Wind Energy Regulation Bill Heard in Committee

Wind Energy Regulation Bill Heard in Committee
Nebraska State Senator Tom Brewer

BEATRICE – A Gordon, Nebraska State Senator says his wind energy bill doesn’t try to replace county zoning regulations on wind energy but gives a voice to people who object to wind towers next to their property.

Senator Tom Brewer’s bill, LB 373, was before a public hearing in the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee on Thursday.

:35                  “can be built”

The original bill would require counties to have zoning if they want to host wind energy facilities, addressing setbacks, noise and decommissioning of wind farms. Brewer offered an amendment to the bill to clarify a three-mile setback requirement as temporary.

Brewer feels his bill provides some incentive for counties to adopt zoning.

:39                  “and landfills”

Brewers bill received support testimony from several landowners in northern Nebraska. It also received opposition from green energy supporters and counties that already have zoning regulations governing wind energy.

Gage County Planning and Zoning Administrator Lisa Wiegand says her county is concerned about the three-mile regulation in the original bill.

:24                  “choose not to”

Gage County adopted a zoning structure in 1999, and formulated wind energy regulations in 2012.

LB 373 is opposed by the Nebraska Farmers Union.  Its President, John Hansen said Nebraska needs to continue to support wind energy.

:18                  “undermines local control”

Director of the Lancaster County Planning Department, David Cary said the county opposes the bill in the original form, seeing it as state regulation overriding local control on wind energy.

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