State Sen. Cliff Hite wants wind turbine setbacks changed.
I live among turbines in the Blue Creek wind project in Van Wert County. The closest turbine is approximately 1,700 feet from my home. This turbine and others that are not as close have caused sleepless nights, headaches and head pulses. That is just in my home. Others suffer from migraines, dizziness and chest pains.
These are just health concerns. There are many who have TV and cell phone interruption, drainage issues, cracked garage floors, well issues, soil compaction, loss of crop yields, and loss of property value. It is difficult to sit outside and enjoy a beautiful day, or to open windows when it is cool enough not to have air conditioning running. I can even hear the noise of the turbines inside my home with windows and doors closed and the TV or radio playing.
Last summer, a turbine started a whining sound which then became a siren sound. This sound continued for six months. I had to leave my home several times because the noise was unbearable. Is this leaving Ohio for the better?…
As reported previously, Sen. Cliff Hite has introduced Senate Bill 188 to reduce setbacks for industrial wind turbines. The legislation has now been referred to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chaired by Senator Balderson. It is anticipated that hearings on the bill will begin soon.
Hite is promoting his bill as a “compromise” that meets the needs of property owners as well as developers. He bases this on extending the property line setback from 1.1 times turbine height to 1.2 times turbine height. Notwithstanding, “The idea that the bill is a compromise is wrong, according to House Majority Leader Bill Seitz, who opposes the bill. “ “If it comes at the expense of the quiet enjoyment of adjacent property owners, then I disagree with him,” he said. Turbines can hurt a person’s ability to enjoy their yard, he said. “Shadow flicker, ice throw, snow throw, failure, fire, toppling over, blades flying off,” he gave as examples of how turbines can negatively impact homeowners.”
“Seitz is open to compromise, he said. His suggestions would be to let local voters decide setback distances or to allow for shorter setback requirements when the adjacent property is neither a home, livestock farm or business. “It is important to protect the neighboring properties that will have to absorb these impacts,” he said. Hite anticipates the bill will pass in the state Senate but will face opposition in the House. He’s hopeful it could pass by the end of the year.”
Hite says he is prepared for a fight but he hit a new all-time low on Wednesday when he held a press conference at the Statehouse with “health professionals” touting the health benefits of reduced setbacks. “The Ohio Environmental Council hosted the event, which featured comments from Aparna Bole, pediatrician and medical director of community integration for University Hospitals; Dan Sullivan, medical director of the Solon Family Health Center; and Lauren Kleinman Koch, project manager for Healthcare Without Harm. (Note to self: What about Wind Without Harm?)
What no one will read in press reports are that Aparna Bole is the Chairman of the Board of left-wing group called Practice Green Health. She is a community organizer in addition to being a pediatrician. At the press conference “Bole said there is a consensus among the scientific and health professional community that addressing climate change is critical to improving the overall health of the world’s population. I’m so thankful for Sen. Hite’s introduction of a bill that makes it easier for wind development in Ohio,” Bole said. “This action will in turn make it easier for kids to play outside and to stay in school instead of sitting sick at home.” (Note to self again: What about the kids who will be sick IN their homes?)
The Vision statement for GreenHealth is: “Health care mobilizes its ethical, economic and political influence to create an ecologically sustainable, equitable and healthy world.” And the Mission statement is: “Transform health care worldwide so that it reduces its environmental footprint, becomes a community anchor for sustainability and a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice.” For more go to https://practicegreenhealth.org/
Comrade Hite and Aparna Bole were joined at the presser by Lauren Kleinman Koch who is a staff member at GreenHealth. We wonder if these shills even know that the World Health Organization has standards for noise? Are they acquainted with the considerable research done by the Cochlear Fluids Lab at Washington University? It’s is cinch they don’t care about the Hippocratic Oath that compels medical professionals to “First Do No Harm”. Hite certainly does not bring any honor to the Republican Party and he makes Trump’s “swamp” look like a mud puddle.
Elsewhere, another recent article demonstrates the increasing heights of wind turbines- up to 720 feet! And, G.M.’s announcement that they will buy the power from a proposed wind project in Van Wert/Paulding Counties…
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Hite, Health Professionals Tout Wind Setback Bill
Recently proposed legislation that would revise wind setback restrictions was praised by environmentalists and medical professionals during a Statehouse press conference Wednesday.
Sen. Cliff Hite (R-Findlay) said his SB188 offers compromise legislation between those who want to harvest wind and those who do not want turbines near where they live. According to the bill, the actual setback distance required is increased from 1,125 feet to 1,225 feet. However, the distance is only measured from the tip of its nearest blade at 90 degrees to the exterior of the nearest habitable residential structure on an adjacent property, not to the property line.
Hite said the wind farms in his district have helped the community greatly, noting the technological equipment that has been purchased by local schools. He said it is also important to advance policy that improves the environment for younger generations, citing his four grandchildren.
The Ohio Environmental Council hosted the event, which featured comments from Aparna Bole, pediatrician and medical director of community integration for University Hospitals; Dan Sullivan, medical director of the Solon Family Health Center; and Lauren Kleinman Koch, project manager for Healthcare Without Harm.
Bole said there is a consensus among the scientific and health professional community that addressing climate change is critical to improving the overall health of the world’s population.
“I’m so thankful for Sen. Hite’s introduction of a bill that makes it easier for wind development in Ohio,” Bole said. “This action will in turn make it easier for kids to play outside and to stay in school instead of sitting sick at home.”
Sullivan said further wind development in Ohio could lead to public health benefits through the reduction of fossil fuel use.
“Ohio is a state that is very reliant on fossil fuel sources of electricity which produce harmful pollution that causes asthma attacks, heart attacks and other smog-causing pollution,” Sullivan said. “The more we can advance clean energy, the less reliant we have to be on these polluting sources of energy.”
Kleinman Koch noted the state would see financial gains as well as health and environmental benefits if the bill is passed…
IT IS TIME TO SOUND THE ALARMS IN OHIO. Ohio Senate Bill 184 which returns measurement of setbacks to homes from property lines has been introduced in the Senate. The bill restores the original setbacks which are 1.1 x turbine height at the tip of the blade to the property line and 1,125 feet from a habitable structure. When these setbacks were first established in 2008, industrial wind turbines were roughly 375 feet at the tip. This, just as Nordex announced its newest turbine for onshore low wind sites. The towers initially available include those with hub heights of 105 to 164 meters (335 to 538 feet) and the rotor diameters have been increased by 18 meters or 60 feet. The new Nordex model has a blade length of 72.4 meters which is 237.5 feet making the rotor diameter 475 feet and the overall height at the tip in a range from 572 feet to 775 feet.
You may wonder why Senator Skindell has introduced this bill. One theory is to establish a mark against which the Hite proposal might seem “reasonable”. Hite calls his idea a “compromise”. He has not introduced anything but he does have language which would measure the setback from a property line at 1.2 times the turbine height at the tip of the blade instead of 1.1. That would equal a minimum property line setback for the new Nordex at 686 feet from the neighbor’s property line depending on the model. Overall the setback would continue to be 1,125 feet from a habitable structure in the Hite proposal.
It is astonishing that while turbine height has nearly doubled in the past ten years, legislators and the wind lobby propose to measure setbacks the same way they were measured in 2008. It is also the height of stupidity to think that a wind developer would not want to have the latest technology that yields the greatest amount of power generation. The older, less productive models will eventually retire and parts for them will cease to be made just like any other product that becomes obsolete.
Senate Bill 184 is sponsored by Democrat Senator Mike Skindell of Lakewood in Cuyahoga County. Skindell is term limited in 2018. He has recruited the following co-sponsors:
Democrat Kenny Yuko, Richmond Heights, who is the Senate Minority Leader from Cuyahoga and Lake Counties. Yuko is serving his first term and is eligible for re-election.
Democrat Sean O’Brien, Hubbard, representing Trumbull, Ashtabula and Geauga Counties. He was first elected in 2016.
Democrat Senate Minority Whip Edna Brown of Toledo in Lucas County. Senator Brown is term limited in 2018.
Democrat Sen. Joe Schiavoni, Boardman, representing Columbiana and Mahoning Counties. Senator Schiavoni is term limited in 2018.
Democrat Senate Assistant Minority Leader Charleta B. Tavares of Columbus representing Franklin County. Senator Tavares is term limited in 2018.
Democrat Senate Assistant Minority Whip Cecil Thomas of Cincinnati representing Hamilton County.
This group represents 7 out of the nine members of the Democratic Caucus. None of these co-sponsors live in an area potentially viable for industrial wind development although Ashtabula County is a possibility. IT IS TIME TO CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS and tell them NO! In introducing SB 184, Skindell’s Office issued a press release which is reprinted below…..
COLUMBUS, OH – From Ohio State Senator Michael Skindell: Today, Senator Michael Skindell (D–Lakewood) introduced Senate Bill 184, which would return wind farm setback standards to what they previously were before the passage of House Bill 483 in 2014.
The standard established in House Bill 483 was inserted in the bill at the last minute and had no public hearings. The legislation more than doubled the distance wind turbines have to be from “the nearest, habitable, residential structure.” The change significantly reduced the number of turbines that could be placed in a wind project.
“Current restrictive setback standards have created a barrier to wind development in Ohio,” said Senator Skindell. “Since 2014, our state has seen a sharp decline in the number of new wind farm applications. Because of such stringent standards, we have lagged behind neighboring states, losing out on local economic development and jobs for our communities. Ohio should be embracing the renewable energy industry and securing clean energy for our future.”…
Ohio’s energy policy and the issue of setbacks continues to be the hot topic as the wind lobby uses the remaining days of summer to build their case in the media and with lawmakers that industrial wind setbacks should be measured from the foundation of the neighbor’s home rather than their property line. We hope that our readers will be visiting with their lawmakers who are home in the district for the month of August to advocate for retaining the current property line setbacks and requiring a vote of the people before changes can be made. This will be the focus of setback debate in the fall and your legislators need to know what their constituents want. After all, it is your community that will be impacted and you don’t need some guy from Chagrin Falls telling you what’s good for you. Against that backdrop, the following news is well worth noting:
- Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bob Cupp who now represents Allen County and his hometown of Lima has been tapped to succeed Rep. Bill Seitz as the Chair of the House Public Utilities Committee. Cupp should take quite a personal interest in the topic of setbacks since it will likely affect his constituents. Notably, Cupp remarked in an interview that “We’ll take these issues as they develop and try to build as much consensus as possible and make decisions on what’s the best public policy where consensus isn’t possible,” he said. We can guarantee there will not be consensus on wind setbacks and we hope the “best public policy” means a voice for the residents of townships affected by wind development.
Chagrin Falls Republican Senator Matt Dolan has announced he will co-sponsor with Cliff Hite a bill to roll back setbacks from property lines. Dolan’s family owns the Cleveland Indians and it is unlikely he will ever be required to “eat his own cooking” as they say. Rumors are flying around that Hite might want to make a run at Senate President and maybe Dolan is looking to polish his image with Hite. Otherwise, Dolan’s arguments in favor of mandates and unacceptable wind siting don’t hold up. He claims Ohio business and industry needs a certain and reliable policy. Ohio’s policy today lets the consumer choose what they want. What could be more certain than that?
- A commenter who opined on the Hite-Dolan wind proposal article states “Wind power companies in Ohio at least are free to build within the safety code, but they will need to lease more land to achieve the setbacks required. This costs money, so they are appealing to the politicians to change the law and effectively give the use of unleased land to the wind power companies for free. 1300 feet of setback from the property line is now on the low side of such measures, western states have moved their setbacks to 2500 feet and more. They have lived with wind farms much longer than we in Ohio have. A study by the University of Michigan strongly supports the distance of 2500 feet, once again from the property line to minimize the impacts of wind turbines on neighboring land and homes. I am all for renewable energy, but let’s do it safely and fairly. It makes the politicians feel powerful and generous when they give our rights away, but theft by any other name is still — theft. (Hite-Way Robbery!)
- Flying in from the Far Left (or perhaps the moon) is Harvey Wasserman. Harvey will be remembered by many who sat through the renewable energy mandate hearings nearly a decade ago as the whacko who roamed the halls of the legislature in a moon suit wailing that without a renewable mandate we were all going to die. Harvey is now claiming wind will die along with the rest of us if industrial turbine setbacks are not shortened. He also claims “Farmers in the region strongly support wind-energy projects. The footprint of a utility-scale turbine covers up just an acre of land. Farmers who host them lose a small fraction of their agricultural productivity, and access roads to build turbines can temporarily cost some crop space. But in many cases, once the windmills are in, farmers just plough over and plant those strips of soil on the usually safe bet that not much will go wrong. Once installed, the turbines provide farmers with substantial lease payments that can even exceed what they make from actually raising crops other than electricity.” Earth to Wasserman, come in please….farmers do not strongly support wind-energy projects!
- A letter written from the Navy to a U.S. Senator has come to light and confirms the military’s concern with wind turbines near airfields. ““The general conclusion of the study confirmed that primary radar detection may be significantly degraded in airspace immediately above wind farms and in some cases beyond the windfarm,” Balocki wrote. “When flying in such areas of degraded primary radar coverage, there is increased risk to Navy pilots from civilian aircraft operating without active transponders.” The letter stated that the Navy and wind turbine developers can’t agree on a way to mitigate the interference of wind turbines, the service branch would recommend the Secretary of Defense object to future industrial wind turbine development near bases.
- An excellent but very long article titled: Researchers Have Been Underestimating the Cost of Wind and Solar by Gail Tverberg reports that “the current methodology is quite misleading. Wind and solar are not really stand-alone devices when it comes to providing the kind of electricity that is needed by the grid. Grid operators, utilities, and backup electricity providers must provide hidden subsidies to make the system really work. This problem is currently not being recognized by any of the groups evaluating wind and solar, using techniques such as LCOE, EROI, LCA, and EPP. As a result, published results suggest that wind and solar are much more beneficial than they really are. The distortion affects both pricing and the amount of supposed CO2 savings.” Click on the link below to read the full article.
- In contradiction to the above, the Lawrence Berkley Lab claims “50% Rise in Renewable Energy Needed to Meet Ambitious State Standards” and they go on to say that this insane notion is doable and affordable through aggressive state renewable portfolio standards.
- Meanwhile, “American Electric Power Co. Inc. (AEP) announced a $4.5 billion project yesterday that includes a massive wind farm and a new power line to help send renewable energy to customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. The project, called Wind Catcher Energy Connection, could provide close to 9 million megawatt-hours of new wind energy to consumers in the four states annually, AEP said. AEP will be working with Invenergy on this project and we are just happy they are working in Oklahoma and NOT Ohio. Maybe there was something to those lyrics from the classic musical: “Ooook-lahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain; And the wavin’ wheat can sure smell sweet, When the wind comes right behind the rain.”
- In Chautauqua, New York where EverPower is developing the Cassadaga Wind “Farm” the League of Women Voters held a public debate between the anti-wind community and the Sierra Club. The article is an interesting read and the claims of the Sierra spokesperson were classically untrue wind-speak (aka “blowing smoke”). No wonder the developer didn’t participate and left it to a surrogate. No one would want to be accountable for what the Sierra representative claimed.
- And in West Virginia, EverPower is being sued by residents near the New Creek Wind “Farm” who claim that from day one, “Beginning Nov. 1, 2016, and continuing on a daily basis, when the plaintiffs are outside on their properties, they are constantly confronted with irritating and unabated audible noise that significantly limits the use and enjoyment of their property and results in annoyance, along with headaches, hearing problems, anxiety, irritability and other symptoms, according to the suits. The plaintiffs claim inside their homes, they experience disturbed sleep, headaches, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, nervousness, joint pain, an inability to clear ears, fatigue, vertigo, depression, tinnitus, irritability and anger. The presence of the defendant’s business so close to their homes has substantially and unreasonably negatively affected the plaintiffs quiet use and enjoyment of living in a previously tranquil rural/wilderness country setting, according to the suits.”
The one thing we can conclude from today’s news is that we in Ohio are not alone.
A lobbying firm has been hired by BigWind to aggressively get Ohio Senators to shorten Ohio’s setbacks between a turbine and a property line. The current number is 1,125 feet, but the industry falsely claims it is restrictive. In reality, it is protective for citizens. What do you think about the problems below? Would you like them to come to Ohio? 2 BigWind companies, with sites in the works, have already stated they want to use turbines that will be 660 feet tall. Do you think our senators know this????……
…NextEra Energy Resources based in Florida began operating 97 wind turbines near Osborn, Missouri, in December. The project in DeKalb County was one of the first by NextEra Energy to use wind turbines that were manufactured to be 500 feet tall.
Some residents in the county have expressed concern over effects from light flicker, noise levels, vibration of buildings and a lack of access to television and weather emergency services.
“When you come home at night and you’ve got bright red lights flashing, it’s not exactly a pleasant experience,” Shatto said. “I have window shutters and they do a good job at times to block out the light, but it doesn’t do it completely. You’re just stuck with it. Blocking out the lights is very difficult to do.”
Kim Tindel said there are around 30 turbines within five miles of her residence, with the nearest tower located around 1,400 feet from her home. Tindel said she has documented items in her house shaking.
“The house shakes and it trembles,” Tindel said. “I do have a shelf in my laundry room and stuff has fallen off my shelf. My pictures move. I put a Mason jar on the shelf with water in it and the water is moving.”
Tindel said she hears two noises associated with the project and she has covered her windows to block out the lights.
“It sounds like airplanes hovering 24 hours a day,” Tindel said. “We can hear it over the sound of television and over lawn mowers. Then there’s another sound other than the blades constantly moving. Sometimes it’s a high-pitch sound that’s hard to describe that I can hear outside, but I cannot hear it inside my house.”
Billy and Sherri Sonderegger said there are around 10 wind turbines within two miles of their home.
“I describe it as an airplane flying off in the distance but it never goes anywhere,” Billy Sonderegger said. “It’s always there. The sound just keeps coming. I’ve come home at 11 or 12 at night to unload cattle and left my pickup trailer running and I can hear it above the noise of the pickup.”….
BigWind has hired a lobbying firm as part of a very aggressive campaign to roll back the property line setbacks which were adopted in Ohio in 2014. The lobbying firm representing AWEA is called Compass Consulting. They are people who have previously worked in the Voinovich Administration and for Attorney General Mike DeWine. At their press conference, a report was distributed titled: BLOWING IN THE WIND – OHIO’S OVERLY RESTRICTIVE WIND SETBACK LAW IS PUTTING BILLIONS IN NEW IN-STATE INVESTMENT AT RISK. It falsely claims that Ohio’s setbacks are the most restrictive in the nation and causing Ohio to miss out on billions in investment. Further, the report presents a very misleading chart comparing Ohio setbacks to counties in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. We have warned about this for years. They will attempt a budget ammendment to shorten our setbacks. Below is, yet, another, example of why their claims are false. 2 communities in NY has property lines that are now 2,500 feet from a property line! This makes Ohio’s setback of 1,125 look weak….
The Hopkinton Wind Advisory Board has approved the sound decibel limit and setbacks for the siting of contested 500-foot wind towers proposed in Hopkinton and Parishville.
The advisory board decided on setting a 24-hour sound decibel limit for the noise the wind towers can produce. The board settled on 40 decibels for day and night.
The vote was approved 3-2, according to Hopkinton Town Supervisor Susan Wood. Board members who voted in favor were Jody Wenzel, Mary Jane Niles and Richard Powers. Those opposed were Steve Hopkins and John Niles.
Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of Iberdrola, is heading the North Ridge Wind Farm, which calls for about 40 wind towers to be built on land in Hopkinton and Parishville.
“I think there was disappointment on both sides,” Wood said…
Wenzel had also previously stated the decision was made based on of what other wind farms had enacted for laws.
Setbacks were approved to be five times the height of a tower. Turbines are expected to be 500 feet high, so that would make the setbacks 2,500 feet from the property line of non-participating landowners and the same distance from a participating landowners foundation line.