Safety setback

I continue to learn more about these planned industrial wind parks for our area. After the recent public information meeting by the Seneca Anti-Wind Union, I learned yet another negative aspect of these planned projects.

A lot of discussion has involved setbacks. Ohio regulation currently designates a setback as the distance between the turbine and the property line. I found it very interesting that the wind company is working hard to lobby our legislative representatives to change these setbacks to be measured from the turbine to our homes.

The wind industry continues to “claim” that current Ohio setbacks are too restrictive, yet they feel the need to ask permission to move turbines even closer to homes. All the while, Ohio’s neighboring states continue to require that the wind industry place turbines further from properties.

One reason our neighboring states have made the setbacks further is they continue to learn the impacts these massive machines have on those that live near them. Ask what is a “safe distance” from a turbine and you will find that no one seems to know the answer.

Now, my background is in engineering and safety is a critical aspect in any workplace. It was interesting to learn that in Ohio, the “safe distance” required for the employees to service or work on these machines is considered “propriety information.” The wind industry states that this information is protected and cannot be revealed. Meanwhile, our neighboring states require that this information be revealed by the wind industry.

Luckily, there are people who have figured this information out with some math and physics and, to no surprise, the “safe distance” the wind industry uses for its employees is further than our current state setbacks. The current argument should not be to shorten setbacks but instead to make them further.

I am beginning to seriously question why our state and local elected officials would think that it is OK for the wind industry to protect its employees with “safe distances” but not protect the people they were elected to represent.

Travis West,

rural Tiffin