The Dickinson ETZ project has been in the works for months, which has prompted some concern for how it will affect the surrounding area — including the massive Marathon Wind Energy Project.

ETZ stands for Extra Territorial Zone. It’s a city’s legal ability to exercise authority beyond its normal boundaries — but it is not annexation.

However, over the last several months, the project’s Planning and Zoning Commission has reduced the area it previously laid out, leaving the project unaffected.

The Marathon Wind Energy Project plans on building five new turbines in order to capitalize on renewable energy products in western North Dakota.

Stark County Commissioner Neal Messer says the project is important to maintaining a strong energy footprint in both carbon and renewable energy in the state.

“A lot of the renewable products are being driven by the federal government and we need to react to those, and we need to facilitate those so that we can continue to have a thriving energy sector here in North Dakota,” said Messer.

The Planning and Zoning Commission is expected to hear from reps with the Marathon Wind Energy Project as early as the end of January.