Birds, aquifer lead-off hearing

Gordon Woods / Journal — Rural DeWitt County resident Terry Husted testifies before the ZBA wind project permit hearings.

CLINTON — Wind farm testimony continued Tuesday during hearings conducted by the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).  Rural Birkbeck area resident Terry Husted was first on the schedule, and he talked about potential dangers to birds and the Mahomet Aquifer if the Alta Farms II project were developed.

Husted listed items in Tradewind Energy’s special use permit (SUP) application he said concerned him, including potential interference with weather radar, decommissioning, drainage, effects of the project on nonparticipants, shadow flicker, noise, among others.  

In asking the ZBA to deny a recommendation of Tradewind’s application, Husted first addressed what he felt was the potential effect of the project on birds.

“We, as residents of DeWitt County have documented evidence contrary to the environmental report that bald eagles …do not occupy areas within the footprint of the project,” Husted testified.

He said he felt, along with others opposing the project, that the project would definitely “pose a hazard to bald eagles.”  

“Further, there is evidence that shows that, to date, there has been no effective way to deter the eagles and other raptors from entering the area,” Husted said.

When later questioned by the attorney for Tradewind Jim Griffin, Husted acknowledged the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) as expert on the Illinois environment.  Griffin asked Husted if he had any information contradicting IDNR officials that no bald eagles had been killed by wind turbines in Illinois.

Husted answered only that he heard that one was killed by a wind turbine in Illinois, but he didn’t know where.

“I don’t have any evidence, buy I have heard one was killed,” Husted said.

* Read the complete story on the Clinton Journal E-Edition or in the Friday, Jan. 24 print edition of the Journal.

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