Nov. 15, I attended the Apex public information meeting for the Firelands Wind LLC-Emerson Creek Project (OPSB case # 18-1607-EL-BGN). These public meetings are required by administrative rules for the Ohio Power Siting Board under OAC 4906-3-03. The meeting had some poster presentations and a map which depicted the locations of 655-foot-tall industrial yurbines. The majority of the 84 turbines will be in Erie and Huron counties.
At one point during the meeting, I stopped to speak with a couple I knew from Erie County. I had opened my folder to make a note of the location of one of the turbines in that county. An Apex employee rushed at me and loudly stated “she is signing people up.” I showed her what I had written on my folder but she (the Apex employee) proceeded to insist that the sheriff deputies make me leave. The sheriff deputies were polite and explained that because this was a private venue and Apex had rented it, Apex had the authority to make me leave. I questioned how this could be a public event, posted in the Sandusky Register, yet I could be discriminated against in this way. The officers explained that I had done nothing wrong and if it was a public venue, such as a school building, they would not have to make me leave. I did leave as the officers said they would have to charge me with trespassing if I did not leave at the request of Apex.
I see now there are multiple public complaints on the OPSB regarding this Apex public meeting. My experience is just one more example of the disregard wind developers show toward the people in their targeted communities. Because we have no say in approving projects or how they will be sited, they really do not think they need to be accountable to us or to take our concerns seriously. And they can throw me out of a public meeting. Who would wish for a neighbor like that? Why should we have confidence in them?
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