The Madison County Board of Health passed a resolution on Thursday, Aug. 8, during a public meeting to address the potential health concerns of wind turbines in Madison County.
The resolution states that the Madison County Board of Health determines that there is the potential for negative health affects associated with commercial wind turbines and that current setbacks are inadequate to protect the public health.
The Board encourages those entities with jurisdiction within the county to require a 1 1/2 mile setback from non-participating residences for future wind turbine projects. A “setback” defines the minimum distance a turbine can be built from residential structures, property lines, roads, historical areas or other locations.
After hearing from concerned citizens on both sides of the issue, the board recommended that wind turbines could have a negative impact on those located in proximity to them and that the governing bodies that denote the setbacks requirements need to take that into consideration.
Public thought was that the health board could pass a moratorium on turbine construction, however, the power to do so goes beyond the board’s legal authority. The board can make a recommendation based on its findings of health affects but it would be up to the Madison County Board of Supervisors to set the ordinance.
It is the board’s belief that this process has opened the door for more research. While wind turbines have been around for a long time, research on wind turbines continues to be forthcoming.