Library from Pennsylvania

Give voters a say over Bethlehem wind-power project, lawmaker proposes

Atlantic Wind LLC, following a contentious review of the project in Carbon's Penn Forest Township, won local approval last year for its plan to put 37 wind-power turbines on township land it is leasing from the water authority. The subsidiary of Portland, Oregon-based Avangrid Renewables asserted the project as "deemed approved" by exploiting a technicality related to a delay in the township's scheduling of a hearing as part of its review.
28 Jan 2018

Did zoners miss a legal deadline to decide turbine case?

The acrimonious debate over whether turbines should rise from the ridges surrounding Bethlehem’s water supply has generated broad questions about clean energy, wildlife and property rights. But whether the project moves forward may depend on how Carbon County Judge Steven R. Serfass answers a more narrow question: whether the Penn Forest Zoning Hearing Board blew a legal deadline to decide the case.
22 Aug 2017

Fight over turbine farm near Bethlehem reservoir continues

In rejecting a wind energy project near Bethlehem’s reservoirs, the Penn Forest Zoning Hearing Board has made a 31-page argument of technical, legal and environmental reasons on why turbines don’t belong along the wooded ridges that surround the prized Wild Creek watershed. Applicant Atlantic Wind spokesman Paul Copleman said the company would challenge that rejection in court.
12 Jul 2017

Wind turbines in holding pattern

On Wednesday night, the Penn Forest zoning hearing board denied Atlantic Wind’s application for two special exceptions to build up to 37 wind turbines on property owned by the Bethlehem Water Authority. The zoning board proceeded with the hearing even though Atlantic Wind failed to show.
19 May 2017

County says no to wind hearings

“It’s a private industry or business that wanted to use the courtroom and there’s a whole bunch of security issues and legalities in being able to do that,” he said. “Legally, we can’t do that.” Commissioner William O’Gurek added, “We don’t want to be a hosting site for anyone who has a disagreement in their municipality.”
31 Mar 2017

Penn Forest Township prevails against Atlantic Wind (Iberdrola)

Atlanticwindvspennforesttwp-opinion_thumb Atlantic Wind (aka Iberdrola) filed a complaint on September 26, 2016 (amended on November 7, 2016) before the Pennsylvania Carbon County Court of Common Pleas arguing that the venue to hear its Bethlehem Watershed wind turbine proposal was unsafe and that the location  should be changed and an independent hearing officer appointed. Atlantic Wind alleged that threats of violence by the public impacted the company's ability to receive a fair hearing before the Township zoning board. Atlantic Wind also requested an injunction barring the zoning board from holding further hearings until the court could rule. In this ruling the Court of Common Pleas ruled against Atlantic Wind. The full order can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. A portion of the order is provided below.  
17 Feb 2017

Carbon County wind farm fight has gotten too ugly, developer tells court

The zoners' solicitor, Matthew Rapa, said the township has no problem with moving the hearing to the courthouse, but he asked the judge to leave the decision on the special exception to the Zoning Hearing Board. He argued that Pennsylvania's Municipal Planning Code gives the zoners "exclusive jurisdiction" to "render final adjudication" in matters of special exceptions.
21 Dec 2016

Atlantic Wind continues court battle

Atlantic Wind filed an amended complaint on Tuesday in the Carbon County Court of Common Pleas in response to the preliminary objections of the Penn Forest Zoning Hearing Board. The amended complaint makes the same assertions as the previous complaint, originally filed in late September and amended in early November, calling for a change of hearing location to the Carbon County Courthouse over safety concerns and requesting an independent hearing officer.
7 Dec 2016

Batteries replacing windmills

Garner said it is not true that the turbines were not maintained. The reason the wind farm was decommissioned was there was no longer a customer for the electricity. The contract with the energy cooperative expired in 2012.
15 Nov 2016
back to top