LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ A company that wants to build a wind farm in Lancaster County said proposed noise rules there are too restrictive and would discourage other projects from being developed in the area.
Oregon-based company Volkswind is planning to develop a 50-turbine farm in Lancaster and Gage counties, the Lincoln Journal Star (http://bit.ly/1ISYExU ) reported.
Volkswind project engineer Joe Wood said Thursday the likelihood of violating those proposed rules would be so great that wind energy companies probably would choose to build in other counties.
“From the wind industry standpoint this is quite extreme,” Wood said at the meeting intended to allow people to give input on the proposed zoning regulations.
The planned noise rules are based on recent studies looking at the potential health impacts of the constant, percussive sound made by turbines, which can cause sleep disturbance, said Scott Holmes, environmental health division manager for the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.
Noise was one of 22 issues addressed in a draft document created from earlier meetings on wind farms. Other issues of concern on the developments include shadow flicker from blades and the impact on area property values.
The Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Department plans to compile and release proposed rule changes this summer and then have a 30-day comment period.
“This is a draft today. We may make some additional changes based on a lot of the comments we received tonight,” said Stephen Henrichsen, development review manager for the department.
Department officials will create a final draft to submit to the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission. The commission will make a recommendation to the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners, which has the final approval.