Saunders authors wind farm legislation to allow more public input

Posted by: Peter Hoffman and Abigail Campbell  | Monday, January 23, 2017

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 23, 2017) — State Rep. Tom Saunders (R-Lewisville) has authored legislation, which aims to give local residents a stronger voice in regards to wind farm construction in their community.

The legislation would allow Hoosiers to vote on the construction of a wind turbine facility before it could be built in a county, municipality or township. The bill would also establish disclosure requirements for wind farm developers and elected local officials to help avoid potential conflicts of interest.

“The construction of new wind farms is a contentious issue in our area, and my legislation would ensure residents have a direct say on whether or not wind farms could be built in their local community,” Saunders said. “My bill would also bring greater transparency to the matter, by creating requirements for local elected officials to disclose any financial ties to wind farm developers.”

Additionally, House Bill 1597 would establish minimum setback requirements for wind power devices, such as windmills and wind turbines. The base of wind devices would have to be at least 1.5 miles away from airports, hospitals, daycares, schools or universities. The base of any wind power device would also have to be at least 2,200 feet away from the nearest corner of any residence.

The bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications.

For more information on this and other legislation, please visit iga.in.gov/.

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*For a downloadable version of HB 1597, click here.

State Rep. Tom Saunders (R-Lewisville) represents House District 54, which includes all of Henry County, and parts of Rush and Wayne counties.

A high-resolution photo of Saunders can be downloaded by clicking here.