Documents from Vermont
This split ruling by the Vermont Supreme Court regarding a permit granted for a 2.3-megawatt solar facility provides a useful examination of the debate over whether the views of local communities should hold significant weight when state siting boards have permitting authority. Ultimately the court ruled in favor of the project permit but a dissenting opinion issued by Judge Reiber offers a stinging response to the Vermont Public Service Board's decision to ignore community views when it permitted the project. Judge Reiber's opinion is provided below. The order can be accessed at the links included on this page.
Vermont citizens filed this petition with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate deceptive trade practices of Green Mountain Power (GMP), a Vermont utility. The complaint focuses on GMP marketing of renewable energy to Vermont consumers. The petition was filed by the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at Vermont Law School.
Paul Brouha, resident of Sutton, Vermont filed this letter and accompanying reports with the Vermont Public Service Board to show that the Sheffield wind energy facility (40 MW) is consistently operating in violation of the Board's permit conditions relating to indoor noise levels. A summary of what Mr. Brouha is experiencing at his home can be found below. The findings of independent noise experts can be found by clicking the links on this page.
The Vermont Public Service Board held a prehearing conference on January 8, 2014 to discuss opening an investigation into the issue of appropriate sound standards applicable to facilities constructed pursuant to 30 V.S.A. §§ 248 and 219a. This inludes wind energy facilities. In this order the Board established a process for conducting the proceeding, as well as a proposed scope of issues to be examined through the investigation. A portion of the order is provided below. The full order can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
Paul Brouha, a resident of Sutton, Vermont, filed suit in Caledonia Superior Court against Vermont Wind, Northeast Wind Partners II, and First Wind Holdings over the Sheffield Wind Project, a 40 megawatt (16 turbine) facility. The filing states that the noise from and the visual impact of the project are out of character with the surrounding area, continue for extended periods, and constitute a nuisance. The complaint document can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
This photo essay, compiled by Peak Keepers of Vermont's Mountains, is dedicated to all animal species, large and small, that rely on the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire, for their home habitat, for their water, their food and social interaction. They have no say in our world. They cannot decide to tear apart a mountain for their own good. For them there is no such thing as global warming or green energy. And excerpt of the essay is provided below. The full photo essay can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
An inspection committee found that noise emissions from the Georgia Mountain wind energy facility negatively impacted a residential property near the project. An excerpt of the decision can be seen below. The grievance decision to reduce the value of the property can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) on this page.
Vermont physician, Dr. Sandy Reider, delivered this testimony before the Vermont Senate Committee on Health and Welfare. His testimony discusses Dr. Reider's clinical observations regarding the health impacts of living too close to large wind turbines.
The Sheffield Wind Energy facility, a 40 megawatt project that went into service in October 2011, released the first season of bird/bat mortality. Total bird fatality estimates for the project site for the entire season was 211 (95% CI: 147, 321), with an estimated 13.17 birds killed per turbine (95% CI: 9.20, 20.05). A total of 87 bats of three species from 1 April-31 October, all of which were migratory tree-roosting bats. Bat carcasses were found at all 16 turbines. The full report can be found by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
William Staats, a wildlife biologist for the New Hampshire Fish and Game, submitted this testimony before the State of Vermont Senate Health & Welfare Committee Hearing on Health Issues Associated with Wind Turbines. Testimony was also presented at the Vermont House Natural Resources & Energy Committee. Mr. Staats resides in Vermont and has direct experience with the impacts of industrial scale wind energy development on New Hampshire ridgelines. His testimony provides critical insight into the true impacts of the towers on the State's wilderness areas.
The Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) Board of Directors passed a resolution recommending a moratorium of up to two years on renewable power supply mandates. The recommendation will be made to the Vermont Legislature
This document, prepared by Campaign for Vermont, explains how the State of Vermont's aggressive effort to force utilities to buy very high cost electricity from solar, wind and small hydro dam developers, is driving up electric rates. The authors argue this ia a "misguided energy and economic policy." The executive summary of the report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking on one of the links at the bottom of the page.
NOTICE OF APPEAL
These remarks were presented by Dr. Michael Nissenbaum at a press conference held at the Vermont legislature. Dr. Nissenbaum has been documenting the adverse health effects of industrial turbines on residents living near the Mars Hill Maine towers.
The Vermont Public Service Board completed hearings on the proposed Georgia Mountain wind energy facility. The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), an intervenor in the proceedings, was highly critical of the project's potential impact on the natural environment including resident and migratory bats. The ANR submitted the document at the link below to the Public Service Board detailing its recommendation for findings to the Board. An excerpt from the document pertaining to bat mortality is provided below.
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.
In his letter dated Dec. 22, 2009 Vermont Fish and Wildlife community ecologist Eric Sorenson details why the Vermont Community Wind Farm proposed for western Vermont would have "an undue adverse effect" on the area. The project could have as many as 45 wind turbines sited along several ridgelines.
The Vermont Department of Public Service evaluated the economic consequences of The Vermont Energy Act of 2009 which established mandatory cost based prices for 50 MW of renewable energy technologies. The economic models run by the department found that the net gain in employment was found to be far less than conventionally thought with long term winners and losers by sector. Following an initial increase in temporary construction-related jobs long term employment averaged 13 full time jobs per year.
The legal provisions detailed in this document were prepared by First Wind, developers who propose building the Sheffield Wind energy facility in Sheffield, Vermont.
The Wilderness Society and the Center for Biological Diversity submitted these joint comments toe the U.S. Forest Service in response to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Deerfield Wind Project. Click here to access the Forest Service DEIS. The comments submitted can be downloaded by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.