A proposed wind turbine farm coming to penn forest township has residents concerned about their quality of life.. the township is trying to create an ordinance to tackle the turbine issue, but some don't think it will be enough...
"this is not what everybody wanted, but it's what everybody can accept."
Atlantic Wind is a company that wants to put a 28 turbine wind farm in Penn Forest Township, but this new ordinance could restrict them.
Some of the changes include a turbine height limit of 350 feet, shadows cannot be cast by turbine blades on homes more than 20 hours a year, no more than 30 minutes a day. And set-back and noise measurements must be made from residential property lines, not the homes. The ordinance says noise levels cannot exceed 45 decibels. Township resident
Marcus Laurence says Atlantic Wind has not been able to meet that requirement.
"Just based on the evidence of their last two applications they weren't able to do it." Laurence said. "So if they weren't able to do it for the last two applications i don't know how they'll be able to do it in the future."
Turbines must be 1500 feet from property lines, but members of the public want the distance increased. Some at the meeting say Penn Forest Township industrial zones are too small, and commercial zones are too narrow for that to be realistic, and it could be overturned in court.
One person said. "I don't think there's a judge anywhere in the commonwealth who's going to say it's unconstitutional not to allow a wind turbine farm in a residential zone."
Another brought up water safety and said the vibrations turbines make could put everyone's well water at-risk of becoming muddy..
"Say the aquafer goes bad. Who is going to supply us water for all the homes we have in the area?"
Some residents don't care how safe Atlantic Wind representatives say these turbines are because long term effects aren't discovered until it's too late..
"It takes 10, 15, 20 years. It took 30 years before they ban smoking. It's because they finally realized, they finally legally said there is a cancer producing element there." That man paused then added, "So what if we find out down the line that it's going to be a problem. These things have not been taken into effect. We're looking at it this point in time"
At the end of the hearing, it was decided to move forward with the revised ordinance and the final decision will be made at the next supervisors meeting on February 4th at the township volunteer fire company.