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Zoning board learns two agreements reached on wind farm  

Credit:  Tom Kacich, The News-Gazette, www.news-gazette.com 7 October 2011 ~~

URBANA – Approval of a planned 30-turbine wind farm in northeastern Champaign County inched forward Thursday with the submission of a county road agreement and a revised reclamation agreement from the wind farm developer.

But the Champaign County Zoning Board of Appeals decided to continue the case to next Thursday.

The developer, Invenergy Wind North America LLC, also said Thursday that it had reached a tentative road agreement with road commissioners in Compromise and Ogden townships, although the deals were not submitted to the ZBA.

Joel Fletcher, an assistant state’s attorney, said he had received the new reclamation agreement Thursday afternoon and was “not in a position to recommend it in its current form.”

He did express concern about some wording in the proposed agreement.

“At this point, I don’t know how significant these concerns are,” he said. “These seem like concerns that can probably be addressed with continued conversations, but I just received this this afternoon and haven’t been able to address these concerns completely.”

Bruce Stikkers, a resource conservationist with the Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District, submitted a thick report on the wind farm site, saying there are potential erosion problems at the location, but that “they can be handled.”

If the project is approved, he said, he would work with Invenergy to minimize soil and water problems.

On a separate issue, Invenergy officials said every one of the turbines in Champaign County would be in compliance with Illinois Pollution Control Board noise regulations, and thus would not require a waiver from the ZBA.

“The only thing your (county) ordinance says about the noise is, ‘Meet the regulations,’ and we’ve done that,” said Michael Blazer, an attorney with Invenergy.

But a separate part of the county wind farm ordinance requires that the noise levels not be injurious to the neighborhood or to the public health, safety and welfare.

Board members said they wanted more information from the state’s attorney’s office before deciding whether to issue a waiver on that condition.

Source:  Tom Kacich, The News-Gazette, www.news-gazette.com 7 October 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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