Clinton County Leaders Want To Separate Wind Farm Data From Bluster

Jul 9, 2016

Clinton County has had a wind ordinance for years -- but no turbines (like these) have ever sprung up because of it.
Credit Sarah Altendorf / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarah_elizabeth_simpson/

Indiana ranks 12th in the nation for the number of wind turbines, and wind energy production is projected to grow.

But Clinton County -- which had one of the state’s first wind ordinances – is now embroiled in talks about whether there will ever be any turbines there.

The Clinton County Area Planning Commission is collecting public comments from residents—for example, how much noise people are willing to tolerate—before they update its wind farm zoning ordinances.

County Planner Mark Mills says they’ll also be looking at scientific data, like how much—and what kind of—noise can be heard 1,000 feet from a turbine. 

“We’ve always tried to have a science-based ordinance, there’s a lot of math and science in our ordinance as far as the noise setback, because our setback is based on how much noise it actually generates at the house," Mills says.

In Indiana, each county writes its own rules for wind turbines, and many counties don’t regulate the noise they produce, simply requiring them to be a set distance from neighboring homes.

Clinton County’s next public comment meeting will be held on July 18, and the commission would like to have the ordinances written this fall.