Library filed under Pollution
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.
...plowing into untouched grassland releases carbon dioxide that has been naturally locked in the soil. It also increases erosion and requires farmers to use fertilizers and other industrial chemicals. In turn, that destroys native plants and wipes out wildlife habitats. It appeared so damaging that scientists warned that America's corn-for-ethanol policy would fail as an anti-global warming strategy ...The Obama administration argued that would not happen. It did.
“I arrived at my property on Saturday (October 26) following the incident and found a crane laying on my property, my fence damaged and spilt oil. I couldn’t believe that no one had phoned me; no one from the town (Northeast Town), the project (McLean’s Mountain Wind Farm project that crane is a part of) or the Ministry of Environment (MOE).”
"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."
The creation of a wind farm involved the excavation and movement of soil, the laying of tracks and roads for machinery and sometimes, as at Whitelee, forest felling to create space for turbines. “All these activities can affect the pathways by which rain falling on the site drains away and makes its way into rivers and lochs and can affect the ecology of those bodies of water and drinking water.”
ScottishPower has been accused of contaminating a private water supply to homes in the shadow of Europe's biggest wind farm and of failing to tell the community that its drinking water could endanger health. ..."Given that the developer was ordered to take samples regularly, it would be illogical to suggest it had no duty to inform anyone the water was failing all the tests."
A new dust storm, flooding and more white foam flowed through Ocotillo today, heightening residents' concerns about impacts of Pattern Energy's Ocotillo Express Wind Energy Facility on this desert community. At 4:40 p.m., a storm hit, sending massive amounts of dust into the air, this time coming directly from project access dirt roads created by Pattern Energy.
Last month, New Hampshire's Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) disapproved Antrim Wind, a 30-megawatt wind energy facility proposed along a remote and environmentally sensitive ridgeline in rural Antrim, NH. After eleven days of evidentiary hearings and three days of public deliberations, the Committee ruled that the ten monster turbines, each standing 492-feet tall, would pose a significant impact on aesthetics with no satisfactory means of mitigating the effect.
These images show a turbine at the EDPR Renewables Twin Grove wind facility in Ellsworth, Illinois. The leaks occurred on multiple wind turbines at the site, less than two years after they were placed in service.