Library filed under Pollution from Vermont
Based on the lack of enforcement of the permit conditions to monitor their experimental stormwater management systems at Green Mountain Power’s Lowell Kingdom Community Wind project, Vermont is well on its way to violating its own stormwater management rules, their obligations as a U.S. EPA delegated agency, and the Federal Clean Water Act.
Goll says, “Climate change arguments aside, the impact of renewable energy project construction is no different from any other type of land development, such as natural gas fracking or a pipeline construction. It has all the same types of pitfalls and risks associated with environmental degradation and threats to public health. And in the case of ridgeline wind, the impacts of blasting and earthwork in sensitive headwater environments, those associated risks are much greater.”
Annette Smith, executive director of Vermonters for Clean Environment, which opposes the turbines, said the drainage is not working properly, as she and others have observed water making new channels as it comes off the mountain. The technique was not intended for use on steep slopes, she said.
"We all support renewable energy, but it must be built in conformance with the existing standards intended to prevent stormwater pollution of our pristine streams. We cannot trade a wind project for our water quality. Our water is everything -- our wells, our water supply for fire fighting, our high elevation streams, our wetlands, our rivers. We cannot let our water be compromised so Gaz Metro and their cronies can make a buck."
Supporters and opponents of commercial-scale wind energy projects on Vermont's ridgelines use a lot of statistics and facts to argue their very different sides of the debate. So it's difficult to sort out how much carbon pollution might be cut if there were big wind turbines in the mountains. As part of a series on the future of wind energy in Vermont, VPR's John Dillon explains the complexities.
Annette Smith, the head of Vermonters for a Clean Environment (VCE), the only green group opposing wind power in Vermont (the other, Energize Vermont, is really a VCE spinoff) said she had spent a lot of time discussing the wind issue with officials of the other environmental groups, and suspects that one reason they are all so pro-wind is that a few of them have some financial connections with wind power companies.
Individual members of the grassroots group Ridge Protectors Inc., filed an appeal in Vermont's Environmental Court arguing that more ground would be disturbed by the Sheffield wind facility than was approved in the storm water discharge permit issued by the State's Agency of Natural Resources (ANR). The wind developer, First Wind has been approved by the Vermont Public Service Board to erect sixteen 2.5 megawatt wind turbines along a ridgeline in Sheffield, Vermont. The final brief filed by the Ridge Protector appellants can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page. An excerpt of the brief is posted below.
The environmental movement has begun to approach scientific issues with a similar zealotry typically found in religious fanaticism. A case in point: global warming................We need skeptical scientists to keep public and political passions in check. Otherwise, we devolve in our thinking to the point where unverified beliefs, held strong enough, can become idolatry.
A truly "bold," environmentally conscious state would go nuclear even more. Burlington will only really be the "best of" Green Places when local postcards show its charming leafy streets, with a view of Lake Champlain -- and a nuclear power plant looming in the background.
Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- New York, New Jersey and five other Northeast states set a goal of cutting power-plant carbon dioxide emissions by 10 percent over 10 years to help curb global warming.
I respect Mr. Watts’ desire to address emissions. Unfortunately, at least with respect to electricity generation, there is no 'silver bullet'. The only practical solutions, in addition to conservation, are 'safe nuclear' and 'clean coal'. Wind energy has become a 'symbol' in efforts to address emissions from electricity generation. The 'inconvenient truth' is that wind energy is ineffectual.Editor's Note: Submitted to the Burlington Free Press in response to Richard Watts' Op-ed published 7/21/06 which is also below.
...the MEA Report can be used to estimate the value (avoided emissions) of Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) by providing both REC suppliers and stakeholders with information that can be used to communicate the environmental benefits of RECs and works to enhance the overall REC marketplace. Editor's Note: As noted below under Methodology [emphasis added], this report appears to substantiate the point that wind energy would not backdown "baseload" generation.
Proponents of the Little Equinox Mountain wind facility say it will create jobs, create tax dollars, and enhance tourism. Your readers in Manchester, Vt. might be interested to know how that argument played out when FPL Energy similarly invaded our community in 2004
I was asked to review the prefiled testimony and exhibits of Matthew Rubin for the East Haven Windfarm and to provide an independent opinion regarding the claimed environmental benefits, estimated benefit values, project footprint and noise impacts and general wind project economic issues.