Articles filed under Legal from New Hampshire
Oral arguments for an appeal against the approval of a wind project in Antrim were heard in the state’s Supreme Court on Thursday morning.
The state's highest court will hear arguments involving a proposed wind farm in the town of Antrim. It's the latest development in a years-long battle for the Antrim Wind project, which has been under development since 2009.
Opponents of a small proposed wind farm in Antrim are asking the state's highest court to rule on the project.
In this capacity, the Attorney General’s Office represents the public in N.H. Site Evaluation Committee proceedings by making sure the environment is protected and that there is adequate energy supply, according to state law. The main argument in the three motions, each filed during the past month and a half, is that the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee broke its own rules to approve the project.
A controversial wind turbine project is again on hold after opponents filed motions asking a state committee to rehear and reconsider its approval of the facility last year. The main argument in the three motions, each filed during the past month and a half, is that the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee broke its own rules to approve the nine-turbine installation.
“There were a number of glaring instances during the Antrim proceedings where the committee appeared to set aside its own rules in favor of granting the permit to Antrim Wind,” Lerner said in a news release. “It was especially disappointing to observe several committee members held only a cursory understanding of what the rules required.”
The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, which has led opposition to the hydroelectric transmission project for the past five years, filed a lawsuit on Thursday in Coos County Superior Court, seeking to block the path of the line through a conservation area the society owns in Clarksville, near the Canadian border.
Members of the friends group said they were pleased to receive the money. But Linowes’ group said it is not an adequate amount. “The monster electric poles travel along Route 25 and Route 3 and cross over the Pemigewasset right at the historic bridge for a length of approximately 13 miles. Unsightly metal poles standing well over 50 feet now straddle the remains of the bridge and sit on state-owned land."
The Spanish company that built the 24-turbine Groton Wind facility has reached a settlement agreement with the Attorney General’s office that resolves the plant’s issues with the Attorney General, and required the plant owners to pay $150,000 to the ongoing Livermore Falls protection and enhancement project in area towns.
The establishment of the RBO was in response to proposed wind-energy projects in the area that are, at present, licensed by the state’s Site Evaluation Committee, leaving local communities with little input into the projects’ outcome. RBO backers want a say in the decision to grant a permit for a meteorological tower to EDP Renewables of Portugal.
House and Senate negotiators agreed on a bill that would have state utility regulators determine if Public Service of New Hampshire should sell its fossil-fuel generating plants and establishes new criteria for approving wind turbine projects.
Iberdrola Renewables, the Spain-based wind power giant that is proposing a new wind farm facility in Danbury and Alexandria, is taking a lot of heat, in some very unfriendly terms, for its responses to state officials' questions about its Groton Wind farm. ...Groton Wind "refuses to acknowledge that it has done anything wrong, it mischaracterizes the Committee's orders in ways to suit its position … and it denies plain reality…"
Senior Assistant Attorney General Peter C.L. Roth has backed complaints that Iberdrola did not get proper authority to make changes to its operations and maintenance building and turbines plan as the law requires. Instead, the company sought approval from the Department of Environmental Services, he said. The Fire Marshal’s Office was not notified of the changes, so it did not inspect the building plans, nor were other state agencies that regularly inspect new building plans for violations.
“Missing wildlife studies, incomplete descriptions of business relationships, inadequate information for water, fire and historical resources. These are not NIMBY objections. These represent the failure of a company to follow the rules. Businesses have a right to state their case. Iberdrola has, and it has been found wanting.”
The SEC will be holding hearings on Rampino's legal brief and the claims of others, including the state fire marshal, that the company did not file the planned changes to its facility with the proper authority. Groton Wind did not submit new building, site and fire protection plans for to the state fire marshal prior to or during construction, according to state officials.
“Iberdrola has demonstrated a reckless disregard for New Hampshire’s rules and its residents,” said Lori Lerner, president of Wind Watch. “The New Hampshire attorney general, our state fire marshal, and numerous members of the public have called on the SEC to require Iberdrola to correct the violations or for project operations to stop.”
The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee ('SEC') has announced hearings to determine whether to suspend and revoke the Certificate of Site and Facility granted Groton Wind LLC, a limited liability corporation wholly-owned and managed by Iberdrola Renewables, Inc.
In a decision released earlier this month, Bornstein remanded the matter back to the zoning board to determine whether the amended site plan approved by the planning board violates the spirit and intent of the zoning ordinance. ...In January, the planning board approved amending the site plan to install three 500-foot high turbines. The zoning board also approved amending its variance to allow the three turbines at 500 feet.
In his ruling he wrote: "The court grants the petitioners' request to void the PILOT Agreement ... the Board conducted numerous noticed and unnoticed, non-public meetings while negotiating the PILOT Agreement. These meetings contravened the fundamental purpose of the Right-to-Know law's goal of transparent and open government."
Antrim Town Administrator Galen Stearns said that the wind developer's attorney drafted the motion for rehearing, and it was sent back and forth several times between Geiger and the town for modifications. ...He added that having Geiger draft the appeal was an attempt to speed up the process. Geiger drafted the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement that was also signed by the town.