State Sen. John Sullivan (D-Rushville) recently proposed a measure that looks to establish statewide rules for the construction and deconstruction of wind turbines as well as where they will be built.
Currently, Illinois counties are responsible for creating wind turbine standards. Under the proposed state legislation, the new wind turbine rules would be governed by the state's Department of Agriculture, which is currently weighing Sullivan's measure.
“To my knowledge, there is no involvement (now) from the state standpoint,” Sullivan told the State-Journal Register. “There are a few federal standards, but they are very minor and ‘big picture.’ We have kind of a hodge-podge of county-to-county regulations and standards.”
Sullivan said more details need to be added to the proposal before he will be in a position to move the legislation forward.
“There are some people who feel that the county ordinances that have been developed are not restrictive enough, and others would say they are too restrictive,” the state senator added. “I think the wind developers would prefer to work with the counties individually. I think they probably have a concern some of the statewide standards could be more restrictive.”
The Illinois Farm Bureau, however, is in support of uniform state rules for wind turbines.
“It will provide constancy to that process so the same level of protections can be provided to landowners and farmers no matter what county they live in or their location," said the bureau's Associate Director of State Legislation Bill Bodine.