If you live near any agricultural land, you too could have an Industrial Wind Project within .25 miles of your residential dwelling (or State Parks and wildlife refuges) or .5 miles from your plated subdivision. With wind turbines soaring up to 675’ (only 192’ shorter than the Devil’s Tower!) this outdated setback distance does not protect residents from the negative health and safety issues proven to be associated with the introduction of large industrial wind turbines.
These negative impacts include: fire hazards due to static charged up-lightening and turbine failure, allowing noise up to 55 dBA at your property line (Sweetwater County, WY limits noise to 40 dBA at night and 45 dBA during the day) as well as low-frequency noise and vibrations associated with operation, glare and light flicker from rotating blades, and the potential of personal and property damages due to “ice throw” from turbine blades.
According to the Albany County Comprehensive plan Section 3.2 the “majority of the county is classified as Agriculture”, and section 12 C of the A.C. Zoning Resolution states “WECS (Wind Energy Conversion System) Towers shall be permitted in agricultural or industrial zoned districts”.
Current Albany County regulations are outdated and not stringent enough to accommodate the increase in height and volume of projected turbines, and obviously will not protect our residents, historic landmarks, or state parks. Other Wyoming counties have adjusted their regulations to evolve with the changes in the industry in order to protect their residents and natural resources. Citizens of Albany County deserve that same protection.
While the wind companies like to flaunt the addition of tax revenues to boost our economy, those numbers are not guaranteed and will not bring dollars in the doors of our local business and restaurants. The Rail Tie Wind Project is slated to encompass a 26,000 acre area from I-80 at Ames Monument across from Vedauwoo, all the way down the valley across 287, and South to the Colorado border. This populated area spans two designated “gateways” into Albany County and is slated as a “priority growth area”. A number of residents currently live in this area, frequent local shops and restaurants, donate to the university and community, and support Laramie and the county.
The rights of 3 landowning families from Wyoming and 4 landowning families from Colorado wanting to lease their land should not outweigh the rights of all these concerned, non-participating residents.
But if you still believe the inflated job and monetary promises of a Texas based company are more important than protecting the character of Albany County and the values we expect from Wyoming, no need to be concerned, revenue will be coming in from THREE additional large Industrial Wind Projects have ALREADY been approved North of Laramie. If we as citizens do not come together and demand Renewable Energy Regulation Reform from our County Planners and Commissioners, Laramie will very quickly be surrounded by Industrial Wind Turbines. Laramie will be a much less attractive location to live, future growth will slow, tourism will decline, and businesses will struggle.
Industrial Wind Project regulations can be modified at the discretion of the Board of County Commissioners. You have the right to email the Albany County Commissioners today and demand regulation changes to protect our residents and direct projects to more suitable locations for the future of Albany County!
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