UNION CITY – Nearly 100 Branch County citizens attended a meeting last Thursday at Union City Middle School to hear about the effects of wind turbines. Guest speaker, Kevon Martis, a senior policy analyst of the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition, Inc., a bipartisan grassroots renewable energy watchdog group not sponsored by any industry or advocacy group, was asked to speak to local citizens by the Concerned Citizens of Branch County group on ‘Zoning for Wind Energy; Trespass Zoning or Property Rights Zoning.’
Martis, former vice president of the Riga Township planning commission, worked for two years drafting agricultural preservation plans for his county which became a state model ordinance. He spoke about the true effects of wind turbines on human beings, animals, insects, birds, and other aspects of nature.
Martis started the meeting with a recording of the sound of a wind turbine played at 50dBa.
“Turbines make most of the noise in the spring and fall between midnight and 4 a.m.,” Martis said. “I am not a paid lobbyist. I donate my time as a volunteer and receive no financial compensation for my time.”
Earlier this year, Michael Sage, head of wind energy for DTE, said the firm is several years from putting a project in the northwest regions of Branch County, an area selected for a possible wind farm.
Sage said, during a Sherwood Planning Commission meeting in March, “this is the very early phase of the project.”
According to the CCBC, “many local people do not realize that DTE has signed more than 100 leases with local farmers to erect these industrial turbines in Branch County, and their effects are far-reaching and not confined merely to the land on which they are situated.”
During the presentation Martis said many people experience insomnia and heart palpitations, as well as other problems, from being continually exposed to the sound.
According to Martis additional effects of wind turbines including:
• Reduction in property values anywhere the turbines can be seen and/or heard.
•The possibility of fire in these turbines, as well as other structural problems, all of which pose insurmountable problems, due to their 500 ft. height alone.
•The possibility of DTE selling their interest in the turbines to foreign companies.
•Both the known, and unknown, adverse effects on wildlife, nature, and man.
•Townships, which have zoning, can adopt a moratorium prohibiting wind development which can last up to two years, and townships, which do not have zoning, can also adopt a moratorium.
Following Martis’ presentation, Pam Reed of Concerned Citizens of Branch County spoke, explained that the concerned citizens are not anti renewable energy, but they are anti improper siting of the turbines.
To learn more about the Concerned Citizens of Branch County, visit the group’s Facebook page or email them at concernedcitizensofbranchco@ gmail.com.
Andrea Tennyson of the Hometown Gazette and Don Reid of The Daily Reporter contributed to this story.
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