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Township passes wind-turbine ordinance  

tribune-democrat.com

By Julie Benamati
The Tribune-Democrat

MUNDYS CORNER – Jackson Township supervisors unanimously have approved two ordinances that will establish standards for wind turbine and other energy companies interested in property in the township.

About a year ago, U.S. Wind Force LLC of Pittsburgh expressed an interest in constructing a windmill farm on the ridge of Dishong Mountain.

According to Bill Barbin, the township’s solicitor, the company has not expressed any further interest in the Jackson site.

But another wind company, Competitive Power Ventures of Raintree, Mass., already has obtained a license from the Johnstown Water Authority to set up an anemometer. It will be at the old Red Run Watershed property in Jackson and West Taylor townships.

The anemometer will monitor wind speed and direction, and determine for the company if a wind farm would be feasible there.

“CPV’s interest in the property has been expressed, and they are in the time of testing the wind resource at this point, to see if it’s worthwhile to go ahead,” Barbin said.

The marked interest from both wind companies prompted supervisors to pass these ordinances:

“¢ To prohibit the giant turbines from being constructed too close to homes.

“¢ In a similar vein, to protect property owners from surface and land development associated with gas- and oil-drilling operations.

“The wind-turbine ordinance offers immediate protection, because there are windmill developers knocking on the door,” said Dave Hirko, the township’s manager. “The other ordinance protects the property owner from companies with oil and gas rights who think they can access your property with no warning.”

The wind ordinance requires a windmill to be at least 2,500 feet from the nearest inhabited structure.

“It’s a setback, and they can’t be any closer than that to a house,” Hirko said.

The surface and land-development ordinance will prevent developers from making a road onto private property or digging holes without permission.

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

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