OPSB wants public input during rule review

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solar panels in brown county
Hillcrest solar farm is nearing completion in Brown County. It was the first to apply for certification from the Ohio Power Siting Board, and it will be the second utility-scale solar project in Ohio to become operational. (Rachel Wagoner photo)

The Ohio Power Siting Board wants to hear from the public as it reviews its administrative rules governing applications for solar farms.

The board is considering implementing new rules regarding solar facilities, including setbacks, landscape, lighting design, perimeter fencing requirements and operational noise. 

There will be three public workshops at the beginning of October. The first is scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 4. It will be held in person at 180 East Broad St., Hearing Room 11-B, in Columbus.  For more information or to register, click here.

There will also be two virtual workshops. One will be held at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 4 via Cisco Webex. To register or get more information, click here.

The other online workshop start at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 8. To register or get more information, click here.

Background

The OPSB is required to conduct a comprehensive review of its rules in the Ohio Administrative Code Chapters every five years. The review process started in March 2020 by holding meetings with state and local elected officials, community activists, developers and other industry groups.

During the public workshops, people can also address decommissioning plans, communication with local governments within the project area, environmental and aviation regulation, noxious weed management and storm water runoff. A full list of topics the board hopes to discuss and heard comments on is available here

The board is also reviewing rules for electric transmission facilities, gas pipelines and other electric generation facilities, like wind farms.

There will be another chance for public comment after the draft rules have been issued. 

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Rachel is a reporter with Farm and Dairy and a graduate of Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She married a fourth-generation beef and sheep farmer and settled down in her hometown in Beaver County. Before coming to Farm and Dairy, she worked at several daily and weekly newspapers throughout Western Pennsylvania covering everything from education and community news to police and courts.

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