The State of Wisconsin’s Model Wind Energy Ordinance. This document, the basis for the current Calumet County Wind Energy Ordinance, has been cited by wind energy companies, supporters, and even some county supervisors as being the “gospel.” And being the gospel, it must be based on scientific fact, right?
Well, not exactly. When reading about the process used to develop a Wind Energy Ordinance for the Town of Union, in southern Wisconsin (http://www.GazetteXtra.com/news/2008/feb/01/proposal-would-limit-turbine-locations/), I learned some interesting things about the state’s model ordinance. According to the article, the Town of Union Wind Turbine Study Committee sent an open records request to the state, seeking any scientific and medical documentation that was used to develop the state’s model ordinance. The response that they received to this open records request showed no scientific or medical documentation used to create the model ordinance. The committee chairman stated that it appeared that the ordinance was written predominantly by a Florida power company.
The state’s model ordinance is more of an industry-driven standard than a scientifically based one. Its purpose is to promote wind turbine installations, not to protect the people who live around them. We all know how some industry standards have stood up to long-term scientific and medical scrutiny-things like asbestos, PCBs, and leaded paint come to mind.
The health and safety of ourselves and our children are too important to entrust to a biased industry standard. Rather, we need to base our wind energy ordinance on scientific and medical facts, and implement all of the recommendations put forth by the Wind Energy Ad Hoc Committee.
13 March 2008
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