Ireland has proposed new statutory guidelines for wind energy development. Key aspects of the proposal are more stringent noise limits, elimination of shadow flicker and increased setbacks. Yes, Ireland, along with other model wind energy countries, acknowledges these are genuine concerns.
Their guidelines are supported by their “Code of Good Practice for Wind Energy Development,” which notes the importance of establishing dialogue and building trust from the very beginning of a project. It acknowledges long-term negative impacts on a community’s economic, environmental or social situation can occur when community concerns are badly managed or ignored. These guidelines came about because Ireland realized that to protect their communities things needed to be done differently.
So how would the Central Illinois residents effected negatively by the wind farms feel if things had been done differently? If wind energy companies notified all county residents at the start, if rather than focusing on how local wind ordinances negatively affected them, they encouraged changes to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents, if they voluntarily followed all recommendations to safe guard the environment and wildlife, if they listened to our concerns rather than telling us they weren’t valid?
These companies are coming into our counties because they need our land to make money. If they are going to be allowed to do business here then we need to demand that they start doing it differently.
Megan Myers, Clinton
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