- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Moratorium on wind turbines in Walker County

NO INDUSTRIAL WIND TURBINES WILL BE ALLOWED ANYWHERE IN WALKER COUNTY, UNDER A MORITORIUM SIGNED THURSDAY BY COMMISSIONER BEBE HEISKELL. IN SIGNING THE ORDINANCE, HEISKELL SAID “IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE THIS IS THE RIGHT THING FOR OUR COMMUNITY”. SHE WAS REFERING TO A PROPOSED WIND-FARM ATOP LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN.

AN INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION OBTAINED A PROMISE OF FEDERAL STIMULUS FUNDS TO BUILD UP TO 120 OF THE MASSIVE WIND-MILLS THAT PRODUCE ELECTRIC POWER FOR SALE. 80 OF THE 350-FOOT TALL TURBINES WERE PROPOSED TO BE LOCATED IN SOUTHERN WALKER COUNTY, ATOP THE MOUNTAIN. “THAT WOULD NOT IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN OUR AREA”, THE COMMISSIONER SAID THURSDAY.

KEILA KIMBLE WITH THE COUNTY’S PLANNING DEPARTMENT WROTE THE TWO-PAGE MORITORIUM… WHICH WENT INTO EFFECT IMMEDIATELY AND WILL REMAIN UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. IT PROHIBITS ANY COUNTY OFFICIAL FROM APPROVING ANY APPLICATION, PLAN, PERMIT, LICENSE OR FEE FOR ANY WIND POWER DEVELOPMENT. THE COMMISSIONER SAID A PROPERTY OWNER COULD BE PERMITTED TO CONSTRUCT A WIND GENERATOR FOR POWER USED ON THEIR OWN PROPERTY… BUT NOT ON AN INDUSTRIAL-SCALE FOR RESALE.

A NUMBER OF MOUNTAIN RESIDENTS EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT THE PROPOSED “WIND FARM” WOULD RUIN THE BEAUTY OF THE LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPE. HEISKELL SAID OTHER CONCERNS INCLUDE NOISE POLLUTION AND DAMAGE TO WATER RESOURCES BECAUSE OF THE BLASTING INVOLVED IN CONSTRUCTING THE HUGE TURBINE TOWERS.

CHATTOOGA COUNTY IS ALSO LOOKING AT WAYS TO DISCOURAGE THE WIND FARM DEVELOPMENT.