Pushback on solar panels in La Porte County

NOW: Pushback on solar panels in La Porte County

LA PORTE COUNTY, Ind. — Folks in La Porte County are gathering signatures to put together a one year pause on any proposed solar projects.

Citizens discussed concerns not just about the general appearance of solar panels, but also about the environment and the community’s health.

The attendees argue that to protect the health, safety, and welfare of citizens, certain measures need to be in place on these solar farms before these projects are approved.

The citizens want to see water testing one or two times a year to make sure nothing is leaching into the groundwater, a setback of 1,000 feet from farmland, and compensation to nearby farmers for any property value loss due to the solar farms.

Neighbors claim that they are not saying "no" to solar in the long term, but they want to control it and not put it on prime farmland.

Specifically, one farm owner believes that solar farms are a waste of agricultural land that could be necessary for our future.

Steve Holifield, Lincoln Township Board President, and Twin Oaks Farm Owner stated, “From my experience, it’s like ripping fence posts out — they don’t come out that easy and there’s always something leftover in the ground. These have contaminants in them, cancer-causing agencies that can leak into the ground and then they’re there. And who’s gonna clean this up when it’s time to recover the ground?”

Attendees tonight want La Porte County to hold off on solar projects for one year so the community can set its own standards for development.

They gathered petition signatures tonight and plan to talk about what was discussed with the county attorney.

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