Wednesday, June 15, 2011

NJ bill restricting wind turbines set for June 20 hearing

Environmental legislation that would prohibit the siting of industrial wind turbines within 2,000 feet of any residence or residential-zone property is scheduled for a hearing on June 20 in Trenton before the state's Senate Environment Committee.

According to co-sponsors, Senators Sean Kean and Andrew Ciesla, both Monmouth County Republicans,  S-2374, is necessary to ensure that the increased use of wind energy in the State "will not cause a significant obstruction of scenic views or reduction in home values for New Jersey residents, and, more importantly, will not cause New Jersey residents to suffer from the ill health effects associated with “wind turbine syndrome.” 

The legislation states that "wind turbine syndrome" has been connected with "the close placement of industrial-scale wind turbines to residential areas."

Symptoms, it says, include "sleep disturbance, headaches, ringing of the ears, ear pressure, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, visual blurring, racing heartbeat, irritability, problems with memory and concentration, and panic episodes accompanied by internal pulsation or quivering." 

These maladies, the sponsors contend, "often force people to move away from their homes."

The bill applies to onshore or off-shore "industrial-strength wind structures" which, it says, "can be over 400 feet tall and have blades that sweep up to 1.5 acres in area."  

The legislation's restrictions would not apply to the siting of small wind energy systems that are used primarily for on-site consumption purposes.

The committee (see full agenda) will take up the bill  "for discussion only" (no vote) at 10 a.m., Monday, June 20, in Committee Room 10 on the third floor of the State House Annex
in Trenton.

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