PONTIAC – Experts assessing plans for a wind farm in Livingston County will attend today’s County Board meeting.
Representatives from the consulting firm Conestoga-Rivers and Associates and the law firm Schain, Burney, Ross and Citron Ltd, both based in Chicago, will be at the meeting, said Chuck Schopp, the county’s zoning administrator. The firms, which specialize in environmental issues, have been hired to review the application from wind farm developer PPM Energy, of Portland, Ore.
“They have basically looked at the application and have done an initial review, but we still do not have a complete application as we are waiting on things such as a noise study,” Schopp said. “Since the application is not complete, the schedule for public hearings is unknown.”
The firms will introduce themselves and explain their role in the process.
PPM Energy is looking to build 373 turbines in Livingston and LaSalle counties. The $1.5 billion project is slated for two phases on 36,000 acres, according to PPM.
Streator Cayuga Ridge South would have 154 turbines south of Interstate 55 and east of Odell. Streator Cayuga Ridge North would have 169 turbines west of Interstate 55 in Livingston County and 50 turbines north of Illinois 17 in LaSalle County.
The County Board will met at 6 p.m. in the board office, 112 W. Madison St., Pontiac.
The County Board’s agriculture and zoning committee met Tuesday evening to discuss the current wind farm situation, and members of the public also came to discuss their concerns with the project.
Agricultural and zoning committee Chairwoman Jeanne Rapp said she and the board have full confidence in the consultants and lawyers they hired.
“I guess we could have stuck with the intelligence we have in the board, our state’s attorney’s office and the resources we have in Livingston County if that would have been preferable, but as a county we felt like we did not have the technology and did not have an engineer’s mind, and we had an application with an engineer’s mind,” she said. “We felt strongly about this and the board agreed that we needed some expertise in this.”
The application must still go through various channels, such as the Livingston County Zoning Board of Appeals, and public hearings.
By Tony Sapochetti
15 August 2007
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