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Concerns about proposed wind turbines in Crawford County heard at anti-wind meeting  

Credit:  Concerns about proposed Wind Turbines in Crawford County heard at anti-wind meeting | By Crawford County Now Staff | January 21, 2022 | crawfordcountynow.com ~~

BUCYRUS—Despite the less-than-ideal weather, many gathered on Monday evening at Wayside Chapel to hear those who came to speak at the anti-wind meeting.

The first of the night’s speakers, Ted Hartke, drove from Fithian, Illinois, to speak to Crawford County residents.

Hartke, president of Hartke Engineering and Surveying, Inc., was originally on board with the wind turbines going up in his area, that is until they were finally turned on.

The wind turbines in the area where he formerly lived, Pilot Township in Vermillion County, Illinois, were from the company InvEnergy as a part of their Cal-Ridge Wind Energy Project.

When the wind turbines went up in January 2013, Hartke immediately realized that the turbines he supported were a mistake. Why? Because of the noise.

According to Vermillion County InvEnergy, the majority of windmill locations would experience turbine sound levels less than 40 dBA outdoors, which should have been sufficiently low enough to minimize or eliminate any potential for sleep interference and indoor or outdoor speech interference. In a 2009 Health Effects Study, widespread noise complaints began at 33.5 dBA.

Between January and May of 2013, the turbines had to be turned off fifty-one nights to allow enough quiet time for people to sleep. Hartke stated that the noise was so bad that his daughter, around six years old at the time, asked if she could sleep with headphones on as a way to try and block out the noise. However, that didn’t work, and the Hartkes moved their bed, their daughter’s bed, and their son’s bed into the living room, which was the innermost room in the house, to try and drown out the noise, but to no avail.

The four turbines located near the Hartke’s home, standing at four hundred and ninety-five feet tall with one hundred and sixty-four-foot blades that had approximately a two-acre blade sweep area, were 1665 feet away, 2225 feet away, 3147, and 3454 feet away.

In December of 2013, less than a year after the turbines were initially turned on, the Hartkes abandoned their home to find a place to live where their quality of life would be much better.

The evening’s second speaker, Kimberly Groth, a Buckeye Central graduate, and former Crawford County native, currently lives in Seneca County, where she had a hand in getting the wind turbines that were supposed to be going there, stopped.

In her presentation, one of her slides showed that the wind turbines that Apex wants to put in would be the size of four of Wynford’s turbines stacked on top of each other. Apex’s windmills would stand at approximately six hundred and seventy-five feet tall with two hundred- and six-foot blades that have a little over a three-acre blade sweep area.

Another thing that Groth called attention to was the safety manual for the turbines. For a fire, it is recommended that an individual keeps at least 164o feet away from the turbine, and in the event of a storm, individuals are told to leave the area and be at least 3280 feet away until the storm has passed.

Ohio’s current setback distance, measured from the tip of a blade at a ninety-degree angle to the edge of the property line, is 1125 feet. This means that anyone with a home within the fire or storm range would be advised to leave their home in the event that something may go wrong because of the distance allowed between the turbine and the property.

Another safety issue would be if a blade breaks and goes flying. Though the blades were designed to drop straight down if broken, that has not been the case in a few circumstances.

Groth called to light property values and pointed out that in the 2013 study by Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory that Honey Creek has on their site stating there is little to no effect on property values, contains some flaws.

In the study, 51,276 home sales were analyzed near sixty-seven wind farms in twenty-seven counties across nine states. All the homes in the study were within ten miles of wind facilities, 1,198 sales were within one mile of a turbine, three hundred and thirty-one sales were within one mile of a turbine, and the data were collected before, during, and after wind farm construction.

Using those numbers, approximately two percent of homes were within one mile of a turbine, a little over half a percent of homes were within a half-mile of a turbine, meaning that ninety-seven percent of the study was on houses further than one mile away from the turbine, not giving accurate results for houses closer.

In part of her presentation, Groth had a slide with Crawford County’s 2030 vision, which is to help businesses and downtown areas thrive; to attract young families/professionals to live, work, and play in Crawford County; and to create a safe and healthy environment in Crawford County. Groth countered with the statement that nobody is going to want to move into the area when there are wind turbines everywhere, using a quote from a resident at a previous meeting who said, “No matter who rolls into town with a bag of money, people still want to live in a quiet, peaceful rural area first and foremost.”

When it comes to getting involved, Groth suggests getting a yard sign to spread the word, signing up for email updates, checking out the Crawford Anti-Wind Facebook page, letting your township trustees and county commissioners know how you feel, and signing a petition asking the trustees to formally request the commissioners to declare your township an exclusion zone.

Due to Senate Bill 52, commissioners are allowed to make decisions for their county about industrial-scale solar and wind projects.

Individuals will only get a vote on this if the county commissioners designate a restricted area. Individuals can collect signatures and petition for a referendum vote in the next election. If the commissioners do not designate a restricted area, residents do not have the ability to petition for a referendum.

Commissioners can “designate restricted areas prohibiting ‘large wind farms’ and/or ‘economically significant wind farms,” and they can “designate restricted areas prohibiting ‘large solar facilities.’” If an individual wants to still put solar panels on their property, that is fine, and if they would like to put windmills up like Wynford, that would also be fine due to them not being economically significant.

The developer must hold a public meeting ninety-three hundred days before filing an application with the Ohio Power Siting Board. From there, the commissioners can have ninety days to prohibit the project, limit the scope of the project, or take no action, which is considered local approval, and the developer will proceed.

Source:  Concerns about proposed Wind Turbines in Crawford County heard at anti-wind meeting | By Crawford County Now Staff | January 21, 2022 | crawfordcountynow.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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