Library filed under Impact on Landscape from Vermont
The Forest Service has compromised the integrity of the National Environmental Protection Act by selecting a person to draft its environmental impact statement (EIS) who was also working for the project developer, Iberdrola. Those who read the project's applications will find six relatively lengthy instances of plagiarism where the words of the developer's agent were used again verbatim for the EIS. This is a disturbing conflict of interest.
We shouldn't dynamite our mountain ridgelines to build a tool that can't achieve our carbon reduction objective. We shouldn't build power plants in the Kingdom when the demand is in Chittenden County. We shouldn't ignore the clear-cutting of hundreds of acres of trees that are our best carbon vacuum cleaners. We shouldn't allow runoff from miles of mountaintop roads and dozens of massive concrete base pads akin to any Wal-Mart parking lot. We shouldn't use a tool that kills off wildlife. How can anyone possibly justify such a tool receiving a permit to take endangered species?
The principal problem with the Iberdrola proposal is that it involves not one but 15 structures, each of which is far higher than the Bennington Battle Monument: 389 feet high to the tip of the blade. These would be not on a promontory but on top of a prominent ridgeline and would be seen for many miles and lighted at night for aviation safety.
A new state commission has begun to wade into the contentious debate over where Vermont builds energy projects. Critics say the state's ridgelines are at risk from industrial-scale wind development. But the panel will confine its review to the permitting process and will not examine the state's overall goals for renewable energy.
Vermonters for a Clean Environment (VCE), along with the Wilderness Society and Defenders of Wildlife, are trying to block the plan. VCE recently filed a motion for summary judgment in US District Court, claiming the project planning did not correctly carry out evaluation processes required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Another commission. Can't have enough of those, can we? If there is a thorny problem or a contentious issue to be dealt with, then round up the usual experts, give them a few months to conduct hearings and otherwise do their research, then deliver a study, complete with recommendations that the politicians elected to do the people's business can then hide behind.
"The problem I have with wind in particular is it's being done wrong in this state. You don't rape a pristine environment in exchange for intermittent power that has to be subsidized by the taxpayer to be built and by the ratepayer in order to be maintained," said Sen. Joe Benning, R-Caledonia County.
Green Mountain Power is putting up a number of turbines that will generate power to thousands of homes on Lowell Mountain in Vermont. It's a project Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott supported, but was taken back by it during a recent bike trip. ...Now he wants the state to put a two-year moratorium on any new projects.
This updated short feature from a larger documentary entitled Vermont's Energy Options examines several of the paths towards a renewable energy future for the state of Vermont. In this feature, utility-scale renewable energy is compared to community-oriented, small-scale renewable energy solutions. This feature, and the future full-length documentary, is produced by non-profit Energize Vermont. Energize Vermont advocates for renewable energy solutions that are in harmony with the irreplaceable character of Vermont and contribute to the people's well-being. Learn more at energizevermont.org. Duration 23 minutes 13 seconds
Construction of the Lowell Mountain wind project in Vermont includes severe ledge cuts into the mountain side like this one that's over 30-feet high.
The below letter sent to the Vermont Public Service Board describes a significant flooding event in the vicinity the Lowell wind energy facility under construction.
In short, ridgeline wind is extremely destructive relative to the energy it provides, it is not cost effective and likely will never be, it does not have good overall resource potential in this region, and there are much better alternatives that do have a good cost and resource outlook.
He is concerned that the storm water controls are insufficient and poorly designed for the area due to its steep slopes and for other reasons. He, like others, questions whether or not the site impacted nearby water quality near and if the storm caused a larger volume of water at the base of the mountain due to the run-off.
The complaint was filed as a new violation complaint online on April 16, the 4-page document shows. The reported violation is stated as occurring at Hawk Rock, where the wind farm wants to site one of the meteorological towers associated with its hoped-for wind project, and the violation also is stated to have allegedly taken place at Quarry Road.
Champlain Wind Park is a figment of Annette Smith's imagination, created to suggest that Chittenden County residents should consider what it would mean to have windmills - 450 feet high to the top of their turning blades - in their backyard.
Environmental concerns around the sites in Brighton and Ferdinand where a New Hampshire wind project developer is seeking to place meteorological towers have the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources suggesting a limit on when the sites can be disturbed.
Wright captured the bird's-eye view of the development from between 500 and 1000 feet above the construction site, where GMP is rushing to complete the wind project by the end of the calendar year. Wright finds himself on one side of a fierce debate over wind power in Vermont that pits environmentalists worried about habitat destruction against environmentalists worried about renewable energy.
Recently I hiked up to the top of Lowell Ridge to see where 21, 400-foot wind towers will be placed. As I crested the mountain I came face to face with an energy policy that is at war with itself. The environmental destruction taking place there pits those seeking to reverse climate change against those who wish to preserve Vermont's pristine natural resources.
This aerial view shows a single turbine site at the Lowell Wind project under construction in Lowell, Vermont. The construction has drawn significant opposition.
The town says that the forest clearing and earth moving necessary for the construction of the project could have a substantial adverse impact on soil and water quality, and create an increased risk of flooding. "As proposed, the Deerfield Wind Project may result in increased flood risk."