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WINTERSET, Iowa — The Madison County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a 12-month moratorium on any new wind or solar energy projects.

The vote passed 2 to 1. Phil Clifton was the only supervisor who voted against the moratorium.

The moratorium ends on Oct. 1, 2020.  However, if a wind or solar ordinance is passed before then, the moratorium would end early, depending on what the ordinance is. Solar and wind could be approved separately and would each be removed from moratorium.

“Just to be clear, any moratorium that is passed will go away once an ordinance is passed. It’s been my position all along that that shouldn’t take 12 months. It should happen more in a period of five to six months and we will continue to move forward and get an ordinance approved on both of these matters,” said Clifton.

“I don’t want to push any ordinance through until we really get this figured out right. This is too important to make a mistake,” said Supervisor Diane Fitch.

This moratorium came about after the Madison County Board of Health made a recommendation to the supervisors saying wind turbines have negative health effects and they should draft an ordinance that wind turbines must be a mile and a half from homes.

Iowa researchers believe there aren’t any negative health effects.

“The literature generally supports the conclusion that there is no authoritative evidence that there is a health effect that comes from this other than annoyance,” said David Osterberg, co-author of Wind and Health Report.

The board said there were three proposals submitted to them for the ordinance. They are now working to form one document from those proposals.