Editor's note, pt. 1: The following letter was sent to the supervisors of Union, Menno, Oliver, Granville, Grant and Brady townships, and a copy submitted to The Sentinel for publication.
To the editor:
After researching the Jacks Mountain wind turbine project, I've come to the conclusion that six townships will determine the acceptance or rejection of the project. There are many considerations that I feel would result in rejection. I wish to submit one that I feel should be given your top consideration.
Decades ago, in one of my mechanical engineering design courses, potential for equipment emitting sound of 20 hertz or less was deemed possible; it was later determined to be harmful to humans. At that time low frequency emission didn't have a name. Today it is called Infrasound. Wind turbine electric generation is not new to European countries; they are now acutely aware of infrasound problems. There was a suspicion that infrasound was the cause of some not so rational decisions made by WWII pilots. Some research on your part will bear that out. This problem has reared its ugly head in the last decade; the wind turbine industry is in denial. My concern is that many townships are drafting wind ordinances but have never heard of infrasound. I am enclosing six studies of the harmful exposure to infrasound for you to explore. There are many, many more.
Some of my concerns: A wind farm proposal of this magnitude should have submitted project drawings with access roads, elevations, turbine site dimensions with footing design and construction for township or county engineer's inspection. I must assume these exist and they would be subject to inspection ...
... E.ON is a German organization. Why was Mifflin County selected for this site? Perhaps fewer regulations? I hope we rural residents are not considered synonymous with uninformed. Mr. (Dennis) Stout also said companies are bound by state and local ground water regulations. I'm sure his company will comply, but where is the engineering study plan I'm sure was submitted? Compliance will only be determined after the project is complete and if not met, is the township responsible for the damage or correction?
In conclusion gentlemen, if this project is approved by you and is as beneficial as touted by E.ON, supervisors of six townships will look like the prize stallions in the stall, but, and this is a big but, if it fails and property values fall, relocation of residents is necessitated, legal action arises, there will be farm land erosion and health of citizens diminish, I would venture to say that E.ON will be back in Germany, horrendous costs will be borne by who only knows and names of personnel responsible for approval will be etched on the 400 foot rusting towers for eternity. Choose carefully, gentlemen. Load the odds in your favor by having any tests made by independent laboratories of your choosing - not E.ON! One last warning: If the proposed turbine is the Enercon E82, caution, it could be the kiss of death. When you make a decision, I'll abide by it. My sincere hope is that I'll be abiding joyously.
Charles E. Deibert
Editor's note, pt. 2: A portion of Mr. Deibert's original letter referred to statements made by Mr. Dennis Stout (of E.ON Climate and Renewables) in a Feb. 6 letter published by The Sentinel. We edited that portion from this copy of his letter because it appeared to take Mr. Stout's statements out of context and had the potential to create confusion for our readers.