Wind energy projects in Shade Township have a more stringent regulation to comply with when proposing the development of wind energy facilities with in the township.
At Thursday night’s meeting, supervisors approved the township’s ordinance on the regulation of wind turbines.
Since summer, supervisors have discussed establishing an ordinance for the township and have heard concerns from residents and property owners over the potential effects the towers may have on residents’ health and welfare and the environment.
“The board decided to regulate wind turbines to protect property owners and citizens of the township,” said supervisors Chairman John Topka.
“The regulation is not to stop wind turbines from coming into the township. It’s just a lot easier to deal with them now,” he said.
The county’s planning commission has approved the installation of 33 wind turbines with in the township by Gamesa Energy USA and Shaffer Mountain LLC. The company plans to erect 22 turbines on Berwind Natural Resources Corp. property and 11 turbines are scheduled to be erected on four Shade resident properties.
Any further wind development will have to comply with Shade’s ordinance, which states the turbine must have setback of three times the hub height from the nearest property line of a non-participating landowner and the noise level generated from the structure is not to exceed 45 decimals from the nearest property line of a non-participating landowner.
In addition, the wind company is required to pay a $2,500 application permit fee.
The township will collect the fee at the time of the application submission, said Scott Bittner, township solicitor. Permit fees will be applied for administrative and pre-construction engineering cost the township may accrue.
Proposals for wind development will now be submitted to the supervisors for review, Bittner said.
Several residents commented on the township’s adoption of the ordinance.
Shade property owner Joseph J. Cominsky commended the board for “taking the lead in regulating the wind industry.”
Cominsky continued to address the importance of protecting the active watershed in the township.
Shade resident Steve Chappie urged supervisors to enforce the regulation on the placement of the towers to protect the township’s watershed.
In other business, the board discussed amendments to the township’s real estate transfer tax ordinance.
The amendment to the ordinance authorizes the U.S. Department of Internal Revenue to collect any delinquent real estate taxes, said Bittner.
The board plans to adopt the ordinance at the January meeting.
By Jennifer Garlesky
Daily American Correspondent
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