8/14/08 How much does local control over siting of wind turbines mean to you? Is this issue worth five minutes of your time? YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
If your township doesn't already have an ordinance in place with a safer setback, now is the time to contact your town board to ask them act on it. Ordinances with safer setbacks can be downloaded by clicking here And now is the time to contact your legislators to let them know maintaining local control on this issue is something you feel strongly about. It will take you about five minutes to send them an email. The wind turbines will be here for 30 years.
To find out who your legislators are and how to contact them, click here
Read this article from Milwaukee's Daily Reporter to know how serious this issue is--
State swings for wind rules
Municipalities fight for local controlDaily Reporter (click here to read at source)
state Legislature will try again to establish statewide wind farm
standards, but the one-size-fits-all approach faces the same opposition.
Since the last legislative session ended with a failed attempt to approve standards, several local governments created wind farm ordinances, and many argue that’s where the discussion should stay.
“It’s a scary prospect to put (turbines) in here among all the homes,” said Mike Luethe, chairman of the town of Ridgeville, which last week joined the town of Wilton in passing an ordinance establishing half-mile setbacks for wind farms. “Local governments should still have a say in the matter.”
He said Invenergy LLC of Chicago, which wants to develop a wind farm in the area, already challenged in court the joint Ridgeville-Wilton ordinance.
“They said we didn’t have the right to pass our own ordinance,” Luethe said, “because it essentially vetoed the county’s own ordinance.”
It’s that kind of confusion at lower government levels that prompts state officials to take action.
“Look, I realize it’s an extremely sensitive situation,” said state Rep. Phil Montgomery, the Green Bay Republican who co-authored a bill last year for statewide standards. “But as the chairman of the (Assembly) Committee on Energy and Utilities, I have a responsibility to meet state criteria and have statewide policies in place.”
Kevin Brady, clerk of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Utilities and Rail, which dealt with the unsuccessful Senate version of the wind farm bill last session, said towns and municipalities need guidance in creating rules.
“You can’t reinvent the wheel over and over,” he said. “We need a statewide policy or nobody’s going to want to come develop wind farms here.”
That’s OK with some people. Gerry Meyer, a Brownsville resident, said his 13-year-old son suffers ill effects from the sound of turbines spinning three quarters of a mile away.
“He says his head feels like it’s spinning 100 mph, not just from the sound but the shadows flickering on his walls,” Meyer said. “I’m just angry (state) officials have let it get to this point. Working in the garden used to be relaxing.
“Frankly, I’d rather have a nuclear power plant three quarters of a mile away.”
Montgomery said he respects the concerns of residents who live near wind farms, and he said he wants to balance their concerns with the state’s need to develop renewable energy sources.
And if local governments get control of wind farm siting, Montgomery said, they’ll likely look for more.
“If you do it for wind, then what?” he said. “I mean, if you want to see a train wreck and something that would just shut the state down economically, it’d be having to have developers and companies go through 3,000-plus governing bodies to get their projects done.”
As long as wind farm developers propose projects producing less than 100 megawatts of electricity, local governments have the final word. If they produce more energy, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin makes the call. Eventually, the state might take control of approvals.
But Luethe said if state officials draw up statewide standards, they need to show they have residents in mind.
“This is new technology, and it sounds fantastic,” he said. “But you get these developers coming in, and they sit on the boards and committees drawing up the rules.
“You have to ask, ‘Will it fit here?’ And you can’t just have people from the east side of the state deciding it for everyone.”