Reineke, McClain, Click Issue Statement on OPSB Decision on Wind Project in Seneca County
COLUMBUS— In response to the recent decision by the Ohio Power Siting Board on the wind project in Seneca County, State Senator Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin), State Representatives Riordan McClain (R-Upper Sandusky) and Gary Click (R-Vickery) issued the following joint statement:
By now, many of you are aware of the Power Siting Board’s decision today concerning Republic Wind’s application for a certificate to construct a wind project within Seneca County. It is gratifying that the OPSB has reached a logical conclusion with regards to this project after an extensive review of the facts and the law and consideration of the overwhelming public concern.
We fully support this decision by the OPSB, particularly in light of the following issues and considerations:
1. Economic Impact: Generally, in terms of economic growth, Republic Wind forecasted an increase in local tax revenues upwards of 1.8 million dollars annually. This economic model has fundamentally reinforced what local government and economic officials have forecasted. The financial benefits of the project would not offset the loss to the community with regards to (1) lowered real estate and property values, (2) further detracted economic development, (3) the restriction of local airspace and the resulting impact on the airport’s day-to-day operations, and (4) other economic development considerations.
2. Environmental Impact: The region selected as the potential site for these projects is riddled with karst, a land area full of soluble rock types that is important for underground water drainage. Karst is not capable of supporting heavy weights and structures such as wind turbines.
Citizens have raised other health issues, noise and visual concerns, avian casualties, and the loss and destruction of good farmland.
3. Public Interest: Most importantly, Ohio Revised Code Section 4906.10(A)(6) clearly states that the Power Siting Board shall not grant a certificate for construction if they do not determine that such a facility “will serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity.” In finding that the wind project does not serve the public interest, convenience and necessity, the OPSB has validated all those concerns raised by the endless number of citizens of Seneca County over the last number of years.
For all these reasons, we commend the citizens of Seneca County, who have steadfastly defended their quality of life and their intuitive protection of their community. They clearly made their voices heard; even the OPSB noted how “prominent and one-sided” the testimony was in this case. The denial of the wind project is important and understood directly by those who live, work and play in the affected areas. The citizens of Seneca County have rightly argued that they themselves know what is best for their community, not outsiders who never intended to live within the community. We stand proudly with all of them today and continue to be humbled to serve as their elected representatives.
We the undersigned applaud the OPSB decision.
26th Senate District
87th House District
88th House District