Articles filed under General from Maine
I was surprised when I read Rob Gardiner's quote stating that he believes that a secret ballot vote would have been "healthier" than a petition for Highland residents.
The current six-month moratorium expired Friday. Selectmen have enacted and repeatedly extended moratoriums for two years to enable creation of a wind energy facility ordinance.
A legislative panel voted unanimously Wednesday to effectively set aside his proposal to cap the amount of renewable energy that power companies must buy or generate at current levels.
The vote on the moratorium came as a result of residents petitioning selectmen on the matter. According to figures provided by the Frankfort town office, the measure approved Monday night passed by a margin of 89 to 37.
Concerned about getting the information they need to determine how a proposed commercial wind farm might affect the surrounding environment, members of the state Land Use Regulation Commission have asked other state officials to weigh in on a 19- turbine wind farm.
Tuesday night's public hearing followed a full day of technical testimony during which First Wind subsidiary Blue Sky East and Concerned Citizens of Rural Hancock County, a group that is opposed to the project, each presented information to the commission. Blue Sky East is proposing to erect 19 turbines, each 476 feet tall.
The very character and quality of place we enjoy here in Maine is too valuable to risk on unsubstantiated and unproven claims by the pro-wind cabal. Mainers would be within their rights to request a clinical analysis of the UMPI experiment.
According to the proposed ordinance, neighboring municipalities have recently received inquiries about the possibility of locating a wind power development within their territorial limits and Hope could be under threat of development pressure from wind power developments.
From the perspective of some Highland and Pleasant Ridge Plantation residents, there is no way that the project won't adversely affect wildlife and ruin the natural environment they call home. The group has been fighting against the proposal since it was first aired by testifying during LURC hearings.
While Emera will have an ownership stake in Maine wind farms - generators - through Northeast Energy, strict rules put walls between any communications between that part of the business and Bangor Hydro - which is transmission. The farms in Maine include Mars Hill Wind, Stetson Wind I and II in Danforth, and the under-construction Rollins Wind Project.
The company has encountered several problems since it submitted its application Dec. 29. Most recently, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife expressed strong concern about the project's impact on species on the state's endangered and special concern lists.
First Wind will enter into an agreement with Northeast Wind. In that agreement, First Wind and Northeast Wind will create an unnamed operating company that will own First Wind's wind farms on the East Coast, according to a statement from First Wind, Algonquin and Emera.
Both Wylie and Wendy Todd were in Augusta, trying to persuade lawmakers to support a bill that would offer them some relief. LD 1042 would require wind energy companies to compensate landowners living withing three miles of the base of a turbine, if their property values decline.
Essentially, Selectmen Jeremy Volkernick and Greg Buccina wanted to restore much of what Sterling removed or changed from the defeated proposal, including things like shadow flicker standards, banning blade glint, safety setbacks for sound and turbine collapses, etc.
Few people anticipated the degree of negative response from people who do not want the new devices. The project has spawned an unprecedented seven formal citizen complaint cases before the PUC, prompting a complex and growing investigation by the agency.
The planning board hired a consultant from Virginia to review the developer's sound impact study and will be using Skype to videoconference with the consultant during the public hearing. "Our goal is to allow maximum public discussion," Johns said.
Article 8 would have authorized selectmen to issue a resolution in support of the proposed project qualifying for a state-administered renewable energy program. As soon as the article was read aloud by moderator Norris Staples, a motion was made and seconded to pass the article over. "That means take no action," noted Staples.
More than 10 bills have been proposed by legislators to make permitting standards more strict, provide recourse for those whose property values might be diminished by nearby turbines, and create a code of ethics for developers.
In a ruling this week that echoed its earlier rejection of an appeal filed against a wind project in Lincoln, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court rejected all arguments made by attorneys for the Martha A. Powers Trust and Brian Raynes against the Maine Board of Environmental Protection. The trust appealed a Maine Department of Environmental Protection permit.
Our quality of place is being attacked one mountain at a time. Our natural resources are our future and our economy, way beyond the 20 years the turbines will be there. I want our state agencies to represent OUR best interest, not the developer's. ...Is the Department of Environmental Protection in existence to pave the way for corporate industrial development or to protect the State of Maine through sound science and good judgment? Be scientists, not politicians!