Wind-siting rules need to be reviewed

Developers of industrial wind projects have their eye on Wisconsin. But state laws on wind turbines are in dire need of review.

Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission has allowed its siting rules to become out of compliance. The PSC’s Wind Siting Council has failed to meet its 2019 statutory requirement to review and recommend updates to PSC 128 Wind Siting Rules.

The PSC is currently courting candidates for council vacancies to comply with this long overdue responsibility. The commission should be reminded of its responsibility to protect public health and safety as it attempts to fill the vacant seats. The council has been populated by wind developers, pro-wind lobbyists and public members with financial interests in wind energy. Individuals with expertise in wind turbine noise, infrasound and vibration, and nonparticipating landowners would help balance the Wind Siting Council. The requirement that a UW faculty member with experience in the health impacts of industrial wind should be a priority. That seat has been vacant since 2010.

In 2009, Act 40 took away local control on this issue; the residents living near existing or proposed projects have no voice. The PSC and Wind Siting Council have been allowed to ignore private property rights, turn a blind eye to environmental impacts, and fail to protect our rural heritage and way of life. The lack of an active Wind Siting Council has silenced Wisconsin voices. It is time for change.

Brenda Salseg