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Wind generation plants headed for county

“The county has to have something to stand on. A wind farm on White Mountain is going to be a very controversial issue,” he said

Sweetwater County is looking at rules to govern wind farms.

The county currently has no zoning rules to address the construction of wind generation facilities except those proposed by an already existing utility, according to Mark Kot, county planner.

The issue arose as the result of a letter sent to the county by Teton Wind Power. The company is proposing to erect more than 130 wind turbines, each 80 meters in height, along White Mountain.

In the letter, Gary Tassainer of Teton Wind asked to meet with the Board of County Commissioners in order to discuss the proposal in order to find a way to permit the wind farm.

Tassainer said the company has spent more than $50,000 to conduct monitoring and “secure private and public land.”

However, according to Mike Holbert, district manager for the Bureau of Land Management, his agency has only granted a reservation to Teton.

“So far, we reserved the parcels for them. Basically, it says no other wind farm can be erected on the land Teton is interested in,” Holbert said.

He added BLM has seen no application for permits to erect the turbines.

“If and when we get an application, BLM will go through the normal steps-- public meetings, probably a... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
Sweetwater County is looking at rules to govern wind farms.

The county currently has no zoning rules to address the construction of wind generation facilities except those proposed by an already existing utility, according to Mark Kot, county planner.

The issue arose as the result of a letter sent to the county by Teton Wind Power. The company is proposing to erect more than 130 wind turbines, each 80 meters in height, along White Mountain.

In the letter, Gary Tassainer of Teton Wind asked to meet with the Board of County Commissioners in order to discuss the proposal in order to find a way to permit the wind farm.

Tassainer said the company has spent more than $50,000 to conduct monitoring and “secure private and public land.”

However, according to Mike Holbert, district manager for the Bureau of Land Management, his agency has only granted a reservation to Teton.

“So far, we reserved the parcels for them. Basically, it says no other wind farm can be erected on the land Teton is interested in,” Holbert said.

He added BLM has seen no application for permits to erect the turbines.

“If and when we get an application, BLM will go through the normal steps-- public meetings, probably a scoping notice and the NEPA process,” Holbert said.

Kot proposed to the commissioners that the rules covering wind generation in the Unified Development Code be adopted on an emergency basis.

“Those rules can be adopted under the Administrative Procedure Act for 120 days. That can then be extended another 120 days and at the end of that time, final rules must be put in place,” Kot said.

Commissioner Wally Johnson agreed with Kot.

“The county has to have something to stand on. A wind farm on White Mountain is going to be a very controversial issue,” he said.

The commission agreed to schedule a workshop to consider Kot's proposal in mid-January. In the meantime, the UDC rules governing wind generation will be available for public examination and input.

Source: http://www.greenriverstar.c...

DEC 23 2005
http://www.windaction.org/posts/802-wind-generation-plants-headed-for-county
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