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Large Wind Energy System Ordinance  

Author:  | Noise, Ordinances, Wisconsin

This zoning ordinance is notable for limiting the noise level from wind turbines at neighboring residences to 5 dB(A) above the ambient level, thus protecting the relative quiet of rural areas.

As amended on September 18, 2007, it also requires a placard on each tower: “The placard must provide a telephone number for law enforcement or other county officials to call for purposes of noise complaint investigation, sound level measurement, or administration of this ordinance. A person must be reachable through that telephone number at all times, and the owner must be able to promptly control the operation of the large wind energy system as necessary to permit noise complaint investigation and sound level measurement.”

Also added is a setback of 1 mile from any emergency communications tower and 500 feet from all corridors between emergency communications towers.

Manitowoc County (Wisc.) wrote a corresponding “small wind” ordinance, but the wind industry representatives sabotaged it by insisting that it – rather than the “large wind” ordinance – regulate “commercial” wind turbines, which are much larger than typical home or farm systems. Thus they ensured strict restrictions on even the smallest wind turbines.

Download original document: “Large Wind Energy System Ordinance

This article is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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