Associated Press
Monday, March 21, 2016

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Brown County’s former health director is among those who have reported health problems related to wind power, just as developers are considering a couple of high-profile projects in Wisconsin.

Former Brown County Health Director Chua Xiong said in an email to an intern on Nov. 21 that she gets “such migraine headaches” when she visits the Shirley Wind Farm that she should “take some preventative Tylenol” before going there, USA Today Network-Wisconsin ( ) reported.

Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy claims the email, which was released after the group filed an open records request, is evidence that the low-frequency sound from wind turbines has caused some residents to suffer from health problems, including sleep disturbances and vertigo.

In December, about a month after she sent the email, Xiong ruled that there isn’t enough evidence to link the turbines and illnesses, despite evidence from professionals who study sound and its effects. Since the ruling, County Board of Health Chairman Dr. Jay Tibbetts, a wind-farm opponent, said he has heard from several acousticians who disagree with Xiong’s claim.

Tibbetts acknowledged that Xiong had a history of migraines, and that headaches can be caused by multiple external factors, but he still believes Xiong’s comment in the email seems to bolster the case of people who believe the turbines make them ill.

“That email,” he said, “is as close to a smoking gun as we can get at this point.”

County Executive Troy Streckenbach said Xiong told him Friday, her last day on the job, that she believes the migraines were “due to the stress of making the decision.”

Xiong resigned as health director this month to take another job. She couldn’t be reached for comment Sunday.

Duke Energy Renewables, which operates Shirley Wind Farm, has maintained that the sounds produced by the turbines cannot be linked to health problems.

Meanwhile, a global renewable energy company based in Spain hopes to build a wind farm with nearly 50 turbines in Lafayette County, and a Wisconsin company wants to build 44 large wind turbines in St. Croix County. State regulators also are taking another look at a proposed $250 million wind farm in western Wisconsin.


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