Professional Caution to Brown County Health Department
“In my line of work, there is no excuse for harming neighbors; most certainly no excuse available to a health officer who should be held to an even higher standard of conduct.”
By Robert W. Rand, ASA, INCE
I respectfully provide this letter in support of the many adversely impacted neighbors of Shirley Wind, and investigators and researchers including Richard James, Steven Cooper, Paul Schomer and colleagues who participated in the 2012 cooperative noise study at Shirley.
I understand that following receipt of numerous carefully submitted documents and letters of evidence, on December 15, 2015, Health Officer Chua Xiong stated:
"Presently, there is insufficient scientific evidence-based research to support the relationship between wind turbines and health concerns."
Disbelieving that someone charged with protecting public health and welfare could issue such a dismissive statement following receipt of overwhelming direct evidence from neighbors and researchers who investigated Shirley, I waited for a couple of months in the chance that she might withdraw her statement. That hadn’t happened.
I am personally aware of the adverse health impacts having experienced them myself at Shirley. I had previously sent a detailed letter to Health Officer Xiong on September 30, 2015 providing an extensive summary of the health effects both observed and experienced directly during noise investigations at Shirley.
Health Officer Xiong apparently elected to completely disregard the information and professional experience obtained at personal health cost at Shirley and compiled and sent to her. She has apparently elected to disregard the enforcement powers authorized to her department, power which if exercised, could reduce or eliminate health harm. That tells me something is seriously wrong and neighbors are being endangered.
Under the INCE Rules Of Practice, I must notify appropriate authority if my professional judgment is being overruled under circumstances where the public safety, health, property or welfare are endangered. There is no question, and can be no question, that neighbors in the vicinity of the Shirley Wind Facility have reported serious adverse impacts when in proximity to the operating turbines which are alleviated when at sufficient distance.
Therefore I must provide to the Board this formal professional caution.
I respectfully submit this professional caution as an interested party and Member of the Acoustical Society of America and the Institute of Noise Control Engineering, in response to the recent statement by Health Officer Xiong related to wind turbines and adverse health effects in the vicinity of the Shirley Wind Facility.
As a Member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering (INCE), I am pledged to hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public. I take these words and this responsibility seriously, as anyone who has worked with me will tell you.
Based on the findings and personal experiences of motion sickness at Shirley correlated to power output, I concur with the Board determination of Health Hazard. As an INCE Member I can find no credible rationale for permitting continued community exposure to the potential for motion sickness evidenced by the research and actual neighbor reports when wind turbines are operated at partial power or higher.
I hereby notify the Board that my professional judgment has been overruled by Brown County Health Officer Xiong with her statement of December 15, 2015.
On behalf of the neighbors and my colleagues who have worked hard to inform all parties, and in vigorous defense of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering members, principles, and ethical practices to protect public safety, health and welfare, I object in the most strenuous terms to the statement by Health Officer Xiong.
I must warn the Board that the choice of inaction appears certain to worsen, not lessen, the health impacts being reported in the vicinity of the Shirley Wind Facility in Brown County.
In my line of work, there is no excuse for harming neighbors; most certainly no excuse available to a health officer who should be held to an even higher standard of conduct.
Thank you for your consideration of this letter. If you have any questions, please contact me.
Robert W. Rand, ASA, INCEDownload the letter