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County Commission to review wind energy rules 

Credit:  County Commission to review Wind Energy rules | By Chad Frey | Newton Kansan | September 26, 2022 | www.thekansan.com ~~

Members of the Harvey County Commission received a copy of a proposed Commercial Renewable Energy Project Regulations Sept. 23 as part of their agenda packet for the Sept. 27 meeting of the commission.

The commission will receive a presentation on the Harvey County Planning Commission’s proposed amendments to the Commercial Renewable Energy Project Regulations and set a meeting date to consider the amendments to the regulations.

The commission will not vote on the rules Sept. 27, the earliest that could occur will be Oct. 4. The commission can accept the rules, reject the rules or send them back to the planning and zoning board for further review.

According to a memo to the commission by Karen Rothe, director of planning and zoning, if the commission returns the regulations back to the planning and zoning board it must also give an explanation of why.

The document is 18 pages, containing the work by the planning and zoning board to deal with identified key issues including: land use; electromagnetic interference and magnetic fields; visual impacts; reception interference; noise; flicker; ice throw; historical and archaeological heritage; bird migration and strikes; native vegetation; endangered species; cumulative impact; soil erosion; wildlife habitat; water quality; leakage and contamination; public health and safety; infrastructure; decommissioning and removal; aviation; and financial surety agreements.

The regulations contain statements that a wind turbine should not be constructed in a special flood hazard area designated by FEMA, no turbines should be constructed in a Sand Hills Area Overlay, no turbines closer than 2,000 feet from a school, church or active residence; and avoidance of historical and archaeological sites.

The planning and zoning board worked for weeks on the regulations, hosting several public meetings as it did so.

The board crafted those regulations against the backdrop of NextEra Energy stating they might begin permit requests for the project in April. The county commission had previously discussed a moratorium to allow the planning and zoning board time to review the rules and regulations surrounding wind turbines. However, that action was tabled.

The last of the planning and zoning meetings was Sept. 14 at the Meridian Center – moved there to provide space for a large crowd.

Resistance to the project has grown over the past year since it was announced at a county commission meeting by NextEra Energy.

Members of the Facebook group “Stop the Wind Turbines Harvey County Kansas” created a digital poster and mailer that anyone in the group can print, post or mail. A member started an online petition seeking support for killing the project completely.

Found at https://www.change.org/p/stop-the-wind-turbines-harvey-county-kansas, the petition had 350 digital signatures within hours of its posting.

Source:  County Commission to review Wind Energy rules | By Chad Frey | Newton Kansan | September 26, 2022 | www.thekansan.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 educational 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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