SE Nebraska residents want bigger setbacks for wind turbines

Oil and gas wells aren’t the only things that some residents don’t want near their homes and businesses.

In Nebraska, homeowners are fighting in one county for setbacks of wind towers. The fight is taking place in southeast Nebraska’s Gage County where the County Board of Supervisors is considering a request for expanded setbacks.

The Beatrice Daily Sun reports the request was made by the group named The Prairie Wind Watchers and its spokesman Larry Allder.

“We believe the wind regulations need to be updated,” he said. “When we first did this five years ago the (turbines) were 380 feet tall. Now they’re talking 500-600 feet turbines and our 3/8-setbacks are way too close.”

In addition to the setback restrictions, Allder said the amendment also changes how decibel levels are calculated. He said wording in the current regulations allows wind energy companies to conduct their own testing, which he thinks gives them an unfair advantage.

“Right now, the way they’re stated is like having the fox taking care of the hen house,” Allder said. “We’ve seen happen where the wind turbine companies came in with their testing people to test the sound and, of course, they passed.”

Click here to read full story from the Beatrice Daily Sun.