Turbine setbacks fail to protect vulnerable
Counties throughout Indiana are now beginning to rewrite their zoning ordinances pertaining to industrial wind turbines, due to new health and safety information coming out almost daily. As citizens become more and more aware of the health risks associated with both the audible and inaudible sounds turbines produce, they are calling on local officials to amend current ordinances, thereby better protecting their citizens — especially those living in rural areas. For example:
• Whitley County now has a half-mile setback from the property line.
• Noble County has changed its setback to three-fourths of a mile and has put in place a noise limit not to exceed 40 decibels at 1,000 feet from a turbine, and requires that a tower’s blinking lights be shielded.
• DeKalb County’s setbacks have also been increased and its allowable noise limit is now reduced to 35 decibels.
• Wells, Adams and Tipton counties are all now in the process of amending their ordinances.
• Marshall County is in the process of writing an absolute ban on commercial wind development anywhere in the county. It should be voted into law on May 6.
The current Howard County zoning ordinance fails to adequately promote public health, safety and general welfare in the sections pertaining to industrial wind turbines. Especially disturbing is an allowable noise limit of 55 decibels for rural areas that contain wind turbines.
As with any ordinance meant to “protect,” the laws must be sure to address the most vulnerable in any given area, and that would be the elderly, the chronically ill, and children. With all the new information now widely available concerning health risks to children from turbine noise and infrasound, it is hard to understand why we are not following the World Health Organization’s recommendations for safe noise limits for children.
The WHO recommends that nighttime sound levels should be less than 30 decibels to protect children’s health.
Another highly respected and frequently used source for noise ordinances, the ISO booklet, is available in most counties throughout the nation in their city planner’s office. It contains useful data from the International Standards Organization. According to a chart in the ISO booklet, the recommended community noise limits for all persons living in a rural district is 35 decibels daytime and 25-30 decibels at night.
Once again, the current Howard County ordinance has an allowable noise limit of 55 decibels for rural areas containing industrial wind turbines. This is clearly irresponsible and incredibly unprotective. For those unfamiliar with sound, an increase of just 3 decibels is noticeable, and a 10 decibel increase doubles the sound.
Howard County allows a noise limit six times greater than recommended by either the WHO or the ISO.
The World Health Organization now recommends a minimum setback of 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) as a safe distance between turbines and homes for the average population, and 1 mile for children, elderly and the chronically ill.
With Kokomo being known as the “city of firsts,” let’s not let Howard County be remembered as being the last county in Indiana to bring zoning ordinances up to date on the issue of large industrial wind turbines. Please protect your rural citizens, especially the elderly and children.
Turbine setbacks fail to protect vulnerable
- March 7, 2014: Letters to the editor Draft standards: wolf in sheep's clothing 2014 started with great optimism for thousands of concerned parents, grandparents and many educators from around the state. The governor spoke of his support for "uncommonly high standards written by Hoosiers
- March 5, 2014: Letters to the editor Senate bill is harmful to God's creation The Indiana House of Representatives amended Senate Bill 340 last week to obliterate a statewide energy efficiency program, known as Energizing Indiana. Still in its infancy, this successful program has alread
- March 4, 2014: Letters to the editor Vanderbilts' vast, mysterious mansion George Washington Vanderbilt II died 100 years ago on March 6, 1914. He was the third generation back from Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who started the family fortune with steamship vessels for shipping, and l
- March 6, 2014: Letters to the editor Closure of U.S. 31 for 7 months 'insane' In case it was not noticed, the Tribune published a small article a few days ago from The Associated Press with a dateline of Carmel, Ind. It was a small article, but the content should have caught the attenti
- March 2, 2014: Letters to the editor Yes to protections, but no to marriage There are always frauds being perpetrated against us. One of the biggest whoppers is when the government says we are here to help you. I think the next biggest is "separation of church and state." The atheist/s
- Feb. 28, 2014: Letters to the editor Blade break fits with incident studies I find it interesting that after the recent wind turbine blade failure in Tipton, E.ON spokesman Elon Hasson was quoted in the Kokomo Tribune as "such failures are rare" and a GE issued statement included, "Blad
- Feb. 27, 2014: Letters to the editor 'Somebody is going to get hurt here' We have a very serious problem with the traffic light at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Ind. 26 heading east on 26. People think that both lanes go straight through, eastbound, due to there being two lights there
- Feb. 26, 2014: Letters to the editor Hold your legislator accountable for vote After reviewing all legal options, the National Organization for Marriage has decided not to bring litigation seeking to allow voters to have the right to vote on the marriage amendment in 2014. While we beli
- Feb. 25, 2014: Letters to the editor Court should dismiss case of river crosses A church in Evansville wants to erect crosses on public land along the riverfront. To be decorated by their vacation Bible school children, they were to be part of the "Cross the River" display. But two area
- Feb. 24, 2014: Letters to the editor Razing boundaries between right, evil Each time I write a letter to the editor, I strive to self edit it for alarmism. Given the contentious nature of issues these days, it is not difficult to sound alarmist. No doubt some readers consider me to be s
- More Letters Headlines