January 6, 2012

Bill allows communities more control over wind turbine setbacks

By Trent Artus, www.wqow.com 5 January 2012

Madison, WI – State Senator Frank Lasee (R) of De Pere, WI introduced a bill allowing local communities to create their own minimum setback requirements for wind turbines. Current law doesn’t allow local communities to establish distances from property or homes that 500 feet tall wind turbines can be located.

“Local communities should be able to create their own rules for public safety,” Lasee said. “We shouldn’t leave it to bureaucrats in Madison to make these decisions that affect home values and people’s lives. Madisonites aren’t the ones living next to the turbines. Having a statewide standard for the setback of these 500 feet tall wind turbines doesn’t take into account the local landscape. Local elected officials are most familiar with their area to set the correct setback distances and best represent their local constituents.”

“Over the last several months, I have spoken with numerous Wisconsin residents who have complained about wind turbines,” Lasee added. “These complaints range from constant nausea, sleep loss, headaches, dizziness and vertigo. Some have said the value of their properties has dropped on account of the turbines.”

Representative Murtha (R) of Baldwin, WI adds: “There have been many concerns raised about wind farms all over the state of Wisconsin. This bill will finally give local communities the control they have been asking for when it comes to deciding what is right for their communities and families.”

Officials and spokespersons for local communities and organizations support Senator Lasee’s bill.

Rick Stadelman, Executive Director of Wisconsin Towns Association said: “Local governments are responsible for protecting the public health and welfare of their communities. Arbitrary state standards limiting setbacks and noise levels of wind turbines take away the authority of local officials to protect their community. One size does not fit all. This bill allows local officials to exercise local control to protect the interest of their community.”

Steve Deslauriers, spokesman for Wisconsin Citizens Coalition said: “In order for wind development to be good for Wisconsin, it must be done responsibly and not in a fashion that sacrifices the health of those families forced to live within these wind generation facilities. Good environmental policy starts with safeguarding Wisconsin residents and we thank Senator Lasee for submitting this bill.”

“Wind turbine siting must be done at the local level as the population varies greatly, county by county, township to township. It is our goal to protect families within our township. This bill gives us the authority to do that.” Tom Kruse, chairman of West Kewaunee Township said.

Dave Hartke, chairman of Carlton Township added: “Carlton Township supports LRB-2700 because it places the authority for wind turbine siting at the local level where it belongs. As town chairman, I am always concerned for the health and safety of our residents.”

“We applaud Senator Lasee for introducing this bill.” Erv Selk, representative of Coalition for Wisconsin Environmental Stewardship said. “We have long thought that the Public Service Commission setbacks were not adequate to protect the people that live near the Industrial Wind Turbines.”

Senator Lasee said, “It’s about time we as legislators return local control over this important issue to the elected officials that know their area best instead of un-elected bureaucrats in Madison.”

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/01/06/bill-allows-communities-more-control-over-wind-turbine-setbacks/