Library from Maine
How anyone could ignore something 410 feet high is beyond me. These turbines, however, are far more than visual eyesores: They are permanent scars on our mountainous landscapes.
Staff with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection have waded into the debate over noise from commercial wind turbines by recommending a slight reduction in the decibel level that could trigger a noise violation for wind farms located near homes or businesses.
Town Manager Carlo Puiia said two proposed ordinances were defeated in November 2010 and June 2011. One was considered too restrictive by some and the other was considered not restrictive enough by others.
Documents obtained Monday night by the Bangor Daily News through the Freedom of Information Act indicate that the town's attorney advised selectmen to look the other way as wind testing equipment went up on the mountain. The selectmen then told Eolian that site testing activities "will not result in enforcement action by the Selectmen of the Town of Frankfort, so long as the activities occur on property that Eolian ... owns or has an interest in."
Members of Maine's Land Use Regulation Commission gave tentative approval Wednesday to a 19-turbine wind farm in rural Hancock County, but the project faces some obstacles before a final vote next month.
The petitioners have asked the court to vacate the June 30 order and to replace it with an order drafted by DEP staff. Earlier this year, DEP staff prepared a draft order requiring submission of data and requiring Fox Island Wind to post operational sound and meteorological data on a website for public review.
"It's not new blades," said Baker. "They're applying these serrations to the trailing edge of the blades. They look like sharks teeth. We're going to have the meanest looking turbines on the East Coast." Baker said the Vinalhaven installation is only the third application of the LNTE system, worldwide.
Fox Islands Wind Neighbors and other individuals are asking judges to nullify a June 2011 DEP order against the wind power project developer. Instead, the group wants the court to institute an earlier version developed by DEP staff that imposed tougher compliance requirements.
Neighbors of the Vinalhaven wind turbine farm filed a lawsuit against the state of Maine for failing to enforce noise regulations against Fox Islands Wind, the turbine operator. The neighbors’ lawsuit charges that the decision by Maine DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) on June 30th was arbitrary and capricious and driven by political meddling against the recommendation of DEP regulatory staff.
The neighbors' lawsuit charges that the decision by Maine DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) on June 30th meant to resolve the year and a half controversy of noise violations by the turbines was arbitrary and capricious and driven by political meddling at the highest levels of Maine government against the recommendation of its own regulatory staff.
Project might interfere with sacred religious ceremonies dating 10,000 years
By a 5-0 vote, selectmen agreed Thursday night to extend the current moratorium on wind power projects another 180 days. The current moratorium expires on Monday, July 25, after which the new one will begin. Getting to that decision, however, took a lot of off-topic discussion during a public hearing and the regular board meeting that followed.
"This is a great fleecing of America," said Mike Thurlow, whose North Road home looks out at the Rollins site, "our tax dollars are subsidizing this project and probably our tax dollars will wind up taking these down when they've spent their time on our mountains after our mountains have been basically raped."
"The worst thing is when we see all those blinking [turbine] lights at night. We came here for nature, not for industry," Egle said. "We are tourists. We brought in money, lots of money, to the state of Maine, and that will be lost from Maine. Now we are looking to move to Canada, or maybe Alaska."
Selectmen listened Wednesday night as Wind Ordinance Committee Chairman Dan Perron aired his distress over the schism developing within his subcommittees and the main Wind Ordinance Planning Committee, Administrative Assistant Cyndy Norton said.
"Two groups should stand together to protest the ribbon-cutting of the soon-to-be operational wind project: people from the Lincoln Lakes region who are affected by the project and people from all over the state who strive to stop the proliferation of industrial wind power in Maine," said Brad Blake, a leader of the Friends of Lincoln Lakes.
It would allow turbines on residential and commercial properties if they meet certain height, sound and setback restrictions and don't "substantially obstruct public views." Jean Fraser, the city planner who put the ordinance together, called it "conservative" compared with turbine regulations in other cities.
LURC has the ability to curtail the gold rush of wind developers, feeding at the trough of federal and state subsidies, before Maine is transformed from a wild and bucolic paradise to an industrial wind wasteland. For the magic of the mountains, let's hope they do their job.
Selectman Maryann Haxton asked how the sound problem could be corrected. James replied that guidelines of 35 decibels should be set for turbines and to require them to be located a mile and a half away from homes. ...Someone asked about home appraisals and James said real estate agents were no longer appraising any homes near windmills.
Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request show that TransCanada submitted a permit application to the Army Corps of Engineers for a federal "take" permit at the Sisk location. This indicates that the company knows the project could possibly interfere with or kill golden eagles. They are not pursuing the "take"permit at this time but say they will institute a long-term monitoring program.