WINTERSET, Iowa -- On Tuesday, the Madison County Board of Supervisors set a date for a public hearing regarding a possible moratorium on new wind turbine projects in the county.
This all comes after the Madison County Board of Health made a recommendation to the board of supervisors to establish an ordinance requiring new wind turbines to be built 1.5 miles away from any home because they believe there are negative health effects caused by turbines.
MidAmerican and other county residents disputed that claim at the supervisors meeting on Tuesday, saying they believe the opposite.
“Look at the scientifically researched, peer reviewed studies. In the conclusion of those, there are no negative health effects from wind turbines,” said Adam Jablonski with MidAmerican.
Some Madison County residents are backing up the board of health. A local cardiologist is not convinced turbines are safe.
"I am disturbed by the lack of due diligence of proving the fact that these are safe for exposure to me. They have never been shown to be safe. Even wind energy's own consultants have confirmed that with me as well," Dr. W. Ben Johnson said.
One resident said she believes one of the studies MidAmerican cited titled, “Wind and Health,” may have been influenced by lobbyists.
“The heavy influence of these pro-wind lobby groups is very evident here, and furthermore, not one of those authors has medical training. So our question is going to be why are they allowed to speak with any authority to the resolution that the Madison County Board of Health made in the interest of its own residents,” Rachael Terhaar said.
MidAmerican and other residents stand by studies that say wind turbines are safe.
“The Madison County Board of Health recommended a very extreme setback of 1.5 miles and the basis for that was a World Health Organization European Report, which does not make any such recommendation. So what that would effectively do is eliminate any future wind projects if the county implemented an ordinance at 1.5 miles,”Jablonski said.
The public hearing on the possible wind turbine moratorium in Madison County is now scheduled for Sept. 10 at 10 a.m.