I was doing some research and found some disturbing information about wind turbine setback distances relating to safety.
Our Howard County wind ordinance states that 1,042 feet is sufficient from a dwelling to an operating wind turbine. The Plan Commission director has stated on many occasions he is satisfied with the distance.
I wonder if he’s willing to guarantee, for the record, the safety of the residents within the 1,042-foot footprint of the E.ON eastern Howard County wind farm. Also, are the county commissioners willing to guarantee, for the record, the safety of a 1,042-foot setback?
A wind energy company safety manual states, “Do not stay within a radius of 400 meters (1,300 feet) from the turbine.” Most European countries require setbacks from buildings of 3,255 to 6,510 feet. France has a “500 meter exclusion zone”; people are not allowed within 1,625 feet of a turbine.
In the case of a runaway turbine, a wind company, Vestas, advises to “evacuate by running upwind … access to the surrounding area in a radius of at least 500 meters (1,640 feet) must be restricted.” One older runaway turbine in California shut down traffic for a day. Apparently, the turbine brakes failed.
I have always believed that our elected county officials have the duty to protect our civil liberties and Fifth Amendment rights. Now, I’m wanting reassurance that we county residents will be protected.
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