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Wind mills would hurt public - Danger of ice flung from blades in winter would keep outdoors lovers away from land, man testifies.

BEAR CREEK TWP. – The proposed addition of nine massive wind turbines around Crystal Lake would prevent nature lovers from accessing public land, according to testimony at a zoning hearing on Tuesday.

A series of hearings on the wind turbine proposal started in October, and Dr. Henry Smith, a board member of Defend Our Watershed, testified Tuesday.

Guards and fences along an access road for the nine wind turbines would prevent the public from accessing the environmentally pristine land, which Luzerne County bought in 2003 for conservation and recreation purposes, said Smith, a Fairview Township resident.

The county paid $4 million and the state contributed another $1.2 million for the purchase of 4,000 acres that stretches into neighboring municipalities. Theta Land Corp. sold the land to the county.

Energy Unlimited is seeking a zoning variance to construct nine turbines on a wind farm, consisting of 1,750 acres on county-owned property near Crystal Lake reservoir.

The nine turbines would be east of the lake and would be more than 250 feet high with blade diameters that exceed 200 feet, Smith said.

Before the county bought land from Theta, Energy Unlimited purchased the wind rights, and the township approved variances for 25 wind turbines west of the lake.

Smith said the nine additional wind turbines would be dangerous in the winter because ice could... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
A series of hearings on the wind turbine proposal started in October, and Dr. Henry Smith, a board member of Defend Our Watershed, testified Tuesday.

Guards and fences along an access road for the nine wind turbines would prevent the public from accessing the environmentally pristine land, which Luzerne County bought in 2003 for conservation and recreation purposes, said Smith, a Fairview Township resident.

The county paid $4 million and the state contributed another $1.2 million for the purchase of 4,000 acres that stretches into neighboring municipalities. Theta Land Corp. sold the land to the county.

Energy Unlimited is seeking a zoning variance to construct nine turbines on a wind farm, consisting of 1,750 acres on county-owned property near Crystal Lake reservoir.

The nine turbines would be east of the lake and would be more than 250 feet high with blade diameters that exceed 200 feet, Smith said.

Before the county bought land from Theta, Energy Unlimited purchased the wind rights, and the township approved variances for 25 wind turbines west of the lake.

Smith said the nine additional wind turbines would be dangerous in the winter because ice could build on the turbines’ blades and then get flung to the ground. Hundreds of pounds of ice could land within 800 feet of each turbine, and hikers go on trails within 800 feet of where the additional windmills might stand, Smith said.

Throughout Smith’s testimony, Ernie Preate, an attorney for Energy Unlimited, objected, claiming Smith’s information didn’t meet evidence standards because it wasn’t disclosed earlier.

The hearing will continue Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. at the township building, 3333 Bear Creek Blvd.

Source: http://www.timesleader.com/...

FEB 1 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/1145-wind-mills-would-hurt-public-danger-of-ice-flung-from-blades-in-winter-would-keep-outdoors-lovers-away-from-land-man-testifies
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