Articles filed under Impact on Wildlife from Vermont
The petition basically duplicates the concerns the USFWS raised two months ago. It says that studies at existing wind facilities "have shown high mortality rates for birds and, especially so, for bats. Not mentioned in the hearings nor in any developer studies is the fact that ducks, geese, and other water fowl migrate over these ridge lines and stop over in the wetlands in the Sheffield project area. Threatened species of interior forest birds come north to live here for the warmer months. We are very concerned that their habitat and nesting will be severely interrupted. "Given the political pressure in Vermont and New England to construct renewable electric generation developments, particularly industrial-scale wind plants, we are concerned that otherwise thoughtful biologists and wildlife experts are being compelled to ignore their best judgment," it says. "We encourage you and your colleagues in EPA and the Corps of Engineers to exercise your authorities to the fullest and hope that our state and federal officials will encourage you as well.
"The USFWS has indicated that inadequate preconstruction data has been collected to evaluate risk to birds and bats," according to the Army's letter to UPC requesting more information. "Briefly discuss the data that has been collected and what additional data may be necessary to resolve the concerns of USFWS."
Now, the state Public Service Board is refusing to approve the money that would have gone to the utility for removing the dam in Milton, a few miles upstream from where the Lamoille River flows into the lake. The board said it had to weigh the benefits to fish against the environmental benefits of generating enough power for 3,000 typical Vermont homes without discharging greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, citing a 2005 law that calls on the state to get an increasing share of its power from renewable sources. Recent cases involving wind power projects "have illustrated the difficulty in siting renewable energy projects in Vermont," the board said. "Although Peterson Dam does not constitute a new renewable generation source" like those envisioned in Act 61, "it is a stably priced, existing renewable energy source that state policy declares should be 'retained and supported'."
MONTPELIER, Vt. --A company's bid to build a wind farm atop a remote Northeast Kingdom mountain was rejected by the Public Service Board on Monday because of concerns about how the turbines would affect birds and bats.
Mr. Nye's paean to the electric companies aside, these huge industrial generators are not silent, they are not intelligent, and they are most certainly not friends to the environment.
The tract, given away by Rocking Stone Farm LLC, includes part of the ridgeline between Mount Equinox and Little Equinox, where a proposal for five 390-foot wind turbines is being debated locally.
My viewpoint was, and still is, that the huge towers (260 feet high), gigantic blades (add another 150 feet), blinking strobe lights, permanent removal of wind-hindering vegetation, and highly visible road and transmission infrastructures are totally inappropriate for wild, undeveloped, scenic and highly visible settings. And I said I thought that opponents should focus on those issues, as well as the small return in electricity for the massive public price paid, aesthetically and otherwise, and should perhaps stay away from the issue of bird mortality caused by the rapidly spinning blades. The jury is still out on that, I said, and conventional wisdom is that vastly more birds are killed by high-rise windows and free-running cats......Well, so much for conventional wisdom. Editor's Note This opinion piece was written in response to a letter received from Lisa Linowes that is available via the link below.
The agency has informed the Public Service Board that the agency cannot make the legally required finding of no "undue adverse effect on ...the natural environment," including birds and bats, because there is insufficient evidence to support such a conclusion. The developer has not conducted the wildlife studies requested by the agency for over two years that would provide baseline data on the numbers of birds and bats that migrate over the project site.
Apower company's repeated refusals to provide wildlife studies for its proposed wind development on a mountain in the Northeast Kingdom should send a clear message to Vermont regulators. Do not approve this project.
The proposed Deerfield Wind project in Readsboro and Searsburg is continuing to move forward with the Public Service Board approving a plan for a bear study and the public comment period set by the Green Mountain National Forest ended.