ellsworth family living near the future Twin Groves Wind Farm. Vieley is seeking an administrative review of the project to delay or potentially prohibit construction.
Vieley also seeks to force Horizon to pay fair market value for his clients? home, claiming the Taylors? quality of life and property value have been diminished.
Horizon chief development officer Michael Skelly noted the numerous safety and noise assessment studies on this project.
They can be viewed online at www.horizonwind.com
"There are some extensive studies that have been done on the impacts of this project. It?s fairly clear that we?re not hiding anything from anybody," Skelly said.
"Sometimes people have issues and it?s a subjective thing," Skelly said. "We work with a lot of (residents) to alleviate these concerns with landscaping. The landscaping is typically focused around people?s yards so the wind farm is less noticeable."
Assistant State?s Attorney Brian Hug said the county provided ample notice and time for residents to express concerns before the county approved the project. The County Board also read an adequate amount of research on the safety aspects of the project, he said.
Vieley said moving shadows from up to 267 turbines will have a hypnotizing effect and likely make nearby residents nauseous.
"It has a psychedelic effect. I?ve been to disco parties where there are flashing lights or strobe lights and people have had to go outside to vomit. I think that?s what will happen here. You?ll have people vomiting in their back yards," said Vieley, who said he expects more Ellsworth residents to join the case.
"If a tornado came through here, you could have mass destruction or mass death if one of these things came cycling through town," he added. "I?m telling you, if some kid gets cut by one of these blades or someone is injured, you?ll say, ?Old Jack wasn?t so crazy.'"
Construction should begin within the next month, Skelly said, and the farm should be partially operational this fall. The farm is expected to provide energy to around 120,000 homes.