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
Letters to the Editor: Dec. 4, 2013
We as a nation continue to engage in a war on drugs, which is predominately focused on arrests for marijuana, that violates our basic civil rights.
Letters to the Editor: Dec. 3, 2013
A recent opinion page article concerned the private lives of ‘social reformers’ not equalling the movement they championed.
- Dec. 1, 2013: Letters to the editor CRD turbine foes not against Chrysler Contrary to what Anabeth Rayl wrote in her letter, the Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development were not involved in the dispute over the waiver of a permit fee for Chrysler protested by three individua
- Nov. 29, 2013: Letters to the editor Turbine proponent misses letter's point Ms. Rayl's assertion that Chrysler is in the crosshairs of industrial wind turbine opponents was a gross misrepresentation of the focus of my previous opinion letter. I can only speak for my intent and not for
- Nov. 28, 2013: Letters to the editor Tipton County gov't isn't 'for the people' Recent news reporting indicated the Tipton County commissioners eliminated a $21,000 building permit fee for Chrysler's new transmission factory. (Chrysler did not request it.) But they refused to eliminate
- Nov. 26, 2013: Letters to the editor Kokomo requires more tornado sirens Come on, Kokomo. Don't wait any longer! We don't want another Washington, Ill., again! Before we retired and moved to Texas, there was talk about sirens, and I hear there's talk again now! Go ahead, get them. Most
- Nov. 27, 2013: Letters to the editor World 'trying to turn its back on God' President Obama couldn't make it out to Gettysburg, Pa., for the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address because of a scheduling conflict. He was asked by filmmaker Ken Burns, who was making a document
- Nov. 25, 2013: Letters to the editor 'The most amazing group of people' I would like to sincerely thank the Kokomo Police Department for the amazing job they did Sunday, Nov. 17, and all these days following. My daughter, who has special needs, lives in a staffed home with two other in
- Nov. 24, 2013: Letters to the editor Food pantry offers little in nutrition Food pantries. Also known as food banks. They are organized to provide a source of food for those of us down on our luck for whatever reason and however long. I am one of those who found himself in such a positi
- Nov. 22, 2013: Letters to the editor County's selective enforcement of fees The Tipton County commissioners have waived the building permit fee for Chrysler. Mr. VanBibber stated he recognized not everyone would agree and that the commissioners would "take the criticism." How could anyo
- More Letters Headlines
- Letters to the Editor: Dec. 4, 2013