Enercon Forced to Accept Liability for Harm Caused to Neighbours of Irish Windfarm!

Families forced from homes due to wind farm noise win court case

A number of families in Co Cork who were forced to leave their homes because of noise from a nearby wind farm have won a significant case in the High Court this week.

The families claim they have been severely impacted by noise since the wind farm began operating in 2011.

This is the first action of its kind in Ireland and may now open many wind farm developers to the prospect of legal challenges from families in similar situations.

The case was taken against wind turbine manufacturer Enercon who have accepted full liability for causing nuisance to seven families who live up to 1km from the wind farm.

The case will return to the High Court in 2017 to discuss punitive damages.

Promises in Government over the last four years to introduce planning regulations regarding wind turbines have failed to materialize.

According to out-dated guidelines, turbines may be built 500m from homes. In many cases, including this, wind turbines have been built closer than 500m.

A spokesperson for Wind Aware Ireland said: “There now is a possibility for multiple legal actions against wind farms right around the country.

“The legal implications for the wind industry are significant. The use of inadequate and out-dated planning guidelines may come back to haunt the industry, planning authorities and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE).”

On election, Minister Naughten promised that new planning guidelines would be in place within 3 to 6 months of the formation of the new government.

Brazilian Court Lowers the Amount of Electromagnetic Pollution, Allowed to be Emitted by Power lines

Brazilian Courts Order Lower Power Line Electromagnetic Pollution

RETA Lady Justice photo logoRETA Health hazard imageThe Court of the State of Sao Paulo recently determined that the Sao Paulo electricity transmission provider must reduce the level of electromagnetic (EMF) pollution produced by power lines to standards adopted by Swiss law (1.0 microtesla or 10 mG) (Environmental News Network). Currently, EMFs generated by overhead transmission lines in Sao Paulo, and most other places around the world, are at least 10 times higher than this near the lines. (For example, the EMF levels are about 12 to 14 times higher than 10 mG near transmission lines in the Edmonton, Alberta area.)

The court decision was based on the Brazilian Federal Constitution and the United Nations Precautionary Principle, which both declare the protection of health and the environment. The court also widely examined the international research on the effects of EMFs on health, and recognized “the great possibility of the electromagnetic field of low frequency to be a carcinogenic agent in human beings”.

Oklahoma Wind Action Association Sues Wind Company, on behalf of 7 Residents.

Land owners file class action against Apex to prevent wind farm construction

LEGAL NEWSLINE STAFF WRITER| SEPTEMBER 3, 2014 | 10:20 AM
 

OKLAHOMA CITY (Legal Newsline) – Oklahoma Wind Action Association, on behalf of seven land owners, is suing Apex Wind Construction LLC in order to prevent wind turbines from being built near their homes.

Terra Walker, Cheyenne Ward, Julie Harris, Janelle Grellner, Elisa Kay Kochenower, Karri Parson and Cindy Shelley claim the defendants’ planned wind farm projects create a nuisance, devalue their homes and can adversely affect their health, according to a complaint filed Aug. 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.

Aamodt

Aamodt

The lawsuit was brought against Apex Clean Energy Inc., Apex Clean Energy Holdings LLC, Kingfisher Wind LLC, Kingfisher Wind Land Holdings LLC, Kingfisher Transmission LLC, Campbell Creek Wind LLC and Campbell Creek Wind Transmission LLC.

The plaintiffs all live within three miles of the planned wind farm and own property within the “no-build” zone of the planned locations of the wind turbines, the suit says.

Under current Oklahoma and federal law, wind energy production is essentially an unregulated industry, according to the suit. Wind energy is produced through the use of large Industrial Wind Energy Conversion Systems that consist of three blades connected to a generator that sits atop a tower.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants are scheduled to complete financing on the first phase of their wind farm in Canadian and Kingfisher counties in October and intend to begin construction on the first phase of the wind farm in early 2015.

As a result, Industrial Wind Turbines, by their own safety standards, create a de facto “no-build” zone in a 1,500 radius surrounding the turbine, according to the suit. In many instances, this “no-build” zone overlaps with the property of landowners who have no agreement with the defendants, the suit says.

“This invasion of plaintiffs’ right to use and enjoy their property requires defendants to obtain an easement from the landowner that restricts their ability to construct upon any property within the [1,500] feet of the Industrial Wind Turbine,” the complaint states. “Otherwise, defendants’ Industrial Wind Turbines will interfere with plaintiffs’ ability to use their property as they wish safely.”

The plaintiffs claim the defendants have undertaken no effort to obtain such easements and the plaintiffs will be left with “a cloud upon their titles.”

Within the past several years, the defendants constructed the Canadian Hills Wind Farm between the City of Okarche, Okla. and Calumet, Okla. in Northwestern Canadian County, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim the noise deteriorates the ability — in both children and adults — to properly think, remember or concentrate during exposure.

The infrasonic noise generated by IWECS also causes sleeping disorders, headaches, mood disorders, tinnitus and vestibular problems, according to the suit.

“The rotation of IWECS blades causes flickering of sunlight, commonly referred to as ‘shadow flicker,’” the complaint states. “Exposure to such ‘shadow flicker’ has been reported to cause seizures in certain individuals.”

The plaintiffs claims additionally, shadow flicker further enhances stress-induced health effects, such as those caused by infrasonic noise from IWECS.

In December, officials in the nearby city of Piedmont approved an agreement with Apex to settle a heated, year-long fight to block wind farm construction near the city.

Officials in Kingfisher are also negotiating with Apex on a similar setback agreement.

The plaintiffs are seeking class certification, the court to enjoin the defendants from constructing a nuisance that would injure them and award them their costs and disbursements. They are being represented by Jason B. Aamodt, Deanna L. Hartley, Krystina E. Phillips and Dallas L.D. Strimple of Indian and Environmental Law Group PLLC.

The case is assigned to District Judge Tim Leonard.

Oklahoma is the country’s fourth-largest wind-power producer.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma case number: 5:14-cv-00914

From Legal Newsline: Kyla Asbury can be reached at classactions@legalnewsline.com.