Local legislation to regulate wind farms in Etowah and Cherokee counties has passed the House and the Senate and has been signed by Gov. Robert Bentley, Rep. Becky Nordgren, R-Gadsden, said Thursday.
The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Phil Williams, R-Rainbow City.
Nordgren said the Cherokee County legislation received final passage last week in the House, and the Etowah bill received final passage Wednesday in the Senate after it had been amended in the House to establish the distance the wind turbines could be from power lines.
Pioneer Green Energy has announced plans to develop wind farms along Shinbone Ridge in the two counties.
The bills for each county require county commissions or cities where wind turbines are located to establish regulations concerning their operation, including a process for issuing permits to wind farm developers.
They require developers to comply with applicable zoning regulations and take out bonds sufficient to cover the cost of removing abandoned wind turbines and cover $1 million of liability for damages to adjoining property. They also specify minimum noise levels and setbacks from adjacent property for the turbines.
A statewide bill to regulate wind farms, also sponsored by Williams, has passed the Senate and a House committee, and is awaiting a vote in the full House.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding