June 4 is the deadline for comments on the proposed wind ordinance to be made to the county commissioners. As this ordinance is written, I feel it does not protect the county nor its residents.
Morgan County’s existing 2009 ordinance was drafted off the model ordinance regulating the siting of Wind Energy Conversion Systems (now known as WECS) in Illinois drafted by The Chicago Environmental Law Clinic and Baker and McKenzie, which was funded by the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation and dated May 5, 2003. This 2019 proposed ordinance is a more elaboration of the 2009 Morgan County ordinance. Sixteen years from the model ordinance and 10 years from the last Morgan County-approved wind ordinance is a long time and much has happened in the wind industry, especially in this litigious society. …
If Morgan County “really needs” WECS projects, then the ordinance governing them should be a very strong and lasting ordinance.
In December, all the commissioners reported to this newspaper that they wanted do the right job in drafting this proposed wind ordinance, but in my opinion, they have produced an inadequate ordinance. The definition section is lacking in many definitions that will help keep Morgan County out of court. Some of the definitions are vague; some may be illegal in the state. Furthermore, the ordinance clearly does not utilize recognized national or world standards … if there is a dispute over the noise of the wind tower or wind farm. In this ordinance, the commissioners are the ones to decide the dispute when parties present non-standard noise measurements. This part is just wrong. The ordinance also fails to identify the harmful effects and thereby also fails to address how each of these detrimental effects can be handled to reduce them. Just lately, during the December 2018 tornado outbreak, another issue arose of wind farm interference on radar when trying to track the storms.
The proposed 2019 Morgan County ordinance is written for today (Apex and E.ON projects) and doesn’t look into future to address wind energy systems years down the road.
If one wants to see what an excellent wind ordinance looks like, Monitor Bay Township in Bay County, Michigan, just approved [its] wind ordinance on March 25. It is available online. … I realize that each state is different but in the wind industry there are commonalities in wind energy conversions systems and therefore should be commonalities in ordinances.
All Morgan County residents should read the proposed ordinance posted on Morgan County’s website and compare it against the Monitor Bay ordinance and let the commissioners know what they think before it is too late to protect Morgan County and its citizens.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding