The dirty side of "clean energy" as toxic waste piles up | Beaufort County Now | hundreds of toxic used wind turbines blades abandoned at 3 Iowa sites

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When the useful life of wind turbines and solar panels are over, the worn out material remaining contains many toxic substances and is not likely to ever be economical to recycle.  As more of these things are built and start to wear out, the problem of waste disposal will mushroom.   

The latest example comes from Iowa where the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission has just voted to refer a case against an out of state firm storing 1,300 used wind turbine blades at three sites in the state to the Iowa Attorney General for legal action.  Since 2017, an out of state company has been claiming it planned to recycle the worn out giant blades but has not done so or even made any effort.  The company, Global Fiberglass Solutions of Washington State, has ignored a long series of orders and agreements to either recycle the blades, bury them in a certified landfill, or ship them out of state.  They have also refused to post the $2 million bond demanded by the state to assure that taxpayers would not be burdened with the cost.

https://iowacapitaldispatch.com/2021/07/07/state-company-illegally-storing-hundreds-of-old-wind-turbine-blades-at-three-iowa-sites/

Of course, a wind turbine does not have to even wear out to pollute the environment. In Ontario, four wind energy companies have been indicted in criminal court for multiple felonies in seriously polluting the ground water during the construction phase of wind farms, for example.  In Ireland, wind farm construction has been responsible for massive fish kills that have led to large fines for the environmental harm.

North Carolina has no laws requiring bonds for wind turbine and solar panel removal at the end of their useful life or for storing these hazardous materials.  Counties are given authority to do that but Beaufort County has no bond requirements for wind turbines and only a very weak one as to solar panels.  Taxpayers and / or landowners are at serious risk of being stiffed.


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Comment

( August 4th, 2021 @ 9:09 am )
 
From what I have read most of the companies that set up the solar farms and other "green" energy sites are LLC meaning they have limited liability and when things break down they can walk away with no responsibility for the cost of clean up and all the cost falls on the taxpayers. I cannot think of any reason why all our commissioners would not be doing everything they can to protect we the taxpayers, unless it is as the old saying goes follow the money.



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