Noise Complaints Lead To Lawsuit Against Wind Turbines

Dan Williams is fed up with the noise from wind turbines that invaded the area near his property in Oregon’s Willow Creek Valley. He is taking his fight to court and today filed a lawsuit against Invenergy, the Chicago-based corporation and developer that built and operates the turbines near Williams’ 209-acre ranch just north of Heppner, in eastern Oregon’s Morrow County.

“Invenergy came into this valley with little consideration for folks like me who were already living here,” said Williams. “The turbines they built are noisy and the effects on me have been devastating. I treasured the peaceful, quiet existence at my home.” Williams resided on the property until about a year ago when the noise became too much for him. He now lives in the McKenzie River area near Blue River.

When the wind blew hard and the turbines near his Morrow County home went into full operation, Williams became physically sick and could not sleep. He believes the turbines have diminished the value of his property. He wants a jury to compensate him for his losses and to hold the Chicago developer accountable for the harm it caused him. He is also asking that the court stop Invenergy from future violations of the state noise law.

Williams’ lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Portland, details the history of his complaints about the wind turbines dating back to when the first ones were being built. Invenergy announced plans in 2005 to build the 72 megawatt, 48 turbine wind generation facility at Willow Creek. Construction began in 2008. On July 16, 2008, Williams and several of his neighbors met with a corporate representative to discuss their concerns about noise the turbines would create. Frustrated by the corporation’s response, Williams took the problem to Morrow County officials in early 2009. The county planning commission required Invenergy to test the noise levels at Williams’ home. The corporation’s own testing proved that the wind turbines were in violation of state noise standards.

Read the legal complaint in Resources