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Wind farm questions must be answered

Since taking it upon myself to learn as much about this project as I can, I have had many questions that won’t seem to leave my mind. Zoning was sold to the citizens of Ellis County as a means to protect us from various imagined ills. The more I learn, the more I am convinced that we are owed an explanation as to why the process resulted in such little protection of the citizens against the industrialization of massive areas of Ellis County land. We the people should demand a thorough investigation into the process by which zoning was introduced, approved and written. My research has indicated that this investigation should include the conflict of interest concerning a few of the landowners (and their immediate family) who have participated in this very process, all the while knowing they have significant financial interest to bring the wind development here.

Unfortunately, the problems don’t stop there. The project area included in the application goes from 170th Avenue to 220th Avenue east-west and Munjor Road to Old Highway 40 north-south. Why weren’t the people living in Prairie Acres, Woodland Addition to those along Noose Road notified?

This brings the boundary of the project within a mile of the city limits of Hays. Why haven’t the citizens of the city or their representatives been involved in the process?

From the current research data on other wind complexes of similar size and constitution, the projected water usage from the Big Creek Aquifer will be very substantial. What effects will this have on the people in Hays and surrounding communities?

Why haven’t there been any independent studies required by the county to understand the potential effects of this massive project and its monster machines on:

“¢ health and safety

“¢ economic impact

“¢ water depletion and contamination

“¢ property value loss

“¢ view shed and aesthetic impact

“¢ legal ramifications

“¢ expansion of Hays and rural areas

“¢ roads and bridges

“¢ landowner contracts and liability

“¢ radar, cellular and other communication interference

“¢ construction process

“¢ aviation

“¢ impact of loss of taxes

“¢ wind measurements of regional western Kansas, not just the projected area

If these studies are not done, we are entirely dependent on the sales pitch of CPV. Are we to believe that all of these unintended consequences to Ellis County, some of which will not show up for several years, will be taken care of by a corporation in Spain (that is if they still own it)? Why did our commissioners send a letter to DisGen in 2005 stating that Ellis County is interested in wind development without doing any of those homework?

It took me roughly five minutes to find a model ordinance for counties to follow in setting up zoning regulations for industrial wind developments. Several counties have followed this advice and came up with 20-plus pages of regulations necessary to protect its citizenry. Why did Ellis County hire a consultant who is supposed to specialize in wind development, only to end up with less than a page and a half of protection for the citizens of Ellis County? Could this have something to do with the conflict of interest, as well?

I won’t argue with anyone whether or not wind energy is the answer. I will, however, argue that this project brings with it tremendous risks to all the citizens of Ellis County due to the conflicts of interest in the zoning process, which resulted in the poor choice of location, poor regulation of these developments and lack of independent studies to verify the claims of the developer.

I would ask all the citizens of Ellis County to join me in demanding a moratorium on these projects until these and any questions uncovered by a comprehensive investigation are answered.

Keith Pfannenstiel

974 Mount Pleasant Road

hdnews.net

7 May 2007