Saturday, August 23, 2014
A group of about 60 town residents has filed a $40 million lawsuit against the Invenergy wind energy company.
The State Supreme Court suit was filed Aug. 1 in Wyoming County. Invenergy operates the Orangeville Wind Farm within the town.
The suit alleges “constant noise, vibrations and flicker” significantly impacted the plaintiff’s health and well-being, causing sickness, soreness, lameness and disability.
It also accuses Invenergy of diminishing the plaintiffs’ property values, creating noise pollution, and regularly violating the town’s 50-decibel noise ordinance.
The suit asks for $20 million for personal injuries, lost quality of life, and a loss in property value. It also asks for $20 million in punitive damages, compensation for court costs, and any other relief the court deems necessary.
Invenergy said in a statement issued Thursday that it will vigorously defend itself against what it described as unfounded claims.
“While support for renewable energy is strong across our country, we take seriously any concerns of those who live in a project host community,” the statement reads. “That is why we took great care in developing the Orangeville wind farm in accordance with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations. The lengthy authorization process was open and inclusive, allowing extensive opportunity for citizen input.
“In addition, since the Orangeville wind farm commenced commercial operation, the facility has been operated and maintained in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, including local zoning laws, relevant state agency directives, and Federal Aviation Administration requirements.”
This is not the first time legal action has occurred involving the wind farm.
The Clear Skies Over Orangeville group twice sued the Town of Orangeville unsuccessfully in 2010 and 2012. The lawsuits were dismissed each time.
Property owner Robert White also filed a suit in 2011, which said a proposed turbine tower was too close to his hunting cabin off Bantam Road. He was successful, and a special use permit and site plan approvals for the tower were nullified.
Many of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit are couples, representing about 25 different addresses within the town. The plaintiffs include several affiliated with CSOO.
The Orangeville Wind Farm has 58 turbines. Each is about 430 feet tall. Commercial operations began in March.