Library from Maryland
Somerset County Commissioners have not reached a decision on whether to approve a contentious wind energy project proposal. Commissioners convened for an open session to discuss a letter, from the Department of Defense, that objected to the Great Bay Wind project.
The company behind a proposed wind energy project remains committed to moving forward, despite recent objections rendered in a letter from the Department of Defense. ...Project Manager Paul Harris said the letter is an opinion submitted to the FAA, which has not made a final decision on the project.
“Del. John Bohanan and I were confident that once the project was fully reviewed by the Department of Defense, after consultation with various service branches that utilize Pax River, that this would be the outcome,” Hoyer said. “It was the right decision, and I applaud the Department of Defense leadership for recognizing the threat this project poses to a critical national security asset.”
The letter, signed by Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work, does not elaborate. But Hoyer said Pentagon officials had concluded the turbines pose "a significant threat" to the "world-class stealth radar system" used at the base.
This letter, signed by Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work, concludes that the turbines proposed for Somerset County in Maryland would "significantly impair or degrade the capability of the Department of Defense to conduct research, development, testing and evaluation, and operations, or to maintain military readiness." Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5), praised the action by the Defense department and stated that the turbines posed "a significant threat to the mission and world-class stealth radar system at Patuxent River Naval Air Station."
The long-anticipated response from the Department of Defense on the proposed Eastern Shore wind turbine project was released Thursday and it is so strongly negative against it that it could very well deep six it.
The U.S. Navy officially objects to the proposed Great Bay Energy wind facility due to unacceptable impacts to military radar at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. The text of the letter is provided below. The full letter can be downloaded from the links on this page.
The Planning Commission does not have the final word. The county commission will make the final decision. He pointed out that, regardless of what the planners recommend, the county commission “can change the ordinance however they see fit.” That decision could clear the way for the development or stop it in its tracks.
Woodson is among a handful of school structures in which wind turbines taller than 150 feet could be allowed within 1,500 feet of a school property line if proposed provisions to the Somerset County zoning ordinance are approved.
Pax River contributes $7.5 billion in economic activity to the state of Maryland every year. If the Navy’s ability to do radar testing at the Navy base here is compromised that work can be moved elsewhere. ...The congressman, U.S. senator and state legislators who have tried to sidetrack the wind turbine project are representing their constituents and the state’s best interests.
The Somerset County Planning and Zoning Commission completed changes to a proposed industrial wind ordinance but said there could be more changes before an Oct. 28 vote on the document.
Speaking at a candidate forum Wednesday, Del. John Bohanan (D-St. Mary’s) said, “I believe the project is dead.” ...Bohanan said Thursday he is “anticipating that the DoD will file a formal objection later this month.” Md Senator Mikulski added language to the defense appropriation bill that would prevent the Navy from entering into a curtailment agreement with Pioneer Green until the MIT study is completed.
The Somerset Planning and Zoning Commission voted to set noise levels for industrial wind turbines at 40 decibels in the nighttime and 65 decibels during the day. Maryland code sets decibel levels at 55 and 65 night and day, respectively.
Harvey A. Kagan, who describes himself as a licensed professional engineer living in Somerset County, believes the wind farm poses a enormous threat to the future of the county. “There are serious environmental and health issues and the long-term impact to the quality of life and character of Somerset County, as opposed to short-term financial gains by a few,” he said in a statement posted on the web.
The Somerset County Planning and Zoning Commission continues work session discussions on a proposed industrial wind turbine ordinance Sept. 23 in Princess Anne. Pioneer Green energy company wants to develop a wind farm in the Westover region of Somerset County.
Whatever economic benefits some may derive from the project will be overshadowed by the damage the facility threatens to inflict on the Chesapeake Bay region.
The Somerset County Planning Commission’s work session on its wind turbine ordinance featured the kind of feedback expected from a discussion that could have long lasting implications for the county.
PPL Corporation, an energy and utility holding company, recently announced a proposal to run high voltage power lines from Western PA into New York, New Jersey and Maryland. The company said they don't know yet whether the Maryland-bound line would run through York County, but preliminary plans show the line heading through South Central PA.
A proposal to build a wind farm on Maryland's Eastern Shore within 56 miles of the U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River could still be delayed and potentially jeopardized, despite Gov. Martin O'Malley's veto of a bill passed by the Maryland General Assembly that would have created a similar delay.
U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, has added language to the defense appropriations bill that could prevent the Navy from finalizing an agreement with the wind farm developers until researchers finish a study of the effects of the turbines and what could be done to mitigate them.