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Save Logan County Ohio's Farmland

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Petition to stop industrial solar projects across Logan County, Ohio

To the Ohio Power Siting Board of the State of Ohio:

Industrial solar projects possess a threat to the well-being of residents, including financial security and the right to fully enjoy the property we own, without suffering such devastating destruction of the peace, beauty, and harmony of our community which will result from the industrial solar projects being approved.

The proposed solar projects across Logan County, Ohio will impact the local environment in negative ways. Concerns range from visual impacts to property devaluation, noise, drinking water quality supply, unmanaged drainage systems, health, and safety.

The residents of Logan County, Ohio and beyond are requesting the appropriate governmental officials, in response to concerns raised by the residents, to deny all proposed industrial solar projects across Logan County, Ohio. The residents of Logan County, Ohio and beyond also request the appropriate governmental officials to halt all current or future construction of any industrial solar facilities and to protect the land from any future proposed projects concerning industrial solar panel energy.

Concerns:

Visual Impact - Like any proposed structure, concerns can be raised over the visual impact a solar development will have on its surroundings. To construct a solar facility numerous panels must be installed. This alters the landscape in practical and aesthetic ways. The land can no longer be used for anything but power generation for years to come. The reflective panels may not be personally attractive to some people. The panels, once installed, can also alter local habitats and affect wildlife in negative ways.

Industrial solar projects are “not consistent with Logan County regional plans” which is a requirement by the OPSB in order to approve a solar project. According to the Logan County Regional Planning Commission, “our goal is to improve the quality of life for its residents and to make it an attractive place to live and work. The Logan County Plan will be used as a means to guide local policy and development while at the same time protecting the physical environment and managing growth. The County wishes to ensure that its residents maintain what is most valuable to them – their rural environment.

Reflections from the Panels - Panel reflection is possibly the most common safety concern raised for solar developments and is commonly referred to as ‘glint and glare’ concerns. Solar panels are designed to absorb as much light as possible and reflect as little as possible. Many modern commercial panels are NOT ‘anti-glare’ to minimize reflections further.

Noise - Concerns over noise can be expressed in a solar development. Any issues would most likely be constrained to locations in very close proximity to the inverters. In order to provide a significant amount of electrical energy, solar facilities require large tracts of land. Many of the residential property owner’s homes will be within 300’ of these noisy inverters.

Solar projects fail to eliminate the “pure-tone transformer noise” and the “broadband fan noise” due to costs and therefore, the neighboring residents will continually suffer and their daily lives will be affected.

Environment - Eastern states have abundant space and sunshine, but these areas are also natural habitats that support wildlife. For example, environmental reports underestimated the number of wild animals that would be displaced by the large Solar Generating Systems. Many solar facilities also came under scrutiny when an increasing number of bird deaths were reported on its premises. Many of their wings had been melted or burned off by heat from the solar facility’s mirrors. Also, the fields proposed support herds of deer. With the proposed fields there will be no way the deer can roam which logically would affect the hunters in this area.

Solar placed on agricultural land threatens animal habitats, negatively affecting native species, and severely damages our natural ecosystems that provide us with food, water, and clean air.

Property Devaluation - The solar facilities would devalue resident’s properties due to present health risks from the installation, electromagnetic exposure, visual impact, solar panel glare, drinking water supply, poor water drainage management, continuous noise during the solar production (generator noise), and habitat degradation. No matter the excuse, the visual picture of these panels will lower property values because most buyers would not want to live near or next to them. This area is zoned agricultural and residential, not commercial zoning.

Recent evidence today reveals that there is a negative impact on property values from large scale solar facilities than presented by solar developers which is a major negative impact on the community.

Electromagnetic Short & Long Term Health Effects - A study of real-world exposure to non-ionizing radiation from magnetic fields in pregnant women found a significantly higher rate of miscarriage, providing new evidence regarding their potential health risks, according to the World Health Association. There are established biological effects from acute exposure at high levels that are explained by recognized biophysical mechanisms. External EMF magnetic fields induce electric fields and currents in the body which, at very high field strengths, cause nerve and muscle stimulation and changes in nerve cell excitability in the central nervous system. Potential long-term effects: much of the scientific research examining long-term risks from EMF magnetic field exposure has focused on childhood leukemia. In 2002, IARC published a monograph classifying EMF magnetic fields as "possibly carcinogenic to humans".

There is little information on the long-term impact on health and development for those living in close proximity to an industrial solar project and their health could be at risk.

Human Health Risks - While solar power remains a more environmentally friendly form of energy production than fossil fuel sources, it is not completely free of hazards. Toxic chemicals, including hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid, are used to clean the surface of semiconductors during PV cell production. The cells themselves contain materials that are harmful to people and the environment if improperly thrown away; these include gallium arsenide and cadmium telluride. Silicon dust produced by the PV cell manufacturing process is also harmful to people if inhaled. The health and safety of residents whose homes adjoin a leased solar field worry because their health and life is at stake.

There is little information on the long-term impact on health and development for those living within close proximity of this industrial project and their health could be at risk and I have seen no information on how this project would provide protection to my family and home.

Fire Safety - The possibility of fires resulting from or intensified by PV systems may trigger concern among the general public as well as among firefighters. In the event of a lithium-ion battery catching fire, it is important to note that such a fire reaches very high temperatures, produces toxic gases and is inextinguishable which is very dangerous for homes that will be within 300 feet of these solar panels.

Habitat Degradation - The impact that solar facilities have on individual species can send ripples throughout entire ecosystems. When solar facilities harm or remove species within a habitat, they also remove the valuable ecosystem services that they provide to the habitat. The habitat becomes less livable for plants and wildlife that have adapted to its specific conditions. The area surrounding Logan County is a habitat for the American Bald Eagle, a protected species. They not only live here, but they also nest, feed, and breed here. Also, there are at least eight Bald Eagle pairs needing protection in our county.

Land Use Consequences - Utility-scale solar power installations require a lot of space because solar energy collection is relatively inefficient; it can take up to 10 acres of solar panels to produce 1 megawatt of electricity. Clearing land for a solar power plant will destroy wildlife habitat and degrade soil quality by removing plants and their root structures. Water supply management may be threatened if not carefully managed. Logically, it is very possible for groundwater and wells to be contaminated.

Watershed Contamination - The Big Darby, a protected scenic waterway, starts in Perry Township. This township is well known for the abundance of artesian overflows and springs that feed not only the Darby headwaters but also the Mill Creek, and our state’s only cold-water trout stream, and the Mad River. The construction of any utility scale solar facility in this critical area is very likely to have a significant long term environmental impact on this identified waterway.

The Rush Creek, for which the township is named, starts from the same underground aquafer, Rush Creek Lake, as the Mad River and flows north joining with the Bokes creek and Mill creek as part of the Scioto system.

A large underground cavern system, Zane Caverns, is located in the very northeast corner of Jefferson township where it borders with both Perry and Rushcreek townships. The regular occurrence of sink holes in this area of these three townships indicates the widespread presence of these underground structures and aquafers.

As you can see, this area is a very sensitive and important geological structure for much of the state of Ohio. This should and must be protected from water source intrusion, significant drainage disruption, and potential hazardous run off that a utility scale solar array could pose both during the construction phase and the operational state.

Approved projects may also impact offsite water resources such as perennial streams, ephemeral streams, and other drainage structures.

Water Maintenance & Drainage - Construction projects need to take into consideration the quality of stormwater retained at the construction site. The integrity of the town’s water system is among the concerns that potentially toxic components of the solar equipment could leak. Estimating stormwater retained for a large scale solar facility project can be challenging because the panels are impervious but the area beneath the panels is often pervious. Unmanaged drainage systems, even when designed to properly remove sufficient water from solar facilities, can have detrimental effects on nearby properties.

Panel End-of-Life Management - Solar developers do not have concrete plans or a signed contract with a decommissioning company to handle the disposal of the solar panels. This is a huge gamble and could result in a failure to properly remove and/or recycle the panels according to state laws.

Energy Consumption - Solar power plants generate clean energy, but they do not yet produce enough to provide electricity to produce all solar power equipment. Most PV cells and other solar equipment are produced in facilities that rely on fossil fuel-based power sources, such as traditional power plants. Therefore, the manufacture of these components results in the emission of greenhouse gases and other pollutants that affect the air and nearby water bodies. Transporting, installing, and maintaining solar power equipment also contributes to the carbon footprint of this power source.

Local Test Array - Logan County Electric is our rural electric company. They conducted a test comprised of 152 solar photovoltaic panels at their office in Bellefontaine, Ohio. The 152 panels are rated at 50 kW. This means the array’s peak power-generation capacity is 50 kW of direct current electricity. Energy is lost during the inversion process, causing a maximum generation capacity of 40 kWh of AC electricity.

Logan County Electric concluded that their test solar array does not always produce the max 40 kWh. Of the 3,860 hours the array produced electricity, the average electricity produced by each solar panel was only 1.09 kWh of electricity per day.

If there were 20 panels in their array, they would have produced an average of 22 kWh of electricity per day. But it varies widely throughout the year. Some days, 20 solar panels would produce an insignificant .3 kWh and other days they would produce 42 kWh. In the cold months of winter, they average just .7kWh each day.

Lastly, Logan County, Ohio has several historical sites. Logically, it only makes sense that the Native Americans distributed relics and artifacts encompassing this area. The industrial solar facilities would forever destroy those historical sites.

Food for thought: Many homes will be virtually surrounded on almost every side with solar panels. What about the local hunters? With a solar desert, wildlife game will be rerouted and leave the area.

The residents of Logan County, Ohio and beyond are in a fight for their life! We are a historical and agricultural community. A gemstone in the great state of Ohio. The backbone of this community has always been agriculture; it is the blood that runs through the veins of this community. The air we breathe the land that we inhabit is critical to the breadth of this community. They are the elements and the quality of life that we enjoy - given to us by our forefathers in the constitution. They reflect our God given rights – pursuit of happiness. Without agriculture, it is not possible to have banks, markets, stock markets, it is the foundation of a stable economy. Without agriculture, where is the food to come from? Some building where the plants never see the sun? Never breathe the fresh air? Generations of farmers have farmed this land surrounding us. They are the farmers who have contributed to put the food in the mouths of the citizens of this nation. Food on your tables!

We are asking for help to preserve our way of life. We need our elected officials not to turn their backs on us for money’s sake but to do as they promised and listen to the people. These projects will strip away the land. Today, many of us walk each day in the footsteps of our grandfathers, great grandfathers, and great, great, grandfathers. Some have had ancestors who lived here in the late 1700’s. Our family’s blood, sweat, and tears are ingrained in the soil of the land that surrounds the countryside of Logan County, Ohio.

Please do not allow our lives and land to be stolen, our land is a responsibility to the country, it is sacred ground and should be fought for. The land is the inheritance from our fore-fathers and on loan to us today. It is imperative that it be preserved for future generations. Only with a deep, inherent love for this land can preservation occur. Heaven on earth is under our feet and it is the land that we live on.

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