Library from Maryland
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.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, was among several lawmakers who last week suggested changes to the Senate version of the defense spending bill. Mikulski’s changes, if implemented would prevent the Navy from entering into an agreement with Pioneer Green until further study could be complete.
A draft ordinance to regulate large-scale wind turbines will be sent back to the Somerset County Planning Commission for review and possible revisions before County Commissioners will consider its adoption. The commissioners last week asked Planning Commission members to review the document, make revisions, hold a public hearing and send their recommendation back to the commissioners by Oct. 3.
The 750-kilowatt wind turbine will be built at the end of Dixon Street next to the sewer plant, but the adjacent properties are necessary for its operation by creating a safety buffer around it, city officials have said.
Cohen said Wednesday his company has not yet selected turbines for the project, which the company hopes to complete next year, but is now considering the most advanced technology on the market. Those turbines could stand about 690 feet tall, Cohen said. That is about twice the height the Navy has said would be acceptable with regard to sensitive radar testing in the area.
“If you lose even just a small part of the whole food chain and ecosystem, there’s a domino effect,” said Mike Callahan, an environmental educator in Charles County and past president of the Southern Maryland Audubon Society, explaining that birds help control the insect population, may help pollinate plants and are part of the food chain themselves. Bald eagles are part of the American landscape, Callahan said. When countries lose part of their “natural heritage,” he said, they lose part of their pride. The federal government has yet to sign an agreement, required to move forward, saying that company and Navy operations can coexist.
O’Malley, in a letter to the speaker of the House, said he vetoed the bill because measures already were in place to protect the Navy’s testing over the Chesapeake Bay, and because “the real threat to Pax River is not an array of wind turbines on the lower Eastern Shore, but rising sea levels caused by climate change.” ...“That’s a bunch of hooey,” said Greg Gillingham, a longtime lead test engineer and the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance lead for studying encroachment issues that threaten Pax River. “They’ve got folks believing this stuff.”
“I am deeply disappointed by Governor O’Malley’s veto,” Hoyer said in a statement late Friday afternoon. “This veto fails to demonstrate Maryland’s strong commitment and support for the mission of Patuxent River Naval Air Station.” ...House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) said he plans to survey his members to assess whether there is interest in returning to Annapolis for a special session to override the veto.
A bill that would delay a proposed wind farm in Somerset County was not on a list of legislation signed into law Thursday morning by Gov. Martin O'Malley, and its future remains uncertain.
Nina Smith, the governor's press secretary, said a list of the bills to be signed on Thursday will probably be posted later today. No decision had been made on the wind turbine bill as of Tuesday afternoon.
Governor Martin O'Malley, known to be an advocate of the wind industry, has refused to say whether he will veto the moratorium, a move that would anger legislators, who voted 122-12 in the House of Delegates and 31-16 in the Senate in favour of the bill.
The bill that was passed by the General Assembly would delay construction until July 1, 2015, after MIT completes its study ...If O’Malley vetoes the bill, there are likely enough members of the General Assembly to call a special session to override it, Bohanan said. A three-fifths vote of the elected membership in each house is necessary to override a veto, according to the Maryland General Assembly’s website. Even if the governor does nothing, the bill will become law.
City officials said they could not comment on why they resorted to using eminent domain — the right of government to take private property for public use ...The property is an unoccupied concrete block apartment building and is one of four needed for the turbine which will power the sewer plant.