NEW HAMPSHIRE (July 16, 2008). The Industrial Wind Action Group is still reviewing the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Subcommittee's July 15 order1 to certificate the Granite Reliable Power Windpark. We expect to make a statement on whether an appeal is warranted within the next few weeks. WindAction maintains that the erection of thirty-three industrial-scale turbines and construction of over thirty miles of road with 50-foot ledge-cuts and the destruction of 13-acres of wetlands will have an unreasonable and permanent impact on New England's unique and increasingly rare High Elevation Spruce-Fir Forest habitat.
Regardless our next steps, WindAction has grave concerns with the Subcommittee's decision including:
1) While the Subcommittee is requiring additional pre-construction studies to better assess risk to avian life, they shift oversight responsibility to NH Fish and Game with no guidance on how to fund the agency's involvement. Without funding, NH Fish and Game would likely be limited to its own in-house experience to evaluate risk -expertise the agency has admitted it lacks- rather than hiring independent experts. The high-elevation mitigation plan agreed to by NH Fish and Game and the Project explicitly omitted avian studies.
2) The Subcommittee's conclusion that the project would not have negative impacts on property values and tourism is based solely on unsubstantiated assertions by the Project. At no time during the proceedings did Granite Reliable Power provide expert testimony on the topic of property values impact, tourism, or other economic factors.
3) Given the size of the wetlands impact, the project is required to obtain an individual wetlands permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. Technical letters prepared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service2 and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency3 both established and recommended the need for a full Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") in accordance with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). We believe it will be very difficult for the Army Corps to ignore the recommendations of these two agencies with jurisdiction over wildlife and water resources.
Lisa Linowes, Industrial Wind Action Group, (603) 838-6588, firstname.lastname@example.org
 NH Site Evaluation Subcommittee Order: http://www.nhsec.nh.gov/2008-04/documents/090715decision.pdf
 US Fish and Wildlife Service letter: http://www.nhsec.nh.gov/2008-04/documents/090312usdoi_letter.pdf
 US Environmental Protection letter: http://www.nhsec.nh.gov/2008-04/documents/090311usepa_letter.pdf