To the Editor:
In response to an editorial in the March 14th and now the April 4th Reporter by Emmet County resident Dan Lutat, just a couple of observations.
As most Iowans know, since 1995, the siting of livestock facilities is controlled by Iowa State Legislature by regulations through the Iowa DNR. The DNR has control over the separation distances for CAFOs in all 99 counties. A set of minimal standards are listed in the Master Matrix, which is a points based document used in the permit process. The individual Counties in Iowa do not have" local control" for agricultural operations.
Palo Alto County does have a Good Neighbor Policy which requires a 1/2 mile separation from a residence from CAFOs. This has worked very well for Palo Alto County and is now being looked at by other Counties as something that is needed.
The Counties in Iowa certainly do have "local control" when it comes to the regulations dealing with corporate wind energy systems.
After attending many meetings about the Palo Alto County wind energy ordinance, it was obvious that separation distances were a huge issue (i.e. from residences, property lines). The impact on Drainage district and private tile systems, vital to Palo Alto County, also raised much concern. Other concerns included shadow flicker, noise, density, and effect on wildlife. Ag aviation and electronic interference (GPS signal) issues were also discussed.
After this ordinance was adopted, these concerns didn't just disappear. They are very real to anyone living or farming in the rural areas of our County. If someone has an opposing opinion or concern, it should be their right to voice their views. I am not sure that expressing your personal views leads us "one step closer to tyranny" as was stated by Mr. Lutat.
His comment of neighbor vs. neighbor tactic is true. People who live in the rural areas are affected directly and have "skin in the game" when it comes to the introduction of corporate wind factories into their neighborhood. The wind companies have no problem talking to landowners (living in the County or absentee) with their side of the story, so it should be no problem for neighbors to talk to neighbors about things that will affect them and their County for years into the future. The other side of the story is supported by a growing worldwide community with information based on many testimonials of citizens living with industrial wind.
As a member of the academia world, I would think that Mr. Lutat would allow and encourage different perspectives and opinions to enter into the classroom. I would also think he would support the basic taxpayer right of dissent and opinion. Let's hope so.
(signed) Dean Gunderson