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Turbine legislation at a standstill

If passed, the legislation would prohibit placing industrial wind turbines within 2,000 feet of any residence

SEA GIRT – Legislation proposed by state legislators last month which calls for wind turbine setbacks is currently at a standstill.

The bills were introduced in response to the proposed construction of an industrial wind turbine on the National Guard Training Center [NGTC] located here.

If passed, the legislation would prohibit placing industrial wind turbines within 2,000 feet of any residence. A wind turbine built anywhere on the NGTC would likely fall within the 2,000-foot zone, which residents have said is too close to their homes.

“We want to stress that this wind turbine will have severe repercussions on not only Sea Girt, but on numerous municipalities at the Jersey Shore,” said Assemblyman David Rible [R-11].

Legislators have said that the 2,000 foot setback would kill the wind turbine plan in Sea Girt. Although the property is run by the NJ National Guard, it is state property, said Assemblyman Rible yesterday, thus state law would have jurisdiction over thE project.

Both bills – one proposed by Sen. Sean Kean [R-11] in the State Senate and one introduced in the State Assembly by Assemblyman Rible and Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini [R-11] – remain in their respective committees.

Sen. Kean, along with Sen. Andrew Ciesla [R-10], a primary sponsor of the bill, and Sen. Nia Gill [D-34], a co-sponsor, introduced bill S2374 in the Senate on Nov. 8. It was referred to the Senate Environment and Energy Committee where it currently sits.

Assembly members Angelini and Rible are primary sponsors of bill A3473, along with assemblymen James Holzapfel [R-10] and David Wolfe [R-10]. Assemblywoman Amy Handlin [R-13] is a co-sponsor.

The bill in the State Assembly was also introduced on Nov. 8. It was referred to the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee.

According to a spokesperson from Assemblyman Rible’s office, it is up to the committee chairs what happens next to the bill.

As of this Dec. 7, Assemblyman Rible and Assemblywoman Angelini have written to the Chairman of the Telecommunications and Utility Committee requesting that their legislation be posted for a vote.

“We are urging the Chairman to post this legislation for a vote in order to take an important step towards preventing the proposed Sea Girt wind turbine,” said Assemblyman Rible.

Although 2010 is coming to an end, the bills will remain in their respective committees, at least for another year, if not posted for a vote by Dec. 31.