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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Our view: Keep state's wind siting rules uniform

More on SB-71 (see our previous action alert post). You can also find RENEW's testimony, opposing this bill, submitted at the hearing March 13.  Below is an editorial published in the Sheboygan Press:

It has been a year since the Wisconsin Legislature reinstated a controversial rule that uniformly regulates wind energy operations in the state. The rule — PSC 128 — spells out what is allowed and not allowed for wind turbines throughout Wisconsin.

It accounts for such factors as size and allowable setbacks from roadways and buildings.

The Public Service Commission rule is not perfect, but is preferable to the patchwork approach it replaced. Now, a group of state lawmakers seeks to again allow municipalities greater latitude in skirting the PSC rules. It is a bad idea.

The Legislature’s primary opponent of current wind siting rules is state Sen. Frank Lasee. The Ledgeview Republican’s crusade includes advocacy on behalf of several 1st Senate District families who say they have suffered negative health effects from large wind turbines on or near their properties, including in Manitowoc and Brown counties.

Similar concerns are expressed in Sheboygan County, where EEW Services is proposing the four-turbine Windy Acres wind farm in the towns of Sherman and Holland. The effect of wind turbines on human health has been a subject of controversy for many years. Study results have proven inconclusive, however, and cannot at this point form the basis of policy changes.

Read on...

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