The East Oregonian article of Jan. 28 regarding the wind power situation in Morrow County contains more “red flags” for the people of Morrow County. Recognizing the problems the previous Willow Creek Wind Project caused for adjacent landowners, and the county’s refusal to accept their responsibilities that went with issuing the permit, are cause for serious concern. The statement by Mr. Rietmann raised a huge “red flag” for the people of Morrow County. The statement regarding their future plans for wind development and its potential impact on affected landowners highlights several issues. Morrow County siting standards and requirements for future wind projects are dysfunctional and outdated.
The total disregard for affected landowner rights need to be corrected before proceeding with wind project applications.
Umatilla County made a stellar effort to deal with these issues. Unfortunately, implementation of the “Umatilla County New Rules” is on hold due to legal blocks being attempted by the wind energy attorneys. The Umatilla County intent with the new rules was to bring a balance to the property rights for affected as well as participating landowners; it is to provide a tool that would allow the flexibility of compromise. This is certainly lacking in Morrow County.
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