In his Jan. 9 article [“Who’s writing wind rules? In one case, company’s draft OK’d word for word”], SVM reporter David Giuliani asked who’s writing the wind ordinances and pointed out the wind developers seemed to have heavy influence on important topics being considered by the Lee County Zoning Board, including noise and decommissioning. He’s absolutely right.
Despite numerous complaints from people living near wind projects in Lee, DeKalb, Bureau and other counties all over the state, the zoning board approved a noise ordinance that does nothing more to protect the people of Lee County.
Wind developers tell us they have made concessions because the ordinance now requires them to complete noise studies prior to and after constructing the turbines. Guess what? They did those noise studies before. They didn’t protect us then, and they aren’t going to protect us now.
What wasn’t adequately addressed was the fact that the noise standards they are measuring against were written 40 years ago and don’t adequately consider the nature of wind turbine noise. Other counties and municipalities are implementing more restrictive standards that incorporate noise limits over ambient levels, a common approach recommended by numerous audiologists and noise engineers.
While this idea was discussed at length, the zoning board didn’t adopt a proposal that included a noise limit over ambient levels. Why? Because the wind industry didn’t want them to – that’s the only explanation.
The zoning board spent several meetings reviewing proposals and hearing concerns from county residents regarding decommissioning. In the end, they ignored those concerns and approved wording written by a wind developer.
As a result, the developers won’t have to put up much money to fund taking down the turbines. Instead, they can further pad their profits and leave the expense and task of decommissioning the turbines to the people of Lee County.
Excuse me, who’s the zoning board working for?
Steve Robery, Franklin Grove
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