Is Apex Clean Energy trying to influence Van Wert, OH commissioner election????

Screen Shot 2018-05-04 at 11.05.24 AM

The facts speak for themselves.  The Moser family and close friend have contributed $3610 to the Vicky Profit campaign for Van Wert, Ohio county commissioner.  This information is public record and listed on the Jon Husted Statement of Contributions Received at the elections office. Connections to Apex Clean Energy represent 84% of the funds raised for Mrs. Profit for county commissioner.  If this doesn’t represent collusion, what does?  Currently, the Van Wert county commissioners have told Apex NO to a PILOT agreement. They have told Apex it will pay full taxes to the Van Wert county residents, not the pocket change of the current PILOT agreement (approximately 16% of full taxation valuation). Apex ‘appears’ to be making a grand effort to change this. If you are dealing with BigWind in your area, its imperative that you stay vigilant and be aware of their tactics…. 

Advertisements

Is BigWind influencing our Ohio elections?

Somebody said that “Bad officials are elected by the good people who do not vote.” Our message here is that the wind industry will try to influence county level races as well as at the state level.   Champaign County observed this a number of years ago.

We are entering the election season and early voting has started.   We hope everyone votes and drags their family and friends with them to the polls.  Most of our readers will have heard by now that the Ohio Speaker of the House has resigned effective May 1st.   Speaker Cliff Rosenberger is under investigation by the FBI for suspected campaign finance violations.  He will be succeeded at least temporarily by Rep. Kirk Shuring of Canton.   Gov. Kasich’s aide, Wayne Struble, has announced he will retire at the end of the week.

With all the hubbub and the elections approaching, we examined the past year’s contributions by the wind industry to Ohio House and Senate members.  From our amateur evaluation, there are clearly three Senators who received the most from wind developers, their lobbyists and the lawyers who represent them:  Senator Bill Beagle of Tipp City, Senator Randy Gardner of Bowling Green and Senator Gayle Manning of North Ridgeville in the Huron and Lorain County areas.  Both Manning and Gardner are members of Senate Leadership.  All three are term limited and cannot run again although Gardner’s term will not end until 2020.

An examination of political donation reports from the Secretary of State’s Office reflects that of the $58,100 raised by Senator Beagle from 4-11-17 to 4-11-18, $16,700 – more than 25% of his funds –  came from wind-related donors and utilities.  AEP was the top donor at $5,000 followed by AWEA at $1,500.   Beagle is term-limited and cannot run again.  On the Republican side, Dr. Stephen Huffman is running unopposed in the primary.  Huffman currently represents District 80 in the Ohio House covering portions of Miami and Darke Counties..   He is related to Senator Matt Huffman, a strong supporter of property line setbacks. The Democrat, Paul Bradley, is also unopposed and will face off in November against Huffman.

Sen. Manning is term-limited and hopes that she is will be succeeded by her son, Nathan, who currently serves in the House of Representatives.  Manning is opposed in the primary by Ryan Sawyer of Norwalk.  It is unknown how Sawyer feels about wind development or property line setbacks but Manning has been disappointing.

Senator Randy Gardner raked in $172,437 over the past twelve months of which $14,550 was energy related.  AWEA contributed $2,500 to Gardner who will serve through 2020.  Bad news!  In the event no setback legislation is passed for the balance of the year, Gardner will likely figure prominently in next year’s attempts to reduce setbacks.

Senator Rob McColley of Napoleon is facing two primary challengers to retain his seat that was vacated by Cliff Hite.  Bob Barker, Jr. and Craig Kupferberg are the Republican primary opponents.  Kupferberg of Findlay, 59, is a former Findlay High School principal (friend of Hite?), and Robert D. Barker Jr., 53,comes from Van Wert.  The winner will compete in November against Democrat Adam Papin, 36, of Bryan, who is unopposed in his party’s primary.  Senator McColley’s district covers all of Henry, Putnam, Williams, Defiance, Paulding, Hancock, Van Wert and Hardin counties; the southeastern corner of Fulton County; and northern sections of Auglaize and Logan counties.  This is a very important race. You can vote right now if you would like. This race will send an important message about wind development in rural NW Ohio.

Rep. Robert Sprague from Findlay is running for State Treasurer.  His House seat is being contested in the Republican primary by Republican Cheryl Buckland, 64, of Findlay, who will face Jon Cross, 39, of Kenton. Buckland is a Republican State Central Committee member. Cross, of Kenton, is president/chief executive officer and economic development director of the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance, Kenton.  Given the open door policy of Hardin County toward wind development, we hope every man, woman and child that draws breath will get out and vote for Buckland even though we don’t know much about her.   The winner will face Democrat Ashley Philipp, of rural McComb, in the November general election.  This primary race will be closely watched by officials in neighboring counties.

In the 85th House District, incumbent Rep. Nino Vitale is facing several challengers.   Rep. Vitale supports property line setbacks and opposes wind energy as a general matter believing the costs do not outweigh the benefits.  The Urbana Daily Citizen recently asked the candidates about their views on industrial wind development.  The responses were as follows:

URBANA – Current Ohio House Rep. Nino Vitale is seeking another term in office and will be challenged by three other candidates for the Republican nomination.

Do you support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies like wind and solar developers, or do you think such projects are an unnecessary threat to property values of nearby uncompensated residents?

“The government continues to pick winners and losers. This needs to stop. While it is true that coal and nuclear companies receive subsidies, the problem is, on a per kilowatt basis, wind and solar are so inefficient, they are extremely expensive and unreliable, especially in Ohio. The free market is the BEST place for industry to innovate and grow. Government intervention and using taxpayer subsidies should be used at a very low level if at all.  “We should not use taxpayer money in private business to any great degree. I also believe in proper setbacks from property lines. I’m a strong supporter of property rights, but when you start to affect how your neighbor can enjoy and use their property, it becomes a public matter and not a private one.”

SIDNEY — Joe Ratermann, 54, of Sidney, has strong ties in his hometown of Sidney.

Do you support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies like wind and solar developers, or do you think such projects are an unnecessary threat to property values of nearby residents?

“Local communities and not the legislative body in Columbus are best able to decide what works best for their communities.  For those whom believe that the federal and state government is too intrusive in their lives, this is an excellent issue to allow the market place to dictate the result – and not the General Assembly in Columbus, Ohio. “That said, I support renewable energy. Renewable energy provides the opportunity to be proactive in preparing for the future. Wind and solar developers are preparing our state for long term economic sustainability as fossil fuel energy resources diminish and become increasingly expensive.”

SIDNEY — Sidney native Justin Griffis, 29, is seeking his first elected office in the political world.

Do you support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies like wind and solar developers, or do you think such projects are an unnecessary threat to property values of nearby residents?

“I am a free-market guy, but I do not support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies. This a pretty big issue right now in Logan and Champaign County. I think energy efficiency is a good thing; however, alternative energy sources, especially wind turbines, have more cons than pros.   “First, each turbine assembly requires dozens of acres of clearance, which alters the rural landscape in which it is located. Second, wind turbines are highly intrusive because they are big structures with rotating blades that generate noise and vibration. The noise and vibration affects the wildlife in the area, often times causing the animals to relocate, and is a nuisance to neighboring property owners.  “Third, wind developers often times try to get neighboring property owners to sign ‘Good Neighbor Agreements.’ If a neighboring property owner signs the agreement, they lose their right to sue the developer over any past, present, and future claims of action that may arise.  They also lose the right to sue for any compensatory or punitive damages. The neighboring property owners are paid a small sum not to interfere with the construction, installation, maintenance, and operation of the wind turbine and also have to sign a non-disclosure agreement. “Fourth, these projects definitely cause property values to decrease for nearby residents. Wind turbines are unsightly, have constant noise and vibration, and have strobe lighting that operates both day and night. “Currently, alternative energy sources are not cost effective. Wind turbines and solar panels do not produce significant amounts of energy and cost lots of money to install, maintain, and operate. Again, I believe that there are more cons than pros associated with these alternative energy sources. Therefore, I do not support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies like wind and solar developers.”

URBANA – Rochiel Foulk is one of four candidates vying for the Republican nomination for the Ohio House of Representatives 85th district. A native of Urbana, Foulk graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree and Capital University Law School with a paralegal certificate.

Do you support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies like wind and solar developers, or do you think such projects are an unnecessary threat to property values of nearby uncompensated residents?

“I am in favor of cheap energy, regardless of the source as long as it doesn’t cause harm to or bother anyone. Further discussion would have to incorporate the interests of the people who have no recourse to rid themselves of the broken remains of massive, structures no longer in use, once the lifespan of the windmills is complete, and the land owners who would be affected. “With, the importance of preserving Ohio’s aesthetic landscapes and the threat of ruining this historically valued asset, it would be important to represent what the voters would want, and not what an outside industry might be proposing for the financial benefit of only a small group. Beyond that, state encouragement of development of solar and other renewable energy sources seems like a good thing.”

In Van Wert, Ohio, home of the Blue Creek wind facility, the Commissioner race is heating up – well maybe on fire would be a better way to say it.   We blogged, yesterday, about this…

 “There is an interesting development in Van Wert, Ohio as a strongly PRO Big Wind candidate is attempting to oust a current county commissioner….The county commissioners ultimately vote on whether or not to give Big Wind the massive PILOT tax abatement. Vicky and her husband are the owners of Profit & Sons Farms in Van Wert County, Ohio.  The Profits farm approximately 3800 acres and have approx 1200 acres leased within the proposed Apex Clean Energy/Long Prairie wind project. Much of the  remaining 2600 acres, owned by other individuals, is  also leased, per the Van Wert County Auditor’s office. Mrs Profit would be in direct violation of Ohio Ethics code if she takes place in any discussion or voting on any wind matter.  The Ohio Ethics Law and related statutes are found in Ohio Revised Code (R.C.) Chapter 102. and Sections 2921.42 and 2921.43.

 Mrs Profit stated in this publication that Commissioners should make Big Wind decisions withOUT going to a public vote…but legislation is being currently being written allowing Ohio residents to have this decision-making power.  Mrs Profit is also directly supported by Sarah Moser, Project Development Manager of Apex Clean Energy.  In Mrs.  Profit’s Declaration of Candidacy, Sarah K Moser was the signed Circulator of the Candidacy petition. There are also election billboards place throughout the county payed for by SRAL LLC,  A Domestic Limited Liability Company owned by Sarah K Moser. Does this show collusion between Big Wind and this candidate?…”

Again, WHO you vote for may be as important as IF you vote at all.  Respect the rights we have been afforded by our history. Inform yourselves and VOTE!

 

 

 

 

Link to article

Who actually ‘Profit’s if VanWert, Ohio says YES to More BigWind?

There is an interesting development in Van Wert, Ohio as a strongly PRO BigWind candidate is attempting to oust a current county commissioner….The county commissioners ultimately vote on whether or not to give BigWind the massive PILOT tax abatement.
Vicky and her husband are the owners of Profit&Sons Farms in Van Wert County, Ohio.
The Profits farm approximately 3800 acres and have have approx 1200 acres leased within the  proposed Apex Clean Energy/Long Praire wind project. Much of the  remaining 2600 acres, owned by other individuals, is  also leased, per the Van Wert County Auditors office.
Mrs Profit would be in direct violation of Ohio Ethics code if she takes place in any discussion or voting on any wind matter.

The Ohio Ethics Law and related statutes are found in Ohio Revised Code (R.C.) Chapter 102. and Sections 2921.42 and 2921.43

Mrs Profit stated in this publication that Commissioners should make BigWind decisions withOUT going to a public vote…but legislation is being currently being written allowing Ohio residents to have this decision-making power.
Mrs Profit is also directly supported by Sarah Moser, Project Development Manager of Apex Clean Energy.  In Mrs Profits Declaration of Candidacy, Sarah K Moser was the signed Circulator of the Candidacy petition. There are also election billboards place throughout the county payed for by SRAL LLC,  A Domestic Limited Liability Company owned by Sarah K Moser. Does this show collusion between BigWind and this candidate?…

The local Heart Land Patriots group sponsored a Meet the Candidates Night on Tuesday evening, with a featured face-off between Van Wert County commissioner candidates Vicki Profit and Thad Lichtensteiger…

Profit also reiterated her support for renewable energy development in the county, noting that wind energy has been the largest economic development factor in the county, as well as provides needed dollars to the county, its schools, and local property owners.

“I have made it crystal clear that I prefer renewable energy,” she noted. “I completely understand that there are many different opinions about the entire wind industry as a whole, but it’s very difficult for me to sit back and completely ignore what these projects have done for small communities like ours.

“Opportunities like we have been presented in regards to Long Prairie Wind Farm do not come around very often,” Profit said. “We preach economic development in this county consistently, but when you look around, the one and only major contributor … for economic growth, has been renewable energy.”

She questioned why current county officials have not been more supportive of wind energy and new setback laws, and said, if elected, she would make decision necessary for the betterment of the county as a whole.

Profit said, though, that she would listen to all arguments before making a decision on any issue.

A number of wind farm opponents attended the meeting and criticized Profit for her support of wind energy, with some wind energy opponents wondering if her family’s participation in the Long Prairie Wind Farm project would be a conflict of interest problem for her as a commissioner.

Profit answered that, if she felt that was the case, she would abstain from voting on such projects. She also said she felt the county commissioners should make decisions on future wind projects, rather than going to a vote by just the residents of a proposed wind farm district — something being proposed at the Ohio General Assembly level — noting that many groups and the county as a whole benefit financially from a wind farm project, not just those within a wind farm footprint….

https://www.thevwindependent.com/news/2018/04/11/commissioners-candidates-spar-on-wind-energy-issue/#more-101163

BigWind’s ‘OILY’ secret spills out

Unfortunately, many people are MIS informed about the cleanliness of renewable energy.  Industrial wind turbines are anything BUT clean and green.  In reality, each turbine has thousands of moving parts that must be lubricated with hundreds of gallons of oil.  This oil, much like in your car, must be ‘changed’ every so often, but how? By building a crane, on site, that can reach to the top of the mighty high nacelle.  This crane compacts soil and costs a lot of $ to transport to the site. Industrial wind turbines are manufactured from machines that USE oil, they are transported to the jobsite by vehicles that USE oil, and they then USE oil to lubricate their parts. Additionally, they utilize hundreds of pounds of rare earth elements, fiberglass, etc….all items that generate toxic, dangerous conditions for individuals.  The only ‘green’ that these machines generate are in the form of tax credits for the international companies that own them.  If you reside in NW Ohio, please feel free to inform Senator Cliff Hite of these truths, as he is an avid supporter of BigWind. The wind turbines in NW Ohio should begin to show similar problems as they age…

Wind turbines were planted along a strip of Mexico’s southern coast to make the country’s power industry cleaner. Now they’re spilling oil.

 In the town of Juchitan last month, a clean-up was under way around a generator owned by Electricite de France. Workers wearing goggles and masks were scrubbing off a copper-colored lubricant that dripped down from the turbine. They’d wrapped cloth around its base, to absorb further leakage, and stuffed contaminated soil and stones into plastic trash-bags.

Flor, who owns the land where the turbine is sited and rents it to EDF, said she arrived on the scene after being alerted by a neighbor. “The stench was terrible, like a sort of burned fuel or ammonia,” she said, asking not to be identified by her surname out of concern over reprisals. “The trees were glistening with oil.” Similar problems have been reported all along the Tehuantepec isthmus, one of the western hemisphere’s windiest places….

He said oil from Acciona’s turbines never reached the ground, and the company is working on a fix: a sheath for the gearbox which will prevent the lubricant from running down the mast or onto the blades.

Gamesa Corp Tecnologica, which made the EDF turbines used at the Juchitan wind park, said oil leaks occur with “relative frequency” and operators are equipped with “spill kits” to deal with them. Most leaks are contained, though “small amounts habitually” spill from the turbines, the company said in an emailed response to questions….

Source: Wind-power pollution: turbine oil seeps into the land in Mexico

pic source: http://www.romania-insider.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/oil-barrel.jpg

Ohio Mayor shares the realities of BigWind in Van Wert, Ohio

BigWind does NOT generate a windfall for the communities in which it resides and Van Wert is no exception. BigWind avoids paying tax, thanks to the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) that they INSIST each community accepts.  Additionally, they are given dozens of other incentives/subsidies to bully their way into a community.  BigWind is a plague on our grid and it will increase our electricity rates.  Let us say thank you to this mayor for stating some hard facts and numbers, so the public can see the truth.  Unfortunately, our legislators are being told another, completely different story from the BigWind lobbyists. Senator Cliff Hite is a perfect example, as he appears to do everything he can to pave the way for more BigWind in Ohio.  Please share these truths with YOUR legislator…because most are drinking the BigWind koolaid….

By Jerry Mazur

This has been a week filled with misquotes, misunderstandings, and personal attacks. I think the full moon stimulated some strange thinking in a few of the uninformed or misinformed among us.

Recently, in a discussion, I made reference to the number of people needed to work in Van Wert to generate an additional $530,000 of income tax. This is approximately the dollar amount of the State’s government funding that Van Wert received annually from Columbus. This was prior to the dollars being reallocated to the State’s budget seven or so years ago. This government funding (our money) being sent back to us was a major infusion for our General Fund.

To get back to the point of my discussion, I used Federal Mogul as a data point due to the number of people working there who are paying City income tax. My statement was that “it would take about two companies the size of Federal Mogul with approximately the same number of employees to fill the gap that the shortfall in government funding created.” I went on to say, “or maybe one company the size of Eaton.”

My point to all this was, while we are aggressively seeking new businesses and jobs to come to Van Wert, it will take years and all the blessings available to us to see the fruits of our labor. In the interim, we must make the decision to step to the plate and vote yes to the .28 tax increase proposal.

I received a Facebook posting from Mr. or Ms. HTW, also known as misinformed. He or she stated that the Blue Creek Wind Farm was adding about $6,000,000 to the local economy and that tIn the interim, we must make the decision to step to the plate and vote yes to the .28 tax increase proposal.he City should forget the 0.28 tax and explore wind farms as a source of revenue.

Well, let me set the record straight. According to the County Auditor’s Office, several schools, some townships, some property owners, and the County government have received payments from wind energy. However, in searching the financial records with City Auditor Martha Balyeat, we find no direct wind energy contributions being made to the City of Van Wert. To that I say, Mr. or Ms. HTW, we’re still looking for our portion of the $6,000,000 you boasted about in your Facebook posting.

If by chance you’re speaking to the guy who signs the checks at Blue Creek Wind Farm, please have him send a check in the amount of $531,000 to Martha Balyeat, Auditor, 515 E. Main St., Van Wert, Ohio 45891, and mark it General Fund Contribution. By the way, we’re going to need this amount year over year. Thank you.

To all reasonable thinkers out there, please don’t hold your breath. I think it’s going to be some time before we see either Mr. or Ms. HTW or Blue Creek Wind Farm coming up with the cash. In the meantime, we must go to the polls and say yes to the modest .28 tax question. Consider this: if you are earning $50,000 dollars a year, you would be asked to pay an additional $2.69 cents per week. If you have no earned income, such as being on retirement, Social Security, or receiving no earned income, you will not be paying additional tax. And yes, I am asking the seniors to get out and vote. It is important to you, your children, and your grandchildren. We must keep City services funded for the good of the order.

With regard to the economic windfall created by the wind farms, we have looked at the hotel/motel tax that is paid to the City. Yes, there has been an increase in these tax dollars. This tax was greatly stimulated by the addition of the new Holiday Inn Express and a modest amount attributed to the wind farm construction crews with overnight stays. On the other hand, construction crews typically rent by the month and are not subject to this tax. Therefore, this is not a great source of economic impact to the City. The crews do spend dollars in our stores and restaurants and do pay sales tax. These taxes go to the County.

As mayor of Van Wert, I have and will continue to maintain a neutral position regarding additional wind farms. It is my opinion that this should be decided by the voters in those districts which will be impacted by them. I would say, however, that I would be concerned if the wind farms were to consume potential housing development areas around the City. I have concerns about setback requirements choking off housing developments. Housing will very much be in demand should we be successful in attracting new companies and jobs to our area. This is a long-term outlook, but my experience tells me that we must have available housing areas in order to make us attractive to interested companies. In addition, if the turbines use up all of the land and create set back situations, we will be unable to provide much needed space to future industry which would directly feed dollars into the City of Van Wert….


In closing, Sir, it is not my nature to look down on or treat people poorly. I am a blue collar worker such as yourself. I have worked my entire lifetime building my personal character and staunch life-long relationships. I have great respect for the people of Van Wert and thank them for allowing me to serve as their mayor.

Early voting has started, so please step up to the plate for the .28 tax increase proposal.

Source: Mayor responds to comments – Times Bulletin

WOW, AWEA can’t do basic math

In Ohio, BigWind is/has building/proposing projects that consume, on average 16,000 acres each. Now, if we look at Blue Creek, alone, there are 152 turbines. 16,000 divided by 152 is 105 acres/turbine.  Obviously, each turbine does not take up 105 acres, but when you include setbacks, homes, roadways, communities, etc. AWEA is blatantly WRONG.  You canNOT extrapolate acreage based on the actual, physical consumption of land by the industrial wind turbine.  According to Ohio’s average land consumption of 16,000 acres, our math shows that the AWEA assumption needs to be revised to be multiplied by 141!! In this case, the mass of Rhode Island x 141 = 169,200 square miles…LARGER THAN THE SIZE OF CALIFORNIA.  And, does this actually power America? NO, because we need MORE coal and MORE gas to ‘backup’ the intermittency of the turbines….

…The Supreme Court put a hold on enforcement of the plan in February to allow legal challenges to it to be resolved in court. If the Court of Appeals rules that the government can legally enforcement the plan, the country will have to start using a lot more renewable energy (like wind and solar) — and much less coal — by the year 2030.

Part of the plan calls for the creation of incentives to encourage states to build wind farms. Though the US invested $14.5 billion in wind-power project installations last year, wind farms still provide less than 5% of the nation’s energy, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

But what would a US powered only by wind actually look like?

To answer that question, AWEA’s manager of industry data analysis, John Hensley, did the following math: 4.082 billion megawatt-hours (the average annual US electricity consumption) divided by 7,008 megawatt-hours of annual wind energy production per wind turbine equals approximately 583,000 onshore turbines.

In terms of land use, those 583,000 turbines would take up about the total land mass of Rhode Island, Hensley says, because wind projects typically require 0.74 acres of land per megawatt produced….

Source: Here’s how much of the US would need to be covered in wind turbines to power the nation

OPSB issues draft BigWind siting rules- the joke is on us

This past week the Ohio Power Siting Board released its industrial wind facility “Draft Rules” for comment. The OPSB release states:

The public is invited to submit comments on these rules. In an entry dated September 22, 2016, the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) issued proposed rules applicable to wind‑powered electric generation facilities in amended Ohio Administrative Code 4906‑4‑08 and newly proposed 4906‑4‑09. The OPSB requests that interested persons submit formal written comments on the proposed rules by October 24, 2016 and reply comments by November 8, 2016. The entry and proposed rules are available in the online record for case number 16-1109-GE-BRO. (We have also attached the proposed rules below.)

Stakeholders may submit comments in case number 16-1109-GE-BRO via electronic filing or in hard copy to: PUCO Docketing Division, 11th Floor, 180 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215. Following the conclusion of the comment and reply comment period, the OPSB will later issue final rules to be reviewed by the Ohio Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review before taking effect.

Questions regarding the rulemaking may be directed to contactopsb@puco.ohio.gov.

****

Having only given the draft rules a cursory look, we cannot provide you with our detailed assessment at this time BUT we can say they appear to be a complete farce and that they fail to provide any real enforceable protection for residents and property owners. For instance, the draft rule at page 28 addresses noise at adjacent non-participating property. Everyone knows that sound from wind turbines can propagate across miles and varies depending on topography. This alone is an indicator that the rules are designed to facilitate the construction of industrial wind and nothing else. In order to make the industrial power plants seem benign, the rule actually changes the word wind “facility” to wind “farm”. Gee – will fracking sites become oil and gas farms? Anyone up for a nuclear farm?

We all remember the blade failure in Paulding County which occurred as a result of human error when an employee in some remote control center restarted a turbine that had been automatically shut down. Not to worry going forward! The new rules outlaw human error! “Bypass or override of wind turbine safety features or equipment is prohibited.” Feel better now? Not only that, the rules now require the developer to give their best guess on “probabilities” of bad things happening. If the developer doesn’t think that there is a real good chance that high winds could be dangerous, or ice throws could smash through your car window while you are driving down a road, or hit your children while playing in their yards, then Hakuna Matata! No worries!

The rules include the following provisions:

(6) High winds. The applicant shall provide an analysis of the prospects of high winds for the area, including the probability of occurrences and likely consequences of various wind velocities, and describe plans to mitigate any likely adverse consequences.

(1) The ice throw analysis shall, at a minimum, include the probability of ice throw impacts at the nearest property boundary and public road.

(3) In addition to the use of the safety measures enumerated in paragraph (E)(2) of this rule, the potential impact from ice throw shall be presumptively deemed to satisfy safety considerations if the probability of one kilogram of ice landing beyond the statutory property line setback for each turbine location is less than one per cent per year.

We invite you to consider the proposed rule on Noise below which is followed by Union Neighbors United’s January 18th noise comments filed with the OPSB. UNU’s comments were more fully described by its expert noise advisor again on June 9, 2016. Those written comments are attached. The only thing one can say about these “rules” is that once again the OPSB is attempting to provide wind developers with an “unregulated” environment under the guise of “regulation.” Regulation that protects no one is hardly regulation.

OPSB Draft Noise Rule

(2) The facility shall be operated so that the facility noise contribution does not result in noise levels at the adjacent non-participating property that exceed the project area ambient nighttime average sound level (Leq) by five A-weighted decibels (dBA). Non-participating property, for the purpose of this rule, refers to properties not under lease or agreement with the applicant regarding any components of the facility or project. During daytime operation only {seven a.m. to ten p.m.), the facility may operate at the greater of: the project area ambient nighttime Leq plus five dBA; or the validly measured ambient Leq plus five dBA at the location of the adjacent non-participating property. After commencement of commercial operation, the applicant shall conduct further review of the impact and possible mitigation of all project-related noise complaints through its complaint resolution process.

UNU Comment January 18, 2016

(a) Noise:

(i) To prevent annoyance and sleep deprivation from inherently intrusive wind turbine noise, operational noise levels of wind energy facilities should not exceed five dBA above the background sound level at nonparticipating properties. UNU Brief at 22-25. Since this proposed standard applies to nonparticipating properties, the rule should require all background noise measurements to be taken on location at nonparticipating properties wherever possible.2 For purposes of determining compliance with this standard, background noise assessments must be based on the L90 statistical standard, as universally acknowledged in the acoustical engineering profession. Id. at 30. The L90, known as the residual sound level, is the sound level exceeded during 90% of the measurement period. The L90 measures the quietest 10% of a time interval in order to identify the amount of background sound that is normally available to mask turbine noise that otherwise would awaken a person. By measuring the quietest 10% interval, the L90 statistic filters out the sporadic noise from noise events of short duration, such as passing cars.

By removing brief noise spikes, the L90 metric eliminates short-term noise spikes that serve no purpose for masking the sound of a new noise source. Id. (ii) No nonparticipating resident or landowner should be exposed to noise levels greater than 35 dBA and 50 dBC at any time. UNU Brief at 35-40, 44. (iii) The above standards should apply at the property lines of nonparticipating properties, not merely at neighboring residences. Id. at 44-45. (iv) Proposed subsection 4906-4-08(C)(3)(B) requires that the application address “cumulative operational noise levels at the property boundary for each non-participating property adjacent to or within the project area, under both day and nighttime conditions.” As the Board is well aware, wind energy developers often plan their facilities in phases, while in other cases, one developer’s facility is proposed in or near the location of another developer’s facility. In order to assess the cumulative impact of multiple facilities, it is critical that such assessment take into account impacts from other existing, proposed, or planned wind power facilities in addition to impacts from the facility that is the subject of the application. This comment applies not only to assessment of cumulative noise impacts, but also to visual impacts, shadow flicker, and othercumulative facility impacts.

Last June when the OPSB presented an earlier draft of wind rules, UNU asserted the proposed rules conflicted with the intent of legislation to protect the public and that they lacked enforceable standards. We have reprinted a portion of the news report from the Hannah Statehouse News Service from last June wherein” JCARR Chairman Sen. Joe Uecker (R-Loveland) said the General Assembly only required OPSB write “reasonable regulations,” and did not include the phrase “for the protection of the public.” Notwithstanding we recall that Senator Troy Balderson pointed out to the OPSB’s Legal Director, Angela Hawkins, that there were, in fact, deficiencies in the rules and he expects those deficiencies to be fixed in the upcoming new rulemaking process.

We will report further on these draft rules after we study them a bit more. In the meantime, be thinking about having your local elected officials join you in commenting on the rules when they are due one month from today on October 24th. For now, we think anyone who signs a wind lease, a “good neighbor agreement,” or a waiver should question whether their family, neighbors or community will ever truly be protected by OPSB rules….

The Hannah Statehouse News Service Reported the hearing as follows (emphasis added by Wind News):

Wind Farm Certification Rules Clear JCARR despite Opposition

A new rule revising the content and substance of certificate applications for electric generation facilities, including wind farms, cleared the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) on Monday.

The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) rule addresses new wind turbine setback requirements set in 130-HB483…

Lawyer Christopher Walker, representing Union Neighbors United (UNU), testified in opposition to the rule saying it violates the third JCARR prong — conflicting with legislative intent.

“Today’s rule purports to contain the board’s regulations governing health and safety, land use, and ecological impacts of wind energy projects. However, this rule lacks the standards explicitly required by the General Assembly to protect the public health and public interest from the impacts of wind farm operations,” Walker said.

“Neither Rule 4906-4-08 nor the remainder of the board’s rules establish any requirements governing the reconstruction or enlargement of wind turbines, protection of recreational lands or wildlife,” Walker continued. “Furthermore, the rules contain no enforceable standards for wind facility decommissioning or for protection of the public from ice throw, wind turbine noise, blade shear, or shadow flicker. Instead, this rule, which purports to address health and safety impacts of wind energy facilities, is merely a laundry list of various information that a wind energy facility developer must submit to the board and its staff in its application.”

Walker said he was particularly concerned that the rule does not set specific standards for blade and ice throw, noting turbines can fling fragments 1,640 feet. He said the rule is “silent” on this issue.

Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) pointed out the rule requires applicants to evaluate and describe the potential impact from blade shear and ice throw at the nearest property boundary and public road and include plans to mitigate the potential effects and instruct workers of potential hazards. Walker responded by saying he meant the rule does not include enforceable standards on these issues.

Walker said several times that HB562 required “reasonable regulations” “for the protection of the public.” JCARR Chairman Sen. Joe Uecker (R-Loveland) said the General Assembly only required OPSB write “reasonable regulations,” and did not include the phrase “for the protection of the public.” Walker acknowledged the latter phrase was not included in the law….

 

%d bloggers like this: