A group of Catlin residents have proposed a set of strict regulations for commercial wind turbines in the town.
The Citizen Wind Committee opposes having a wind farm in the area, and has concerns about the effect the turbines – which can measure 400 feet tall or more – could have on residents’ health and quality of life, as well as property values.
The group brought a 30-page draft to the town’s planning board Tuesday night, and received input from chairman Jim Plate and other board members.
The draft local law, which is posted on the Town of Catlin’s website, townofcatlin.com, limits the size of the turbines and their sound emissions and establishes setbacks.
It calls for wind companies to post bonds to cover any decrease in residents’ property values from having turbines near their land. It would also make the companies liable for medical bills caused by health impacts such as noise exposure and shadow flicker, a strobe-like effect created by spinning turbine blades said to cause seizures and other issues.
The draft law also would protect sensitive wildlife areas, citing the turbines’ impact on bird and bat populations.
It’s a response to plans announced in 2012 by Florida-based NextEra Energy to build a $200 million wind farm with 50 to 75 turbines in the area.