Every December, local papers around the country routinely highlight the top stories of the year gone by. Based solely on AEI’s routine Google News keyword results, it appears that noise-related issues were among the major topics in several areas.
Wind farm noise issues made the lists in at least two places. In Van Wert County, Ohio, it was the #2 story of the year. The wind industry has been complaining loudly about a tweak to state rules that now measures the state’s modest 1300-foot setback limit from property lines, rather than homes. While wind developers claim this precludes most development, the option of establishing good-neighbor agreements with those living close to proposed turbines remains open. In Huron County, Wisconsin, the #7 story was “Wind energy continues to divide community,” as the county and several townships consider revisions in their wind ordinances.
And, not surprisingly, continuing controversy over the diluted Grand Canyon National Park overflight rules was a top story in northern Arizona. The big development this year was the FAA making 1700 additional flight permits available to companies using “quiet” aircraft. AEInews has covered the overflight issue in some detail for many years.