Hughes County Commission amends requirements for wind towers

FORT PIERRE, S.D. (KCCR) – The Hughes County Commission, taking pages from Hyde County, has amended siting requirements for wind energy towers in the county. Significant testimony both for and against the requirements was presented to Commissioners Monday night.

Property rights and concerns from aerial applicators centered over much of the testimony. Ryan Webb, who lives in Hughes County and is in favor of shorter setbacks, says it’s simple.

Terry Barber of Onida operates an aerial applicator business and says wind towers make low level flight dangerous among other negatives.

Commissioners Roger Inman and Chair Randy Vance thought mimicking what Hyde County has in ordinance for wind tower setbacks may be the most appealing to both sides.

The final ordinance passed unanimously with a setback for a wind tower of a half mile from any occupied structure or 4.9 times the height of the tower. It includes an option for a 1400 foot setback with a recordable waiver and a limit from turbine noise at 45 decibels.