Letter: Township ordinances seek to protect landowners
Regarding Peter Hancock’s article of 04/06/2019, published in the April 10th edition of The Tuscola Journal, and Illinois Legislatures passing of HB-2988. In the article, an unnamed representative of Energias de Portugal, aka, EDPR, via email, said the Townships of Murdock and Newman established zoning ordinances to prevent construction of the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm, previously the Broadlands Wind Farm. This is not so.
Citizens of these townships, and now, Sargent Twp as well, sought zoning for the simple fact Douglas County Officials refused a moratorium to revisit the county building code, WECS amendment, written in 2009. This 2009 code amendment requires a very inadequate 1,000-ft. setback for industrial wind turbines, from the primary foundation. Provides no protection for property values, and otherwise provides, minimal at best, protections for health and welfare of those within the radius of the turbines, and leaves decommissioning to negotiation on individual basis. Nothing in these Township Zoning Ordinances prevents the safe responsible building of industrial wind factories. Wind “farm” is a misnomer. These township ordinances sought to protect owners, lessees, and neighbors.
Even the 1,500-ft. EDPR has used in the permit application process, is far short of the suggested safety circle these turbine manufacturers suggest. And, the Douglas County code amendment of 2009 was written well before these 596-ft. turbines were envisioned. Had Douglas County Officials done due diligence nine months ago, these Township Citizens might have felt better represented, safer, and a little more secure. Energias de Portugal might have even begun construction on their first turbines. Big money pushed and passed HB-2988, an example of our governing gone wrong.
For added reference one can search the internet and find documented safety requirements for the V-90 turbines, similar to the California Ridge, at a height of 476 ft. The suggested safe zone in emergency is 1,640 ft., with a working radius of 1,300 ft. The information is out there, we just have to look. This information may be found in: patch.com/Massechusetts/falmouth or northeastwindmills.com.