Briefing will highlight energy development projects

CEDARVILLE — Greene County business and community leaders, as well as interested residents are invited to attend a special energy issues briefing sponsored by the Greene County Farm Bureau in cooperation with the Greene County Township Trustee Association at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 10 at the CedarLand Event Center, 200 Parkview Lane.

The program will be facilitated by Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) Director for Energy, Utility and Local Government Policy, Dale Arnold.

“Greene County residents and community leaders have a lot of questions concerning energy development in the area,” Arnold said. “Some feel they could be impacted by pipeline construction; many want to know more about utility scale wind and solar projects being considered in the region. Others are hearing about utility infrastructure and electric transmission line upgrades, too. Many of these will go directly across farm ground.”

During the briefing Arnold will discuss energy production activities in Greene County and the region. Energy market trends, regulatory agencies governing different types of energy development, the role of local government in program evaluations, eminent domain provisions and farmland preservation will be explored. The briefing will also address what landowners should consider as they draft energy related lease and easement agreements governing placement of these facilities across farm property.

“There are a variety of projects being developed in the community, all with their own regulatory procedures,” said Arnold. “Many folks have questions. Community stakeholders want to know how each project developer will address soil and water conservation issues, land remediation standards, use of local roads and safety procedures.”

If asked to sign complex agreements, releases and associated paperwork, landowners have the right to have their legal counsel examine all materials.

“Community members are realizing that many aspects of an energy development project are not necessarily boilerplate; there are still a variety of individual landowner and community decisions to be made. Our input is important,” he said.

Arnold has been involved in energy and utility related issues since 1995. He represents farm and rural residential energy consumers on a variety of government working groups and public utility advisory boards concerning energy development. He has extensive experience working with county Farm Bureaus and local residents, helping communities evaluate energy development construction projects concerning power siting, oil & gas exploration, energy transportation infrastructure and minerals extraction.

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization, encompassing 86 county Farm Bureau organizations and over 143,500 member families statewide. Greene County Farm Bureau leaders are active on state and local action teams working on legislation, regulations and issues that impact agriculture and its relationship with rural, suburban and urban communities. Locally, over 1,350 member families belong to the Greene County Farm Bureau.