Articles filed under Safety from USA

Maui wildfire burns approximately 95 acres

A fire that started in an area above the windmills near Maalaea on Maui had burned approximately 95 acres as of this morning, according to state Department of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) officials. ...The fire burned portions of a threatened and endangered species habitat, but it is unknown if any species were affected. ...Wind farm workers used a 4,000-gallon water tanker to shuttle water to the scene. ...The cause of the fire is under investigation.
27 Jun 2008

Turbine fire at Ewington wind farm

According to fire chief John Garmer, the wind turbine had a "ball of flame" on top when firefighters arrived at the scene. ...The fire was located at the six-turbine Ewington Wind Farm, the same site where a wind generator burned two months ago.
30 May 2008

Plane crash was second fatal accident in week related to wind-turbine research

The plane crash that killed two people and injured two more Saturday was the second fatal accident in less than a week involving researchers studying the effects that off-shore wind turbines might have on the environment. On May 12, a crewmember of a Flemington-based research vessel, studying the effects of a planned wind farm off the coast of Rehoboth Beach, Del., was killed when the vessel broke apart and washed ashore during a northeaster.
21 May 2008

We can't be selective in protecting Travis

The wind turbine issue is another example of misguided leadership. I've criticized Mike Reagan on this, and with good reason. Instead of having a meaningful discussion about the aviation safety problems being caused by wind turbines, Reagan simply dismisses any concerns as a "phony save Travis" issue. And yes, Mr. Reagan did receive a campaign donation from the wind turbine developer.
18 May 2008

Bridge repair at highway 60 and 65 interchange may slow commute times

It's going to be a longer commute for people heading out of town Friday evening. A truck carrying part of a large wind turbine damaged some girders at the Highway 60 and 65 interchange around ten Friday morning. It was traveling westbound on Highway 60 and cleared the first overpass on 65. But it hit the southbound bridge because the clearance is slightly lower on that side.
9 May 2008

Windmill fire causes $750,000 in damage

Fire caused an estimated $750,000 in damage to a windmill on Thursday, the Palm Springs Fire Deparment said today. ...The top portion of the windmill was on fire and several small spot fires happened because of falling debris. The fire is under investigation.
9 May 2008

Wind developers not concerned about safety

The foreign-owned companies that are rushing to put 406-foot industrial wind turbines in our beautiful Thousand Islands area are not thinking about our safety or welfare or even about helping the environment. They just want to line their pockets with your tax dollars. The industrial wind turbines are subsidized with your federal and state taxes as well as surcharges collected from your electric bill. They will not reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil since we do not use much oil to make electricity. ...The towns of Clayton and Orleans said that it's OK to put a 406-foot industrial wind turbine 500 feet from your property line or 1,250 feet from your home. That is too close for our health and safety.
6 May 2008

Wind power: not just stupid, but dangerous

Last week the old feeder drove through NW Iowa. My route used to offer pleasant scenery most of the way from the feedlot to my destination. I get off of I-29 at Onawa and take the county blacktops to Arnolds Park. For the last 10 years, a growing part of the drive has been through a wind farm. Its like driving through a hellish, whirling machine. Almost everyone agrees that these monstrosities are hideous eyesores. Nobody with any sense of the rural aesthetic wants them anywhere near where they live. ...Now the scenic Iowa roads between Galva and Peterson are studded with the ugly contraptions as far as the eye can see. Perhaps portending worse to come.
6 May 2008

Truck driver sends utility pole into restaurant

The Sac County, Iowa Sheriff's office says they're investigating what caused a semi to start a chain reaction accident that sent a utility pole into an Early, Iowa restaurant. Authorities say 38 year-old Glen Forbes was driving a trailer loaded with wind turbine blades when the rear steering malfunctioned.
3 May 2008

Kondylis to propose halt on new turbines

After watching and learning from the year-long process of approving new wind turbines in the Montezuma Hills, one county supervisor will ask Tuesday for a temporary ban on such projects. Supervisor Barbara Kondylis will present the issue at Tuesday's Solano County supervisors meeting. The discussion comes after the Planning Commission recently approved 75 new wind turbines in an area east of Travis Air Force Base. ...Now, Kondylis wants to see the approval of similar projects stopped until the kinks of the new radar system are worked out. "I really think it's time for us to stop and give Travis a chance to get their radar in place," she said. "Hopefully they will be able to resolve the problem.
20 Apr 2008

Court voids FAA allowance for turbines near Nevada airport

The U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia issued a ruling Friday upholding Clark County's challenge of an FAA finding that 83 electricity-generating turbines atop Table Mountain wouldn't obstruct air space or disrupt radar systems. Clark County alleged the FAA failed to follow proper administrative procedures, didn't conduct open hearings, and disregarded a county consultant's study that the 400-foot tall turbines might threaten aviation safety.
18 Apr 2008

Man injured after fall inside wind turbine

A 29-year-old contractor for Global Windpower Services fell 50 to 60 feet inside the shaft of a wind turbine on Wednesday, breaking ribs and a leg, rescue officials said. His fall was broken by a metal deck about 12 feet above the ground, according to Lt. Greg Goettsch, spokesman for the Abilene Fire Department. The man was conscious when rescuers arrived. ...Global Windpower Services is contracting with FPL Energy to work on the turbines, Stengel said. The Elm Creek Community Association and Buffalo Gap volunteer fire departments, South Taylor County EMS, the Abilene Fire Department, the Taylor County Sheriff's Office and MetroCare responded to the scene of the accident, Goettsch said.
17 Apr 2008

After fatality, Siemens will defend safety procedures

Wind turbine maker Siemens Power Generation will try to convince Oregon regulators today that adequate safety measures were in place when a 230-foot tower collapsed and crashed to the ground in a Sherman County wheat field last summer. Technician Chadd Mitchell, who was working high in the nacelle, the structure that houses the turbine's generating components, died in the Aug. 25 incident at the Klondike III wind farm. Another technician, William Trossen, was injured. A third employee, Dustin Ervin, sitting in a truck nearby, gunned the engine to avoid the falling wreckage and escaped unharmed, according to a state report. ...Siemens hasn't refuted the sequence of events that led to the collapse, but it objects to the division's findings of safety violations. "The employees demonstrated they could do the work they were trained to do safely," Siemens spokeswoman Melanie Forbrick said. "The actions that led to the incident were not actions that were related to the work they were performing." Siemens appealed the findings March 21.
16 Apr 2008

Firefighters get a feel for very high rescues

Working on an object nearly 30 stories high can be a harrowing experience for anyone. For the crews that maintain the wind turbines in southeastern Colorado maintaining a safe working environment is paramount. ...He said one of the prevailing themes from the tour was the necessity of emergency personnel to be in top physical condition when attempting a rescue from a turbine tower. Cook said the rescue personnel have to climb over two hundred feet of stairs with equipment to reach the top of the towers, an exercise that can tire many rescuers and potentially detract from their ability to adequately perform their duties.
11 Apr 2008

Town returns to original site for PHS wind turbine

When Portsmouth moved its proposed wind turbine site at the high school farther away from the town water tank, the Federal Aviation Administration raised a caution flag. Richard Talipsky, economic development committee chairman, said the town received a "notice of presumed hazard" from the FAA on Sunday that this new site could be in the flight path for Newport Airport. ...After talking to an FAA official about the notice, Mr. Talipsky said it seems to have been a technicality in response to the new application. Mr. Talipsky said he was told the FAA would have approved the original site at the high school, which is the direction that will now be taken.
10 Apr 2008

FAA rejects proposed wind turbine at Portsmouth High School

The federal government has rejected a proposal to install a wind turbine at a high school in Portsmouth. The Federal Aviation Administration says the 213-foot-tall wind turbine proposed for Portsmouth High School would be too high. The FAA says the plan needs to be modified. The agency had earlier rejected a proposed turbine at Portsmouth Middle School. ...Voters last fall approved a $3 million bond to build a wind turbine at either the middle school or high school.
8 Apr 2008

Wind farms can befuddle radar

"One windmill will not put out much noise, but when you put a cluster of them together and get the blades all spinning at the same rate, then it begins to emit noise -- enough that our radar can 'hear' the noise." You could tell the radar to ignore that frequency, but if there's a thunderstorm with the same frequency, it also would be ignored. "The use of wind energy has become a big problem not only in the meteorological world, but also to the military community as airplanes could fly low under a wind farm and one would never know the difference as to whether they are looking at false returns from the wind farm or an enemy plane."
7 Apr 2008

Turbine concern on deaf ears

The general public and public agencies have apparently missed an important story regarding Travis AFB that has occurred over the last year. In an extraordinary show of concern, base officials have issued four letters objecting to the continued addition of wind turbines to the Montezuma Hills wind resource area. Air Force officials almost never make public statements about local land use issues, so these letters are highly unusual and show urgent concern. However, these concerns have fallen on deaf ears with Solano County leadership. ...Simply put, the wind company went over the head of the local commander and went to higher levels to secure a deal. In return for $1 million to study how to mitigate the problem, and stating that 75 new turbines would not increase the damage that the 750 existing turbines have already done, higher HQ then directed Travis to withdraw objections.
7 Apr 2008

Company appeals fine for fatal tower fall; State orders Siemens to pay $10,500 for wind turbine collapse

A wind turbine manufacturer has appealed the $10,500 fine the state of Oregon issued for safety violations related to an Aug. 25, 2007, wind turbine tower collapse that killed one worker and injured another. The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division - Oregon OSHA - fined Germany-based Siemens Power Generation Feb. 26 after finding several safety violations related to the death and injury.
4 Apr 2008

Siemens appeals decision by OSHA in wind turbine death

Siemens Power Generation Inc. has appealed a fine by Oregon's Occupational Safety and Health Division over a wind turbine tower collapse. In February, the Oregon agency fined the company more than $10,000 for safety violations that led to the collapse that killed one worker and injured another last year. Siemens says in its filing with the state that it was fully committed to the safety of its employees but disagreed with the agency's findings.
3 Apr 2008

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