WABASH COUNTY CITIZENS
AGAINST SOLAR FARMS
Wabash County Plan Commission Board Meeting scheduled for June 1, at 7pm at the Wabash County Courthouse meeting room, second floor. If you are a Wabash resident and you can't attend the meeting please email Director Campbell and get your position recorded at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Dear Wabash County resident and neighbor. ALERT!!! We are just finding out there is a 2,000 acre proposed
COMMERCIAL size SOLAR ENERGY facility planned around our homes south of Wabash, (we think this is North on 850
S. around and between Hwy 13 and 15). We are in the Target area. We do know they have already site surveyed on
several fields. This would also include a lithium-ion battery storage field. Residents did not know the Planning Commission
has been in talks with Solar since 2021. When Solar submits their application it will go on to the Board of Zoning for
approval. They have farmers already under lease contracts of intent for around $1,000 per acre for 30 years! This would
be the first of other projects to come into northern Wabash and N. Manchester area. The Solar Ordinance was drafted
WITHOUT our knowledge or input to change setbacks. It was changed to only 350’ from an adjacent home to solar panels
or equipment. The original setback was 1/4 mile. This way Solar can put more panels in a field and collect more Subsidy
money. The setbacks were specifically changed to entice Solar here and bring money to the county and profit the farmers
signing up. This could negatively affect our health, quality of Life, value of homes etc. as the following pages detail! We
are asking through an important PETITION that the Planning Commission REVERSE the ordinance and redraft it to public
sentiment and with our knowledge which should’ve been done in the first place. There are countless concerns of why a
solar facility should NEVER be put in a rural community. There are too many risks! If the ordinance isn’t reversed and
setbacks changed back to 1/4 mile, there is nothing to stop development. Plus we do not want our Beautiful Wabash
landscape to change. We must act.
What can I do?
1. BE COUNTED! Most important: sign the petition!!! Any resident of Wabash County and age 18 please sign! Several
people in a household please sign.
The petition is located at:
Bass and Bucks, 5000 W. Mill Creek Pike, Wabash
Business hours: Monday, Thursday & Friday 9-6 Saturday & Sunday 1-5
Sherm's Marine 8662 S. 400 W, Wabash -- Business hours. Monday - Friday 8am -5pm. Saturday 8am – Noon
Heaven on Earth 4767 N St Rd 15, Wabash Business hours. Monday – Friday, 10-5 and Saturday 10-3.
They have been gracious enough to handle the physical petition and just a note: we know they are very busy during
business hours but will have the petition available to sign!
2. SPREAD the WORD anyway you can; including to the folks in Northern Wabash county and city, and North Manchester
area, as this includes the entire county. Tell them to please sign the petition also. Unlimited acres can be developed. It
affects us all.
3. We need numbers-GO to the NEXT MEETING of the Planning Commission. Please attend and speak out!
April 20 th , 7pm at the Honeywell Center.
The County Commissioners, of all people, have petitioned to amend the new solar ordinance to allow solar installations on
unlimited Prime farmland. This should never happen!! This should be going the opposite direction. The Solar Ordinance
must be reversed.
4. Go to any Planning Commission Meetings dates: (“4/20” this one really important)- 5/4- 6/1- 7/6- 8/3- 9/7- 10/5- 11/2-
12/7. (7 pm)
5. Go to any Board of Zoning Meetings dates: 4/25 is very important!!! - 5/23- 6/27- 7/25- 8/22- 9/26- 10/24- 11/28-(7
6. Commissioners meet every Monday at 9 am except holidays
7. Call the plan director, Brian Campbell, at 260-563-0661 EXT 1252, 1267
8. Very important to send written or email complaints:
Planning Commission at email@example.com They have a new director.
9. Send Complaints to the Board of Zoning and our County Councilmen - emails on Wabash IN gov. Website
10. Also Very IMPORTANT: Send complaints to County Commissioners.
1. Jeff Dawes: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Brian Haupert: email@example.com
3. Barry Eppley: firstname.lastname@example.org
11. Do whatever you think you are able to do to contribute - Everyone has different talents and resources. This is just at
the beginning stages of residents finding out and anything is greatly appreciated. The petition and these flyers are the first
steps started and we need others to help further the cause in other ways. Anything we do as a good community, we take
the High Road.
12. We are making signs and would like everyone to have one in their private yard in this target area, to immediately voice
we are against this. Text 260-377-8445, or 765-860-4589 and request a sign with your address. These signs cost us $10
ea. It is adding up. We will take donations. We will try to place in your yard as soon as available. We hope to have a few
larger signs in future- text if you know where they could be put with permission of landowner in very visible spots along
highways. Remember, signs cannot be put anywhere without permission from landowner. Thank you for your help.
PRESERVE WABASH COUNTY
PETITION: To STOP ANY proposed COMMERCIAL SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM from developing in
WABASH COUNTY, INDIANA and revert back the Commercial Solar Energy Systems (C-SES):
Chapter 13 section 6 Ordinance of the Wabash County Zoning Ordinance 2022-85-14 back to the
Moratorium and redraft the solar ordinance and any solar amendments according to the majority of
residents of Wabash County sentiment which directly involves our well-being. Of utmost importance
are subjects such as SETBACKS: chapter 13 section 7, UNMANAGABLE FIRE HAZARD: chapter
13 section 19.11, NOISE, VIBRATION: chapter 13 section 16, GLARE and LIGHTING: chapter 13
section 15, and other accompanying ordinance sections in chapter 13. Also we do not want ANY
farmland including Prime Farmland (AG 1) to be used for anything other than agriculture and DO
NOT want amendments to the contrary. Of the entire ENERGY ordinance, or any chapter concerning
ENERGY in the Ordinance 2022-85-14, each section in totality must be scrutinized and drafted
according to public opinion to not appeal to energy companies but to DETER them. We believe
residents were NOT actively notified in a campaign that reached them. The little public response was
evidence to this. We DO NOT want (C-SES)s here in Wabash County, IN.
PETITION TO: WABASH COUNTY, INDIANA
1. ADVISORY PLAN COMMISSION
Brian Campbell- director
Larry Thrush- Attorney
Ananda Lyons, Office Admin.
2. PLANNING COMMISSION BOARD
3. BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
4. WABASH COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Barry J. Eppley-
Jeff D. Dawes
Brian K. Haupert
5. WABASH COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBERS
A commercial solar energy system will impact the community in a NEGATIVE way as it
already has in other counties. It is a gamble of too many unknowns of WELFARE,
HEALTH, QUALITY of LIFE, and FINANCIAL RISKS To RURAL RESIDENTS close to
an industrial size solar system. The data is just begun on research and risks to this fast
pace new industry. Risks will not be known till years in the future. WE want to
PRESERVE WABASH COUNTY LANDSCAPE for generations to come, not destroy it
“AGRICULTURE IS OUR WISEST PURSUIT, BECAUSE IT WILL IN THE END
CONTRIBUTE MOST TO REAL WEALTH, GOOD MORALS, AND HAPPINESS.”
We have a printed petition at Bass and Bucks for Wabash County Citizens to stop in and sign.
1. CRITICAL CONCERN: We, the residents of Wabash County believe we were NOT actively notified
in a manner that allowed IMPERATIVE AWARENESS of the drafting of a NEW solar ordinance that
would OPEN Wabash County, IN to a large INDUSTRIAL size energy project covering UNLIMITED
agricultural acres in our rural community that directly affects us. The little to no response from any
small legal notices or an ad in a paper that everyone does not receive shows no one knew and many
still do not. A person could advertise “free money” in a legal or public notice and only 5 people would
show up, because nobody reads them. Maybe that is the legal way to do it, but for something so
important and impactful to so many people, not enough was done to make rural residents aware. This
should have been apparent. The Majority Public Opinion was not involved in drafting a new energy
ordinance which is the way the process should work in our county governments representing us. In
other words a new Solar Energy Ordinance was drafted without county residents’ knowledge. READ
THE PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES of MARCH 3, 2022 and MARCH 24, 2022 on Solar.
These 2 recorded meeting minutes reveal the discussions on distance of SETBACKS. This is the
distance allowed from commercial equipment, (such as solar panels) to an adjacent non-participating
home. All minutes are public and can be found on the Wabash County, IN government webpage.
Click on Advisory Plan Commission on the Wabash Government homepage at
http://areaplan.wabashcounty85.us/ , then on their webpage click on: Minutes Planning on the side
bar. The Solar Subject can be seen in the Planning Commission Minutes as far back as early 2021.
The Planning Commission drafted setbacks shrinking them to only 350’ from a non-participating
home or structure, eliminating the previous 1,320’, (1/4 mile) from a home. So simply put, a solar
company would look elsewhere if our ordinance kept it at 1,320’, but with the new setback of 350’, a
Solar Company would look at Wabash as open to development, being able to fill fields with panels
close to properties. This decision was made after being told by an individual who was advising them,
that residents have become upset in another county when the setbacks were changed from 1/4 mile
to 350’ and a solar company would look elsewhere if was left at 1,320’. The planning commission
minutes of March 3 and 24, 2022 are critical to read, which shows the thinking of not wanting Solar
companies to pass over Wabash by some members who thought large amounts of money to the
county was a great opportunity, but not factoring the risk to residents in doing so. A well-publicized
public meeting about setbacks from homes being reduced would have resulted in people being very
upset. We feel we weren’t protected from this, and no amount of money is worth losing the
preservation of our county landscape and our quality of life. We feel our voice was not heard and
WHY? We ask our voices be heard now. The complete ordinance can be seen by going to the
Advisory Plan Commission webpage of the Wabash County Gov. website. The Solar Ordinance is
Chapter 13. The director of the Planning Commission retired as of December 31, 2022, and the
commission has a new director.
2. HERE IS WHAT WE KNOW: If a Commercial Solar System comes in, thousands of acres of
agriculture farmland including unlimited prime AG 1 acreage will be covered in a sea of black mirrors
out our front and back doors. Most likely barbed wire topped chain link fencing will surround the
perimeter like in other counties. Nighttime security lighting will cover the area. Other Indiana county
residents compare it to a high security prison fence. Entire fields will be covered. A few trees or
bushes will try to hide the immediate view from a home, but not the view from the road. This is
obtrusive and not what those of us who live in the county want as our view for the rest of our lives.
We do not want Industrial Solar here. Residents of southern Wabash are the FIRST in the TARGET
area encompassing a possible 2,000 acres.
There are too many unknowns of HEALTH, WELFARE, QUALITY of LIFE, and FINANCIAL risks with
this fast pace moving industry and not enough research or data completed to gamble at any risk to
citizens. These are honest fears. Looking at other Indiana county residents living with this adjacent to
their homes our fears are warranted. We do not want this.
We believe all went according to plan, of a typical “national energy project play book” here in Wabash
County, (same procedure as seen in other unfortunate counties). Just now, we realize talks were
going on in our planning commission as meeting minutes show in early 2021. We have no idea how
much earlier this must have been in the planning stages. Not until workers were seen in area fields
site surveying the end of 2022, did anyone wonder what was going on. Just like in other counties,
residents become aware with little time to respond and organize. Non-discloser contracts of intent are
signed early by farmers to lease their land.
The county ordinance directly affects our quality of life. Critical Changes or drafting of the new energy
solar ordinance were made without any well publicized campaigns for public meetings or hearings
addressing the sentiment of the majority public opinion, (example: most importantly, setbacks from
property lines as is recorded in the Planning Commission’s minutes were placed in without public
input). At that time officials chose to APPEAL to and entice energy companies not DETER them,
especially with setbacks that allowed many more panels in the fields, thus becoming closer to family
homes and roads. Small public notices although legal, and wherever Facebook notices were posted
went unnoticed by busy families, and a campaign for input should have explained industrial sized
solar fields not just a solar ordinance that most would assume would mean a few panels on a roof if
they saw it. Only a few citizens from Northern Wabash saw small notices and attended any meeting
early on, and voiced their concern. When there was NO response from county residents directly
involved, (especially from the southern Wabash County’s first projected site), the commission should
have realized that more needed to be done and made it a priority to actively seek and notify residents
to get their input on a new energy ordinance. Citizens would get upset over changes to setbacks
affecting them at a public hearing. We are talking INDUSTRIAL SIZE SOLAR FIELDS. Instead an
ordinance was drafted to invite Commercial Solar in, afraid they would pass over Wabash, (this also
recorded in meeting minutes of March 2022). Thinking the prospect of millions of dollars over 30
years will be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it is not. In reality it tears communities apart.
This we are sure nobody wants. We wonder why this was brought here, matching up farmers with a
solar company, while it’s been destructive to other communities. Everyone hears the news of other
county communities. Other Indiana counties have Commissions and Boards ignoring the public plea
and voting it in anyway. The QUESTION is WHY? An industrial size project needs a critical feedback
from those it affects, not just from those who stand to profit from it. An influx of money to the county
may be the goal of some for a proposed project, but we believe no amount of money is worth
destroying the landscape and gambling on the welfare of its citizens. This is NOT A WIN/WIN for us.
We believe this should not have got this far in the process, if the majority “public opinion” would have
played a part in drafting a solar or energy ordinance, the setbacks alone would have discouraged an
energy company from deeming Wabash a potential site. Instead a solar company was invited to the
table. Once there is a foot in the door, others will follow. A few farmers, some owning a large amount
of acreage have signed up to 30 year non-disclosure lease contracts of intent to a solar company for
large amounts of money per acre, ( possibly around $1,000 an acre). Even a contract of intent may
be binding, and hard to get out of. The lease of land would change the classification of this land.
It would now be UTILITY not AGRICULTURE if the project is approved. It would then be under state
zoning as a utility not county controlled zoning. If a company meets the current ordinance
requirements, their application is accepted and goes to the zoning board for a vote. If approved and
voted in by The Board Of Zoning Appeals, construction will start on what we believe, a projected
approximately 2,000 acre project south of Wabash to be north of 850 S. between 13 and 15 (we are
not sure of entire perimeter). Also with unlimited acreage development in future phases allowed,
Northern Wabash will be included. That is why we expect and demand our local government
agencies to protect our rights, health, welfare and quality of life, first and foremost. That is why they
are called PUBLIC SERVANTS. We ask them to do the right thing now: the reverting back of the solar
ordinance to be redrafted with VOTER KNOWLEDGE and according to voter sentiment as it should
have been done in the first place, IMMEDIATELY. In our opinion, we believe allowing speculative,
under-producing Solar or Wind energy into the county that takes up too much land with little results, in
the middle of a rural community, with incredible uncertainties and risks will benefit only a few and
affect negatively entire rural communities and in turn hurt our city communities also. This is for 30
years or more. THE ENERGY produced DOES NOT STAY in Wabash, Indiana. Indiana is low on the
list of sun producing states. Low efficient panels (probably a little more than 20% efficient ), along with
how quickly panels degrade, and how quickly panels become obsolete with technology, plus the low
producing Indiana sun days makes for a confusing combination of why here? The answer is huge
amounts of Subsidy money for energy companies, farmers willing to lease for large amounts of
money per acre for 30 years, and lots and lots of Indiana transmission lines. Changing the visual
landscape of the entire Wabash County forever is a HUGE MISTAKE. Contracts make it a 30 year
gamble. We hope members of our government commissions and boards hear our plea and revoke
and reverse the current ordinance IMMEDIATELY, seeing now it is not according to majority public
opinion. A commercial solar system in a rural community is the true definition of PUBLIC NUISANCE,
as defined in the government glossary: It means operations, activities, or general use of LAND which
is INJURIOUS to HEALTH, WELL BEING, is indecent, ANNOYING, obnoxious, UNPLEASANT,
OFFENSIVE to the SENSES or an obstruction to the use of property, so as to INTERFERE with the
COMFORTABLE ENJOYMENT of LIFE or PROPERTY. This simple description should STOP
any industrial solar energy utility from coming into our rural community. Any application for
development should be void and NO application on the table at present should be sent on to The
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS. We also DO NOT want our COUNTY COMMISSIONERS to
override and vote “ in “ a Solar energy system!!!! We now also have a CONCERN of amendments
coming to the table being requested by the County Commissioners, bypassing the planning
commission and the zoning board protocol. Why do we have a Planning Commission or Board of
Zoning Appeals if the County Commissions are able to override procedure? If this PETITION request
signed by registered voters of Wabash County is not acted upon immediately by members of our
Planning Commission and County Commissioners and Board of Zoning Appeals, and County Council
respectfully, this will SADLY be the LEGACY attached to the NAMES of ANY INDIVIDUAL who
makes industrial size energy facilities a reality in Wabash Indiana, and anything they have done good
before will surely be forgotten. Nothing is held dearer to our hearts than family and home. Destroying
the landscape of a county is no small thing. It is something we as residents never comprehended as a
possibility and thought we would be protected against. We DO NOT want a few given the option to
change Wabash County Landscape and risk the well-being and safety of the residents ignoring voter
sentiment. We do not think any members of our local government are bad people, or the farmers that
have signed on. We are always for our farmers making a profit, proud we live in a county surrounded
by beautiful fields of grain, but this is different. Farmer’s land leased to a solar company can cause
great risk to adjacent neighbors. Wabash is a community of great people with concern for each other.
We do believe unknowingly people are not aware at first, the impact of something that on the surface
sounds so good can quickly become a runaway train and hurt so many. Hearing one biased side is
not educating one’s self to gain all the facts and rush to a regrettable result. How will this affect
neighbors, friends, people you’ve attended school or church with, families of children your children
went to school with, or just good people of our Wabash community? Is gambling with other people’s
lives worth any gamble? We are a community that cares about each other.. you cannot put a price
tag on that? LOOK at other Indiana counties and see what this has done there. It has literally tore
close communities apart. How do you GROW a DECLINING population in Wabash when
discouraging people to live here? This is the OPPOSITE of common sense. No matter what is said
and by who- NO ONE WANTS TO LIVE BY AN INDUSTRIAL SIZE SOLAR FIELD! Any payments
made by an energy company, (no matter if in the millions), in lieu of tax abatements will never be
enough, in exchange for a priceless loss. And if that amount is averaged out over 30 years, it is
simply unfathomable to give up our greatest attribute for one million or a few million a year. It would
not bring taxes down enough to give up quality of life. Preserve Wabash.
3. CONCERN: The LANDSCAPE of our beautiful Wabash County will be destroyed for 30 years
(length of a typical energy lease), or more if a C-SES comes in. This is a life-time for many of us. The
Commercial Solar Energy Systems will COVER literally 1,000’s OF ACRES of our agriculture land
(and by possible special exception, this will include UNLIMITED A1 PRIME FARMLAND) as more
leases are signed, turning it into Utility ground, with a sea of black glass consisting of 1,000’s (or
probably millions)of panels surrounded by chain link fence topped with rolls of barbed wire, again like
a Prison Facility. This is Obtrusive in every manner of the word. Gone are the fields of beautiful crops
on glacial topsoil. Thus will be our new landscape. The changing of ordinance Setbacks will allow the
fields to be covered, and setbacks at only 35O’ to homes and structures and less to roads! Right out
our front and back doors, this will be our thank-you for staying in and moving to Wabash County,
Indiana. The setbacks were changed from 1,320’ (1/4 mile)to a house or structure, which would deter
a solar company wishing to fill an entire field with panels to 350’ to entice them. The first facility
projected would encompass we believe, around 2,000 acres south of Wabash dotted by many family
homes around the perimeter. This would be the first of several more in the future, including the
northern part of the county. Transmission lines can be updated and new ones installed to connect to
more acres. Eminent Domain by utilities can place towers or poles anywhere. This is because of huge
government subsidy money given per acre to Energy companies like Solar and Wind. Huge money.
Unbelievable amounts of money. The Farmers are offered around $900-$1,000.00 an acre per year
to sign non-disclosure contracts or contracts of intent (which are usually binding), for a 30 year lease
of their land for solar development. This type of industrial size solar facilities should never be put in
the middle of rural communities. EVER. Visual impacts will be heart breaking. A few trees as a barrier
simply will not hide the damage. The SETBACKS from residents’ homes are UNACCEPTABLE. WE
DO NOT WANT SOLAR FARMS here and want the setbacks to reflect that.
4. CONCERN: UNKNOWN HEALTH issues, where little research has been done on the effects of
living near large solar fields. If there is any research started on long term effects it would be
completed years from now. Scientific studies have not clearly shown whether exposure to Electric
Magnetic Fields (EMF) increases cancer risk. A few studies have connected EMF to health effects,
but they have not been able to be repeated. This means at this time they are inconclusive. Concern of
pregnant women, childhood leukemia risk and other unknowns to electromagnetic fields are being
researched. The UNKNOWN!!! Not enough data to take a risk. WE DO NOT want to hear there is no
evidence that shows a health risk. Data is just now being collected. How will anyone know what years
of exposure are down the road? NO THANK YOU to saying there is no evidence. We are concerned.
5. CONCERN: De-valuation of REAL ESTATE values of adjacent and nearby homes. No one wants
to live by an industrial size solar field. No one wants the risk of unknown dangers and unsightly views.
This changes values of homes. Any realty report that says living by a commercial solar field does not
affect value is most certainly biased or from an energy based website. While other realtors say
property value of houses could drop 40%, or don’t even get a viewing if anywhere near a solar farm,
which common sense would say is the greatest possibility. Ask “The Real Estate Key Team” from
Kokomo IN These agents said fewer buyers will even view by 75% when they find out a home is by a
solar field. We do not want to live by a Commercial Solar Field. For the families that have remained in
Wabash County instead of moving away for the charm of country life, this is a jolt. Family HOMES are
the number one life’s investment. Family homes should be the upmost priority of ordinance decisions.
In this area, residents have invested thousands in their home lately or within the past few years
(adding on, renovating, building new), or buying homes here to enjoy the country life. Others are
lovingly maintaining small family homes and comfortable houses for generations. Many of us deem
our homes as our forever-homes. This would change everything. Does anyone on our commissions
or boards want to take the risk of ruining the value of your neighbor’s home that they love, while yours
is not affected because yours is not near or adjacent? THIS WOULD NOT GROW WABASH. We DO
NOT want SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS in our front and back yards. NEVER.
6. CONCERN: NOISE levels from Battery storage, inverters, transformers and other equipment are
huge concern. Low frequency and dB noise levels can affect Quality of life. To say a noise of an
irritating hum or buzz is like that of a CONVERSATION is NOT going to work for residents living near
this as a reality. It is a different annoying type of noise. In the Planning Commission minutes (4/2022),
a number of decibels acceptable by solar companies were discussed. An even higher number than
that range was placed in the ordinance, without hearing what that noise actually sounds like. Inverters
have an annoying ring hum. Transformers and Battery storage all make noise. An average only
means louder times can be experienced. Residents will not enjoy outdoor space with annoying
noises. A Solar Company needs noise levels a certain range to find a site attractive. We do not want
to live by a Solar Field or Battery Storage.
7. CRITICAL CONCERN: FIRE DANGER of lithium-ion battery storage (thermal runaway and
explosion), and panels, inverters, and other solar equipment fires. You will NOT find this topic on any
solar or energy related website. But look to websites like firetrace.com, ctif.org. UL and websites that
have to do with fire safety and Facebook pages voicing concerns from firefighters on the solar fields
in their jurisdiction. Lithium-ion batteries can fail by thermal runaway where overheating in a single
faulty cell can propagate to the next cell with energy releases. These fires do not take oxygen to
propagate. These fires are uncontrollable except by extravagant amounts of water with risk of intense
explosions of stored energy emitting extremely toxic plumes of vapors. These toxic gases may cause
further explosions or fires upon ignition. The chemical energy released can be up to 20 x the stored
electrochemical energy. FIRE Subject does not get the critical attention it deserves. A field fire takes
on a whole new meaning when neighboring families and homes are close to this type of system. Can
evacuation be quick enough if a fire breaks out? Is anyone paying attention on our boards? There is
the concern of the spread of fire quickly to adjacent properties by dry grass in fields. The IEA
(International Energy Agency) comments “As we continue to expand our use of solar energy,
questions around its safety have arisen. Solar farms can and do catch fire. When a solar farm
catches on fire, millions of dollars of equipment can be destroyed in a matter of minutes. Combine
that potential of loss of life, wildfires and other environmental impacts, the dangers become much
more apparent. This is especially true for solar farms located in rural areas where emergency
response teams may be miles away.” Also a concern is cutting current because of the risk of
electrocution to firefighters when there is a fire. A recent report by Firetrace International found that
the solar industry is potentially underestimating the risk of fire at solar farms, partly due to a storage
of data on solar farm fires. The report also said that research into the issue has given rise to the
suspicions that fires at solar farms have been UNDER REPORTED. And goes on to say-“To be clear,
fire is present across all Utility scale, high voltage, renewable energy, from wind, to solar, to battery
storage. Lithium-ion Battery fires are hard to fight, with explosion risk and extremely toxic deadly
vapor clouds putting firefighter and resident’s life at risk”. Just A Lithium-ion electric car battery can
take 30,000 to 40,000 gallons of water to cool down if on fire (yes 30,000-40,000 gallons), with risk of
intense explosion possible ctif.org. How on earth could a fire department, even when trained on
lithium-ion fires, handle a large Battery storage fire without risking their lives? How can anyone living
near one of these fires be evacuated quick enough knowing how fast the fire in thermal runaway can
spread and result in explosion with drifting toxic vapors. We Do Not want SOLAR BATTERY
STORAGE or SOLAR FIELDS here. Never.
Solar Panel and systems fires are under-reported. Look at a CNBC report 9-1-22 reporting solar
panel fields above Amazon fulfillment centers caught fire or experienced electrical explosions at least
6 different times between 9/21 and 6/22. Amazon took all U.S. solar rooftops offline in 2021. These
fires were not reported at the time publicly. NBC news reported by a executive director of the UL Fire
Safety Research Institute that “what we are seeing in these new technologies, as important as they
are, they make it out in the field before we know all the possible consequences that could come from
them”. Going on to say, “It isn’t till failures start to happen that the fire service understands what
consequences are. That’s where we need to play catch up”. We the residents say “Never worth the
8. CONCERN: The unknown TOXICITY of heavy metals in specific solar panels used and how
quickly those solar panels degrade sandwiching toxic metals inside glass. Also damage from storms
to panels and some exceptions leaves 100+ days to clean up. If solder or seals are broken, leaching
of trace materials such as cadmium is likely. There was storm damage to hundreds of Panels last
August 2022 in Northern Indiana, but this article has since been removed from the Web. Many Panels
are foreign made where strict manufacturing codes don’t exist. How good is quality control? How
good are seals in rainwater? Concern of leaching of heavy metals like cadmium and lead into soil and
water needs further study over years of degradation. There is not even enough data on how quick a
solar panel starts to degrade, (2 years, 5 years, 10 years?). There is no definitive answer. There are
Toxins in panels or there would not be such detail to decommissioning them in a safe manner. Heavy
metals can leach into water supplies. It often seems difficult for solar companies to hand over an
“SDS” which even though does not need to be publicly visible, often is not given to Counties prior to
installation. It is required by OSHA to be readily available. It includes information such as the
properties of each chemical, the physical, health, and environmental health hazards of the
components of the solar system. This includes the protective measures, and safety precautions for
handling, storing and transporting the chemicals involved. In the solar panel system and the lithium-
ion battery storage this information could give great pause, especially if a fire broke out. The SED
provides guidance for each specific chemical such as; personal protection equipment, first aid, and
spill clean-up procedures. We have a Concern of toxins in our wells. No Thank You on those risks.
9. CONCERN: WATER MAINTENANCE and DRAINAGE. Concern if field tiles are broken during
installation, how would it be detected until flooding rain? How would they remove necessary panels to
10. CONCERN: CONSTRUCTION alone would disrupt life over months or years of a rural
community. Roads tore up with equipment traffic a certainty.
11. CONCERN: WEEDS and TALL grass around fences and panels being sprayed with toxic weed
killer that could get into groundwater.
12. CONCERN: County loses zoning jurisdiction over 1,000s of acres, because agriculture land is
now utility land and is under the state jurisdiction, for 30 or more years.
13. CONCERN: Electromagnetic ratings.. 1,000s upon 1,000s of panels.. no ordinance dictating safe
levels. What really are safe levels? …UNKNOWN.
14. CONCERN: what if Utility and SES Ownership changes... Could be foreign.,. UNKNOWN.
Wabash County and lease farmers could have no control.
15. CONCERN: Any money paid up front to Wabash County (no matter if in the millions, with a tax
abatement), would never compensate for the valuable priceless quality of country life stolen from the
community of Southern Wabash, and soon to be Northern Wabash and N. Manchester area
Residents. The REASON we live here and many for generations is because we love the BEAUTY
and serene CHARM of Wabash County. The reason people move here today is for the same reason.
NO one wants to live near a solar farm or battery storage.
16. CONCERN: WATERSHED -very concerned that a Commercial Solar System could be placed in
close proximity of the Mississinewa River, not knowing the true toxins that could leach over time from
panels or equipment.
17. CONCERN: GLARE from panel systems have potential to reflect sunlight with intensity, sufficient
to cause annoyance, discomfort, or loss of visual performance and visibility. Glare has been said to
cause problems from an adjacent resident speaking out in Northern Indiana. The resident said even
though they are supposed to be non-glare, the glare prevents them from enjoying the outdoor area of
their yard. Glare can also affect airports. The positioning of panels to focus on the direction of the sun
can cause problems if your home is facing towards them. Glare is a major issue in residential
18. CONCERN: HAZARDOUS WASTE Ordinances talk a lot about details of decommissioning. How
much power does an ordinance have, if an LLC company abandons or sells to another company.
What if panels degrade, become obsolete in technology, and become damaged in a storm. Would
they be replaced? How often would inspection detect damage? What if not bonded for
decommissioning until 10 years down the road and any company walks away before that? What
happens 30 years from now? Does Wabash want the task of removing thousands upon thousands of
panels, at a cost that would be incredibly expensive? To recycle panels is very expensive and to
transport hazardous waste is very expensive. To crush panels in a landfill can leach hazardous heavy
metals into water systems. Or do you sell to poor foreign countries hazardous panels? There again,
gambling on the UNKNOWN.
19. CONCERN: SPECIAL EXCEPTION. A special exception if approved gives an applicant an
exception for land use to an ordinance or zoning requirement. The definition: uses that because of
potential incompatibility and negative impact on the immediate neighborhood require a greater degree
of scrutiny and review of site characteristics and impacts to determine their suitability in a given
location. This definition cannot be ignored. Commercial Solar Systems do not belong in rural
20. CONCERN: WILDLIFE. Solar panels are mistaken by migrating birds as bodies of water. Reports
say birds flying into panels have killed countless numbers. Also Heat from panels can singe their
wings and kill them, even in flight. Of great concern is the American Eagles that live and hunt here.
Photographs prove their location here on 850 S. and between 13 and 15. One American Eagle killed
would be too many.
21. CONCERN: Last but not Least CONFLICT of INTEREST. We hope all members, voting or non-
voting abide by the rules of Conflict of Interest. We, the voters want to trust our public servants to be
our voice, and knowing that when you hear this plea you will re-draft the solar ordinance chapter 13,
and any other chapter in the ordinance that pertains to C-SES, according to the public opinion which
concerns the welfare of the people and according to the will of the people. It would be better now to
back up and say to any solar project that the people have spoken and we have found out this is not
what they want, then to follow through with a 30 year mistake at residents’ expense. Please Preserve