Welcome to Indiana Wind Watch
"Destruction of our natural heritage masquerades as the pursuit of green energy." Helen Douglas
Residents Opposed to Wind Projects in These Counties
Bans on Industrial Wind Turbines or Protective Ordinances:
Cass County continues its opposition to the RES project. “Susan Selim, Logansport, shared a 2016 report on thriving rural and medium-sized Indiana towns at Monday's commissioners meeting. She said it addressed three qualities thriving rural communities share: quality of relationships among residents, trust in public officials and natural resources. Bringing industrial wind turbines to Cass County would violate all three of those qualities, she continued. Selim also said a petition calling for Cass County's wind turbine setbacks to be a half-mile from nonparticipating property lines exceeds 1,800 signatures.”
Clinton County Commissioners enacted a moratorium on wind development. E.ON is interested in a project there but Commissioners seem to be holding the line on their moratorium.
In Fulton County, a local citizens group opposing a proposed commercial wind farm chalked up another win. “Two of three Fulton County Commissioners, Bryan Lewis and Rick Ranstead, signed a pledge stating that as long as they hold public office they will not allow commercial wind turbines in the county. Commissioner Steve Metzger refused to sign, saying he wasn’t interested.”
Henry County citizens are fighting off three wind companies while election season heats up fast. Their No Wind Henry County group is putting forth strong candidates for some key seats in their county. We wish these candidates the best of luck: Ed Tarantino - Commissioner, Kenon Gray - County Council, Susan Huhn - County Council, and Peg Stefandel - County Council. Susan Huhn traveled to the Statehouse to speak in favor of House Bill 1338, representing her county well. We need more citizens across the state who care about the wind issue to take this important step and run for office and local change. Henry County was also well represented at the Statehouse in October 2017 where the Summer Study Session on wind issues was discussed. Also of note in Henry County, the ordinance is being contested with a petition for judicial review, and the Commissioners are now in the process of amending another ordinance.
Opposition is mounting against another RES wind turbine project. Citizens groups, made up largely of landowners with a significant amount of land, are opposing the project. According to locals, aeronautical studies have been filed with the FAA on landowners' property who did not sign up for wind turbines on their ground. It is unclear why the wind company would be doing this. It is our understanding that the American taxpayers may be the ones footing the bill for these studies, many of which are for bogus locations for wind turbines. Landowners in Fulton, Cass, and Miami are noticing the same thing.
On Wed April 11th, the Miami Co Planning Commission voted 6-3 to amend the WECS ordinance!
The changes include: 2000 ft setback to property line, 2000 ft setback from public roads, 2000 ft setback from public utility easements, 1/2 mile setback from rivers, as well as setbacks from conservation lands and wetlands.
Article: Pharos-Tribune.com 4/13/18
PERU – The Miami County Planning and Building Commission approved amendments to the county’s wind energy ordinance that at least one official said would essentially kill any prospect of future wind turbine installation in the county.
Experts mixed on wind turbine affects on property values
Meadow Lake Wind Farm near Brookston and Chalmers. Fran Ruchalski | Pharos-Tribune
The 6-3 vote came at the end of a lengthy and lively meeting Wednesday evening in the Miami Circuit Courtroom, with practically every seat in the house filled and the walls lined with standing onlookers. Many in attendance sported yellow shirts or buttons depicting a wind turbine with a red slash through it.
The amended ordinance now moves to the board of commissioners for a final vote before it becomes law.
Reading the full ordinance to the full house took approximately an hour, with the most notable change being the 2,000-foot setback for wind turbines from property lines, roadways, conservation lands and other structures and protected areas. That’s double the setback laid out in the current ordinance, which was adopted in 2011.
This all comes after residents expressed opposition at a project proposed by RES, an international renewable energy company, which could bring 75 turbines to the northern part of the county.
The Tribune reported last month that the proposed setback changes came from a three-person subcommittee of the planning commission made up of members Jason Bowman, Brad Fruth and John Reibly.
The subcommittee was created in December to review the ordinance after residents expressed concerns that the current setbacks would allow turbines to be built dangerously close to their homes.
During a public hearing Wednesday, several residents spoke and each one threw support behind the amendments. However, a common caveat throughout was a desire for even stricter setbacks and noise regulations.
Becky Mahoney, who has been a vocal opponent of the project, had in a previous meeting presented the commission with almost 900 signatures from area residents requesting a turbine setback of 2,640 from property lines.
Mahoney spoke Wednesday night, where she put a spin on the song “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell and said: “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, they paved paradise and put up a wind turbine.”
She later spoke about the debated ailment “wind turbine syndrome,” saying that the condition is “very real.”
“The question that has come up is can it be proven that wind turbines cause medical issues? The question I’ll ask you is, is it 100 percent proven that cigarettes cause cancer? No it is not, but is accepted fact now. Do you want to put things in the county that are known to cause, that have caused issues, and just wait and see if it causes any problems to your neighbors and friends or children?”
Commission member and County Commissioner Larry West said the new setbacks will kill the project, a claim that was debated by board members, notably, Bowman, Fruth and Reibly, who drafted the amendments.
West also debated claims that turbines represent a health risk, calling such claims “scare tactics.”
“Do you realize [there are] five school corporations in Indiana, at least five, that have turbines on their school grounds? … Do you think these schools would have turbines on their property if they think there was scientific evidence of health risks?” he said.
West said financial consequences of stricter setbacks haven’t been properly analyzed, and made a motion for the night’s vote to be delayed until a financial impact study could be completed by officials from multiple local bodies. The motion was denied in a 5-4 vote.
Another option that was considered but eventually not voted on was tabling the vote until the after elections put a new commissioner in the District 3 seat. Commissioner Josh Francis, who currently maintains the seat, has recused himself from voting on the amended ordinance because he has been contracted by RES to help develop lease agreements.
That puts the vote between Commissioners West and Alan Hunt. In the event of a 1-1 tie, Pat Roberts, attorney for the commission, said the would become law after 90 days. He explained that if there was a tie then the issue would fall back to the plan commission, which approved the amendments
Montgomery County - Montgomery County's No Wind group is at least 1,100 - and growing - strong. Their challenges are unique in that their county does not have wind in its ordinance and they are working diligently to get protections in place for residents.
Pulaski County -
Published online - - Pulaski County Government
***UPDATE RE: TIMELINE FOR ADDRESSING WIND-ENERGY DEVELOPMENT ISSUES****
1. On this coming Tuesday, 17 April, representatives of RES Americas will be meeting with an array of elected, appointed, and employed County and Francesville representatives to introduce themselves and the company, to discuss RES's vision for developing in Pulaski County, and to review agreements that RES and the County would enter into were development to proceed in the future. No governing/advisory body represented at this meeting will have a quorum present, the meeting is being held entirely for information-gathering purposes, and the meeting will not be subject to Indiana's Open Door Law.
2. As of right now, it is the intention of the Pulaski County Advisory Plan Commission to conduct a public hearing regarding changes to the Wind Energy Convergence System chapter of the Pulaski County Unified Development Ordinance (as well as a few other issues) during its regularly scheduled meeting at 7:00p.m. E.D.S.T. on Tuesday, 29 May. Although the exact nature of these changes remains to be determined, they are *expected* to include increased setbacks for wind turbines and an increase in measurement consistency, so that all setbacks are based on property lines, rather than structures.
3. it is our hope to have changes to the Unified Development Ordinance completed no later than the end of the first week of May (~4 May) so as to allow three full weeks for public review (online, and at various public offices) and for members of the public to ask questions regarding the changes of staff members prior to the public hearing on 29 May.
4. We still hope to hold a public information session at which we intend to walk all present through the relevant portions of the Unified Development Ordinance; to host a guest speaker from Purdue or another institution; and to bring in residents from neighboring counties where wind energy is already present to discuss their experiences living surrounded by turbines. Between the need to have ordinance language finalized prior to this meeting and our desire not to hold it at a time inconvenient for farmers during spring plant, we expect it to occur in early-to-mid June.
Several Residents Share Disapproval Of Wind Turbines
BY: AMBER L. TOMLINSON, Pulaski News Journal 4/13/18
The last couple rows of seating were filled at the commissioners’ meeting with locals who voiced their contempt for wind turbines.
Several Federal Aviation Administration filings and phasing maps have come to the attention of residents as a company is looking at potential development of a wind farm on the west side of the county. None of the filings have been approved, but county commissioners have received several questions and comments about the wind turbines.
Pulaski County Community Development Commission (CDC) Executive Director Nathan Origer proposed, during a regular commissioners’ meeting Monday morning, that an informational session be held for the public. Origer said the idea is to hold a session without a wind turbine company but with people who live next to wind turbines. He would like to bring elected officials and residents who are living with wind turbines to the session so they can give the pros and cons of it. He does not want to invite those counties or residents that are currently fighting about the issue. Origer would also like to discuss what zoning can be permitted regarding wind turbines.
He hopes the session will inform not only property owners but also town and county officials.
Commissioner Kenny Becker said he would like to see the information session happen as soon as possible.
This is not the first time the county has been approached about wind turbines. A company was once interested in coming to the county with a wind farm but because local residents said they were not in favor of them, they left.
Zoning for wind turbines is addressed in the unified development ordinance. The language pertaining to the wind turbines remained largely unchanged from the previous zoning ordinance that was written before Origer was hired and was adopted shortly after he started working.
If the wind turbines are to be built in Pulaski County, whether in the county zoning or Francesville zoning, there will be a public hearing to discuss a change to the zoning or a special exception. If a zoning change is sought then the county commissioners would have the final say on it.
If the wind turbines crossed through Pulaski and Jasper counties then the companies would have to follow different sets of guidelines. Of the potential 34 wind turbines, there are about 18 that would fall under the county zoning jurisdiction and 16 are in Francesville’s jurisdiction.
Becker suggested that those who were in the crowd also talk with the Francesville Town Council.
Building inspector Doug Hoover said several phone calls have been made to the department but nothing has been filed with his office regarding wind turbines.
Tipton County Council
The Auditor of Tipton County, Gregg Townsend, appears on a billboard in Montgomery County with a quote saying that Tipton County Supports Wind.
At the Tipton Co. Council meeting this week, Mr. Townsend was questioned on this public statement appearing on the billboard. The message is being taken as a blanket statement representing the position of the entire County, which members of Council, Commissioner Mullins, and citizens of Tipton County find unacceptable.
Don’t miss this.
Meeting link appears here. Go to the 1 hour 55 minute mark:
Last October, Mr. Townsend spoke openly FOR WIND at the Summer Study Hearing at the Statehouse. He spoke as Tipton County AUDITOR, as an OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE of his county. After the hearing, one bystander mentioned to Mr. Townsend that he failed to share with the Summer Study Members that Tipton County INCREASED their setbacks AFTER that first phase of turbines was erected.that Tipton County, by and large, does NOT support Wind or further development in the county. Now, Mr. Townsend continues to tout support for Wind Energy, portraying that the entire County enthusiastically supports wind energy, and is encouraging other Indiana counties to do the same.
We say: TAKE DOWN THE BILLBOARD, MR. TOWNSEND.
IURC Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission
NEXTERA EVIDENTIARY HEARING AT THE STATEHOUSE
NEXTERA EVIDENTIARY HEARING, SET FOR APRIL 19TH, AT THE STATEHOUSE
IS NOW POSTPONED TO OCTOBER 22, 2018.
The Presiding Officers, having reviewed the Motion, hereby GRANT the Motion. The procedural schedule in this Cause is revised as follows: 1. Petitioner shall file its supplemental case-in-chief filing on or before August 28, 2018. 2. The OUCC shall file its reply to Petitioner's supplemental filing on or before September 20, 2018. 3. Petitioner shall file its rebuttal on or before October 5, 2018. 4. The evidentiary hearing previously scheduled for April 19, 2018 is now continued to October 22, 2018 at 9:30 a.m. in Room 224 of the PNC Center, 101 West Washington Street, 101 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana. 5. Proposed orders and supporting briefs shall be filed on or before November 2, 2018. 6. The Commission shall issue an order in this Cause on or before December 31, 2018.