I was at the Garrett County commissioners' June 24 public hearing on performance zoning, which can be used to prohibit industrial wind turbines on county ridgelines. Over two dozen residents spoke, many with raw emotion and obvious frustration over the lack of safeguards against this industry. Coming up with a way of regulating this now effectively unregulated industry should be a high priority with our elected officials. However, I am concerned that no one seems to be looking out for the property rights, health, and safety of those having to live or work next to such developments. ...Performance zoning would safeguard our basic human rights, our property, and our county's natural heritage from these intrusive, landscape-altering wind developments.
Since Criterion's filing with the PSC on Jan. 23, there have been at least three different versions of the application circulated by the PSC for public review. ...No document has ever been posted by the PSC showing the location of Criterion's 28 industrial wind turbines. The PSC's own instructions for these applications state, "Every effort will be made to process and approve your application expeditiously. The Commission will not, however, consider incomplete applications. The single largest cause of delay in processing applications is due to incompleteness". For some reason, the PSC is ignoring its own requirements and processing an application that any reasonable person would find incomplete.
Once again, the PSC hearing officer and staff, along with about 100 citizens did not have a clue as to what the county’s position is on placing these wind turbines on county public land near the towns of Mt. Lake Park and Loch Lynn Heights. Citizens raised concerns about water quality and supply issues due to blasting, public safety and health issues, and environmental degradation.
A reasonable person must wonder why their elected officials hide under their desks and are unable to do what they were elected to do — represent the people. Serious questions from citizens remain unanswered.
The proposed Calvert Cliffs 3 nuclear reactor would be sited on about 350 acres. The 1,200 offshore wind turbines needed to produce the same amount of energy would require 74,000 acres. Onshore, 2,400 turbines would be needed and would require 8,500 acres. This is a lot of land or water and a big impact on the rich mountain ecosystems and habitats or ocean ecosystems about which we know little.