The Umatilla County Commission approved construction of a 33-turbine wind farm, rejecting a citizens’ challenge of the recent OK given by the County Planning Commission. In June, Umatilla County enacted a 2-mile setback provision for new wind farms, but the Chopin Wind Project application was submitted in April, so was not subject to the new rules. The 2-mile limit is at least twice that used in other Oregon counties.
The County says the Chopin Wind Project, which will be built using 3MW turbines, will be subject to Oregon’s state noise standard of 36dB; another Oregon county recently decided not to enforce this limit (the state delegated enforcement to the counties years ago). The 36dB limit tends to lead to setbacks of about a half mile or so, depending on terrain and other factors used in modeling likely sound propagation.