Library filed under Pollution
Fight continues to protect water wells; Water well problem remains in Dover
Flor, who owns the land where the turbine is sited and rents it to EDF, said she arrived on the scene after being alerted by a neighbor. “The stench was terrible, like a sort of burned fuel or ammonia,” she said, asking not to be identified by her surname out of concern over reprisals. “The trees were glistening with oil.” Similar problems have been reported all along the Tehuantepec isthmus, one of the western hemisphere’s windiest places.
Acciona turbine leaks oil and hydraulic fluids at an operating wind plant sited along the Tehuantepec isthmus in Mexico. Similar complaints of pollution have been reported throughout the area.
The developers of the Otter Creek Wind Farm Project are taking a proactive step to address concerns raised in the community regarding the potential impact wind turbine construction can have on water wells.
Kevin Jakubec, spokesperson for Water Wells First, told the crowd he and a few other residents have found turbidity tests done by AECOM, the firm hired to do baseline well testing for the wind developer, don’t seem to be accurate. “It seems to be extremely inaccurate,” he added.
There is no danger of an area aquifer being polluted by a proposed wind energy project in Fayette, Henry and Rush counties.
“All of the representatives of the Federal and State agencies we have talked to so far have indicated to us they feel that the greatest risk to this aquifer is contamination by diesel fuel, hydraulic fluid, other onsite chemicals or lubricants,” he added. “Also, surface water runoff into open pit construction sites is a major concern and a possible source of contamination ... we were shocked to learn that no studies or special permits were needed to construct wind turbines on top of this aquifer.”
Seals on the turbine were coming out of bearing holders, Smith said, comparing it to a vehicle with a bad wheel bearing. He said he’s not sure if the bearings on the turbines are faulty or defective. “GE knew but did not tell us,” Smith said of turbine manufacturer General Electric, adding he got an email from NextEra Energy stating a cleaning crew is coming.
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.”
Update: SDG&E, the Alpine Union High School District, Supervisor Dianne Jacob and the Alpine Community Planning Group have all issued responses to the community concerns. You can read their statements here, along with info on new test results of EMF levels at Alpine Elementary School taken on order of county education officials; the results offer some reassurance to parents: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/alpine-powerlink-concerns-spark-responses
“Dr Connor has obtained information that indicates the water in the area has been subject to deterioration which has made it unfit for consumption. “I have been working with her for more than three years on this issue and I believe the evidence she has gathered justifies her claims. “It is evidence the various authorities have not been helpful in providing.”
Many concerns centered on proposed changes to the project. Residents said since the Final Environmental Impact Statement, approved in November 2014, was pertaining to a project that proposed seven 1.7 megawatt wind turbines each at a height of 475 feet from the ground to the tip of the blade, another impact study is required now that the turbines have increased both in height (now 483 feet tall) and power (2.3 MW each), and the substation has also changed location.
This important letter by the Australian Minister of the Environment declares recognition of the continuing concerns raised by communities over wind project siting and operation. The letter includes two attachments that outline a plan to facilitate addressing wind farm complaints and also examine how the country can move away from builting turbines in favor of other emerging technioogies. The full letter can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
Hidden in an unknown corner of Inner Mongolia is a toxic, nightmarish lake created by our thirst for smartphones, consumer gadgets and green tech, discovers Tim Maughan.
Residents have documented oil leaks at over 40% of all turbines on the project. “We [Department of Toxic Substances Control with the California Environmental Protection Agency ] have directed OWE to remove the contamination containing used oil and handle it as hazardous waste. We also asked OWE for an explanation as to why the oil is being released, and to remove any additional oil as it is discovered.”
By granting itself the power to set new thresholds for pollutants — and by extension, to potentially regulate a huge swath of the economy not designated in the CAA — the agency violated the government’s separation of powers, whereby Congress makes laws and the president and agencies execute them, the court said.
Since 1997, an increasing fraction of electric power in the U.S. has been generated from natural gas. This paper examines the reduction in emissions as a result of U.S. power plants shifting away from coal. The abstract and conclusion of the paper are excerpted below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
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.
A transformer caught fire at the base of a Bigelow Canyon wind turbine over the weekend, spilling an estimated 600 gallons of transformer oil. A representative of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) spills unit reported that PGE, the owner of the wind farm, reported the fire and hired SMF Environmental to clean up the spill.