Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

Letter to the Editor: An ill wind blows

As a resident of Eddy County, I have some concerns on the new wind farm being planned. I was told by a PRC Wind (project managers of the wind farm) representative that it has gotten larger. Are you sure you will not be surrounded with these towers? What about phase 2 or 3?

This wind farm will not only change the view of the landscape, what will happen to our property values and taxes? Will our property resale values go down? Granted, area schools and towns might benefit from some extra tax revenue; will county residents be taxed off of their property? The proposed tax dollars are coming from somewhere.

I googled the amount of concrete and steel each tower footing requires. Depending on size, big towers require around 500 cubic yards of concrete. That's 60 8-yard trucks times two for a round trip, now multiply that by the first 90 towers. Will this added volume of traffic be coming down your road? Will these new workers slow down for kids and grandkids, pets, traffic, farm animals? Will they spray to keep the dust down? Can we have the speed reduced in front of county residents that are close to the road?

I was given a paper from PRC Wind dealing with the health effects of wind farms. I was entertained to see they have a new phrase, "nocebo effect": "Studies have found that a 'nocebo effect' can take place, opposite of the well-known 'placebo' effect. The nocebo effect describes a situation in which individuals who are led to expect physical symptoms may actually experience these symptoms, whether or not the supposed cause of the symptoms is actually present. In this case, increased exposure to misinformation about wind ... " I stopped along the road on my way to Wimbledon, amazed by farmsteads surrounded by towers. I estimated the 1,400 foot zoning ordinance, the distance required to be offset from a dwelling now in effect for Eddy County and listened. I can't fathom trying to sleep with my windows open on a warm summer night. Humming that never stops was very audible. Imagine the flashing shadows from the blades on a sunny day in your living room.

I was told by a PRC representative that the noise created by a wind tower cannot be over 100 decibels at a dwelling. I hope either I misunderstood or he misspoke. According to http://www.chem.purdue.edu, 100 decibels is like a lawn mower or jackhammer.

The planned wind farm covers over 42,000 acres in two counties. It is surprising that the public is not kept abreast of this project, especially those of us that will be having the nocebo effect hoisted upon us.

(I will not even mention several years ago when there were thousands and thousands of birds staying on the south section of 23rd and 281.)

If the county zoning offset variance is going to be changed or the approval of a wind farm, why not notify the public and have a discussion, write it up in the paper before the meeting?

This brings me to the April 29, 2024 front page of the Transcript: "County, townships at odds over land use authority." I, as a rural resident, would like to see my township maintain control of township zoning. On March 24, 2017, the wind tower zoning setback was officially changed to 1400 feet, "and will further promote the wind energy opportunities for Eddy County, N.D." per the zoning ordinance. What about representing the county residents' right to enjoy their property? Money is involved but that should not be at the expense of a county resident's property and resale value. Where is the fairness? Is the zoning not to protect all county residents' well-being?

Why the refusal to have public meetings and explain to us county residents how this wind farm is fair or right for all of us? What's next, reducing the offset to the dwelling even more? County residents should be taken into consideration, not just landowners who probably live nowhere close to the wind farm. Last thing I would want or expect is a wind tower springing up in my backyard without the ability to have my voice heard over the destruction of my property value and enjoyment of life.

As of 2024 many counties in the U.S. are rejecting wind farms: "But opposed residents said the project would harm the local economy, reduce property values, affect human health," hurt wildlife and lead to the loss of "quiet nights, dark skies and the scenic nature of the region." To view the whole article: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2024/02/04/green-energy-nationwidebans/71841275007/

All county residents should be demanding to know where these towers are going to be erected. Once a wind tower is in your backyard, too late. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh says the 2 a.m. nocebo effect.

David Fite

Sheyenne, N.D.

 
 
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