Several dozen people packed the Marshall County Commissioners’ room to hear what would be discussed during the public hearing concerning the amendments proposed for the Wind Energy Conversion System ordinance.
Plan Director Ralph Booker went over the amendments approved by the Marshall County Plan Commission which include the placement of wind turbines throughout the county. A distance of 2,640 feet was approved from any parcels zoned L-1 and T-1, which are lakes and town residential areas and a wind turbine can be placed 2,640 feet from a house of a non-participating landowner, park, bank of a river, church building, school, wetlands or airstrips.
Steve Snyder, attorney for the Concerned Citizens of Marshall County, presented information to the commissioners about his clients’ displeasure of the Plan Commission’s disapproval of some of their recommendations to the amendments. He also reminded the commissioners that 1,700 people have signed a petition against the ordinance. Several emails and letters have been sent attesting to that opinion.
One issue that came up during the public hearing was the health concern when a wind turbine farm is built – specifically infrasound. Infrasound is a low-frequency sound that is lower than 20Hz and scientific studies have determined that his low-frequency sound is produced by the wind turbines. While humans can’t audibly hear it, the inner ear picks up the sound and can affect one’s health. It is alleged that while people sleep within a certain distance of a wind farm, the infrasound can affect sleep and cause sleep deprivation. In one case in Massachusetts, the disassembling of wind turbines that power a waste water facility will be on the ballot to spend taxpayer money, between $5–15 million, to take down the turbines due to the health problems associated with the operation of the turbines.
Several residents also spoke against the proposed ordinance citing aesthetic, health and noise concerns.
The commissioners were given a load of paperwork to dissect during the public hearing so the board members will go over all of the paperwork before making a decision. Another public hearing concerning the Wind Energy Conversion System will be held Monday, May 6 at 9 a.m.