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Public comment sought on wind turbine health effects, setbacks

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will accept public comments in response to a document on the health effects of wind turbines and the issue of wind turbine setbacks. The comment period is in response to "Public Health Impacts of Wind Turbines," a document prepared by the environmental health division of the Minnesota Department of Health. The public comments will help the PUC determine whether or not to change the current setback conditions.

ALBERT LEA - The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will accept public comments in response to a document on the health effects of wind turbines and the issue of wind turbine setbacks.

The comment period is in response to "Public Health Impacts of Wind Turbines," a document prepared by the environmental health division of the Minnesota Department of Health. The public comments will help the PUC determine whether or not to change the current setback conditions.

"Right now we're just waiting to see what kind of comments we get before we determine how to move forward. We're just looking for input from all sides on this issue," said Tricia DeBleeckere of the PUC.

She said the commission often does investigations like this when members of the public request them.

The PUC will accept initial comments until 4:30 p.m., Sept. 16. Then there will be an additional period for reply comments until 4:30 p.m., Oct. 14.

DeBleeckere said the PUC is attempting to move forward with pending projects, but any decisions otherwise would be made by the commissioners.

"Depending on what we find, and what the comments say, we'll determine how we move forward, and... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

ALBERT LEA - The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will accept public comments in response to a document on the health effects of wind turbines and the issue of wind turbine setbacks.

The comment period is in response to "Public Health Impacts of Wind Turbines," a document prepared by the environmental health division of the Minnesota Department of Health. The public comments will help the PUC determine whether or not to change the current setback conditions.

"Right now we're just waiting to see what kind of comments we get before we determine how to move forward. We're just looking for input from all sides on this issue," said Tricia DeBleeckere of the PUC.

She said the commission often does investigations like this when members of the public request them.

The PUC will accept initial comments until 4:30 p.m., Sept. 16. Then there will be an additional period for reply comments until 4:30 p.m., Oct. 14.

DeBleeckere said the PUC is attempting to move forward with pending projects, but any decisions otherwise would be made by the commissioners.

"Depending on what we find, and what the comments say, we'll determine how we move forward, and that's the commissioners' decision," DeBleeckere said.

Construction on Bent Tree Wind Farm is pending approval on a certificate of need and a site application. That decision is anticipated sometime in August.

The 29-page "Public Health Impacts of Wind Turbines," sometimes called the white paper, refers to Bent Tree as one of the proposed sites in the state.

The document reports on the sounds and vibrations caused by wind turbines and the affect these can have on humans.

The Freeborn Country group Safe Wind lobbied for more research to be done on wind turbine setbacks at a public hearing June 29.

"On setbacks, I think they need professional help. I'm not professional, and I'm not claiming to be professional. But I feel like I can read these studies and I can see that there is a need that Minnesota needs to look at this in different light. We need to investigate this," said Katie Troe.

Currently, the state requires a minimum 500-foot setback from homes, and the setbacks must follow the state noise ordinance, which calls for set backs of 750-1,500 feet. There's also a minimum 250-foot setback from public roads and recreational trails.

"Public Health Impacts of Wind Turbines" is available at www.energy facilities.puc.state.mn.us.


Source: http://www.austindailyheral...

AUG 1 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/21509-public-comment-sought-on-wind-turbine-health-effects-setbacks
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