Citizens applaud Ohio Senate for increased BigWind setbacks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, May 22, 2014 Contact: Kevon Martis, Executive Director Interstate Concerned Citizens Coalition (517) 403-2438

Citizens Hail Action by Ohio Senate to Correct Predatory Wind Turbine Setback Law Measure Sustains Wind Project Possibilities

Citizens of northern and western Ohio applauded action by the Ohio Senate to help protect property rights and values of homes in areas targeted for wind development. Current setbacks for industrial wind turbines, which reach up to 500 feet in height, were established by the Strickland Administration to be measured from the foundations of the homes of neighboring property owners. Senator Keith Faber, whose district is heavily impacted by wind development efforts, has recognized that effects of industrial wind turbines on neighboring property can devalue those properties, create health and safety hazards for the inhabitants, and render some virtually unsalable.

“We applaud the movement of turbine setback from homes to property lines, but remain baffled that the safety perimeter remains at 1,125’ plus one blade length (roughly 1,300’), while documentation from the safety manuals of turbine manufacturers Vestas and Nordex both recommend employees remain at least 1,640 ft. from turbines under some circumstances. That’s more than a football field further away than the new provision requiress.”

Wind developers are private for-profit businesses that should be required to negotiate easements and compensate neighboring properties for intrusion. Homeowners have a right to the peaceful enjoyment of their home,” said Kevon Martis, Executive Director of Interstate Concerned Citizens Coalition on behalf of the residents of northwest Ohio. “Senator Faber respects the rights of homeowners and nothing in this wind turbine setback will prevent a developer from pursuing a wind development. It does, however, restore the balance of power between ordinary people and powerful well-heeled developers.”

In a response from the American Wind Industry Association, they claim that respect for property rights and protection of rural home values will somehow destroy the wind industry. Such claims are exaggerated. AWEA regularly states that there are no adverse impacts on nearby property values and that the reports of negative health effects are not credible. If AWEA’s claims are true, there should be no problem negotiating affordable easements with neighboring property owners rather than simply taking property rights with no permission and no compensation.

“It is alarming the wind industry is publically balk at measures to protect Ohio homeowners.” remarked Mr. Martis. “Is this industry so greedy as to publically admit they wish to put Ohio rural citizens at risk?”

All across Ohio, rural citizens are cheering the leadership of Senator Keith Faber and his willingness to step forward, yet still puzzled that the industry’s own safety standards are stricter.

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