Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

April 11, 2013

April 11, 2013: Letters to the editor


Howard Co. turbine setback is too close

I was doing some research and found some disturbing information about wind turbine setback distances relating to safety.

Our Howard County wind ordinance states that 1,042 feet is sufficient from a dwelling to an operating wind turbine. The Plan Commission director has stated on many occasions he is satisfied with the distance.

I wonder if he’s willing to guarantee, for the record, the safety of the residents within the 1,042-foot footprint of the E.ON eastern Howard County wind farm. Also, are the county commissioners willing to guarantee, for the record, the safety of a 1,042-foot setback?

A wind energy company safety manual states, “Do not stay within a radius of 400 meters (1,300 feet) from the turbine.” Most European countries require setbacks from buildings of 3,255 to 6,510 feet. France has a “500 meter exclusion zone”; people are not allowed within 1,625 feet of a turbine.

In the case of a runaway turbine, a wind company, Vestas, advises to “evacuate by running upwind ... access to the surrounding area in a radius of at least 500 meters (1,640 feet) must be restricted.” One older runaway turbine in California shut down traffic for a day. Apparently, the turbine brakes failed.

I have always believed that our elected county officials have the duty to protect our civil liberties and Fifth Amendment rights. Now, I’m wanting reassurance that we county residents will be protected.

Darrell Pennycoff

Sharpsville

Ind. House must kill canned hunting bill

Representatives of sporting and conservation organizations thank Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore David Long for his recent public stand decrying canned hunting. His comments on shooting domestic deer in enclosures expose the unethical practices that occur behind hunting preserve fences. Long’s comments couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Indiana House of Representatives is currently considering legislation, Senate Bill 487, which contains an amendment aimed at legalizing canned hunting here in Indiana. Rep. Matt Ubelhor, R-Bloomfield, authored and presented the amendment to the House Committee on Natural Resources April 1. Despite vigorous public testimony in opposition, the committee voted to accept the amendment. Reps. Lloyd Arnold and Tom Saunders voted against the amendment, citing their constituents’ negative feelings for canned hunting. We commend their commitment to their constituency. The bill, amendment attached, came to the House floor last Tuesday. Long announced his opposition last Thursday.

 Also last Thursday, representatives of our sporting and conservation organizations held a press conference at the Statehouse to voice unified opposition to the bill. Each of us spoke of concerns held by our members: disease that threatens Indiana’s wild deer herd, commercialization and exploitation of wildlife, and the unethical practice of shooting deer in enclosures. We reiterated that more than 80 percent of Hoosiers oppose canned hunting. We documented our stand by signing a written proclamation and presenting it to the governor’s office. Just minutes before our press conference began we were told of Long’s announcement.

We urge the Indiana House of Representatives to kill Senate Bill 487. We as representatives of our respective organizations, and 80 percent of Indiana residents, press for the end of canned hunting in our state. That end begins with the defeat of SB 487. Again, we thank Senate Pro Temp Long for his stand.

Steve Cecil

Ind. Wildlife Federation