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Local officials issue joint statement on wind project

COLUMBUS – State Senator Bill Reineke and State Representatives Riordan McClain and Gary Click issued a joint statement on the Ohio Power Siting Board’s denial of the Republic Wind project that had been proposed for Seneca and Sandusky counties.

The statement came just over an hour after the OPSB meeting adjourned. All three officials supported the board’s decision to deny Republic Wind LLC’s project proposal, and they listed three reasons why.

The first was economic impact – though the officials acknowledged the potential financial benefits that could come from the project, they noted that the benefits would not upset the losses in regards to lowered real estate values, further detracted economic development, restriction of local airspace and “other economic development considerations,” the statement reads.

The second issue brought up in the statement was the environmental impact the project would’ve had. The region selected as the project’s site was full of karst – land made up of soluble rock types important for undergrounds water drainage, and incapable of supporting heavy structures.

Other environmental concerns raised by citizens included noise and visual complaints, avian casualties and loss of farmland.

The third reason listed was public interest. In the OPSB meeting, chair Jenifer French also mentioned this, saying that the project “overall does not serve in the public interest.”

“In finding that the wind project does not serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity, the OPSB has validated all those concerns raised by the endless number of citizens of Seneca County over the last number of years,” read the statement issued by the representatives.

“We commend the citizens of Seneca County, who have steadfastly defended their quality of life and their intuitive protection of their community,” the letter continued. “[They] have rightly argued that they themselves know what is best for their community, not outsiders who never intended to live within the community. We stand proudly with all of them today and continue to be humbled to serve as their elected representatives.”