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Developer of proposed wind farm appeals ruling

The developer of a proposed wind farm project in Pendleton County have appealed the state's rejection of its permit application, saying regulators misunderstood its intentions in limiting opponents' access to the site.

The state Public Service Commission rejected Liberty Gap Wind Force LLC's permit application on July 24. The agency said Liberty Gap, whose parent company is U.S. WindForce LLC, had deliberately tried to obstruct access for a consultant working for Friends of Beautiful Pendleton County, which wanted to conduct its own hydrological and geological inspection of the site.

The project would have a generating capacity of 100 megawatts and be built along a 6.5-mile ridge line south of Franklin.

The group had told the PSC that it was denied access after it refused to sign a liability waiver. The PSC said the waiver was "patently unreasonable'' because it sought to release the developer and the property owner, Allegheny Wood Products, from liability arising from the group's own gross negligence.

In its appeal, Liberty Gap said it has restricted access for everyone, including its own consultants, because of safety concerns, including old logging roads that are often left impassable or unsafe by weather, steep terrain, rattlesnakes and bears.

"Is it possible that a consultant for (Friends of Beautiful Pendleton County) could be injured or killed when accessing the Project site? Unfortunately, yes,'' Liberty Gap... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The state Public Service Commission rejected Liberty Gap Wind Force LLC's permit application on July 24. The agency said Liberty Gap, whose parent company is U.S. WindForce LLC, had deliberately tried to obstruct access for a consultant working for Friends of Beautiful Pendleton County, which wanted to conduct its own hydrological and geological inspection of the site.

The project would have a generating capacity of 100 megawatts and be built along a 6.5-mile ridge line south of Franklin.

The group had told the PSC that it was denied access after it refused to sign a liability waiver. The PSC said the waiver was "patently unreasonable'' because it sought to release the developer and the property owner, Allegheny Wood Products, from liability arising from the group's own gross negligence.

In its appeal, Liberty Gap said it has restricted access for everyone, including its own consultants, because of safety concerns, including old logging roads that are often left impassable or unsafe by weather, steep terrain, rattlesnakes and bears.

"Is it possible that a consultant for (Friends of Beautiful Pendleton County) could be injured or killed when accessing the Project site? Unfortunately, yes,'' Liberty Gap said in the appeal.

Liberty Gap said the waiver was a draft that it gave to the group to review and suggest changes.

The company said it would remove the "gross negligence'' language from the liability waiver.

Liberty Gap also said it is willing to extend a statutory deadline for the PSC to make a final decision in the case for 60 days, from Nov. 17 to Jan. 16, 2007.

 


Source: http://www.dailymail.com/ne...

AUG 1 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/3746-developer-of-proposed-wind-farm-appeals-ruling
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