Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from Maine
Voters at the annual town meeting have approved two moratoriums that will give the town time to develop ordinances to regulate communications towers and wind turbines. There has been commercial interest in such construction, particularly in communications towers, according to Code Enforcement Officer Judy Jenkins, and the town’s existing land use regulations include nothing to guide the siting of such structures.
In just under nine months, the residents of several Somerset county communities might see our beloved landscape and soundscape changed drastically for the remainder of our lives. Likewise, all the people of Maine could lose the scenic value of some of the state's finest natural treasures, and few even know of the threat. Under recently amended state laws, all could occur with little consideration to the wisdom or long term implications of such a move.
All one has to do is look at the impact of the Kibby TransCanada industrial wind operation in the remote boundary mountains of western Maine. This is nothing more than industrial wind mountaintop removal. It is being driven by dollars and cents, not ecological sense. To call mountaintop wind operations "farms" is nothing more than public relations. Farms suggest a positive relationship with the land.
Mountaintop wind is both an ecological and economic boondoggle. It is time to take a step back from industrial mountaintop wind power and to develop an energy policy that is not driven by the profits to be made from federal subsidies. After this mountaintop gold rush has played out, Mainers will be left with a despoiled landscape and the magic of the mountains will be gone forever.
Some people living near existing wind farms say the cost is too high in addition to noise complaints, some think wind farms have an irreversible visual impact. Marilyn Roper and her husband Harry own a camp in Danforth. "It had a beautiful pristine scenery and two lakes," says Roper. The Ropers are avid star gazers and they say the Stetson 1 and 2 projects have ruined their view.
The opponents to wind power are concerned with the pace at which its development is occurring in the state of Maine. Skepticism and caution are necessary anytime new industries and possibly lucrative business opportunities develop. There are big bucks and big questions now associated with wind power.
Opposition to wind farms has been growing around the state -- even as state leaders try to make Maine a pioneer in harnessing wind power. Now a new opposition group has formed in western Maine to fight what could be one of the largest projects: a 48-wind turbine development south of the Bigelow Preserve.
A Rockland man has filed suit in Knox County Superior Court, seeking suspension of a December 14th decision by the Bureau of Parks and Lands that designated two square miles of ocean south of Monhegan as the Maine Offshore Wind Energy Research Center. ..."Maine is wasting a marvelous chance to do ocean energy projects in state waters right the first time. Instead it is assuring investors their projects will be subject to minimal review." said Huber.
I fear greatly the rush to turn its high ground into an electrical generator for out-of-state interests. I think Gov. John Baldacci is way off base in his unbridled support of this frantic race for government handouts that will enrich a greedy few at the expense of many ... including wildlife that can't speak for itself. Mr. Carter's clear and thoughtful commentary against industrial-grade wind developments should speak loudly to citizens of Maine.
With all this concern about how to address global warming, we always seem to rely on some kind of "quick fix" solutions. Over the past 10 years, many so-called solutions have been proposed, but very few technologies have proved useful or cost effective. Then comes the "clean and green" movement with industrial-scale turbine projects being expedited by legislative action in the form of LD 2283.
At Tuesday night's nearly two-hour informational meeting, about 70 people learned that blasting begins Wednesday morning on Record Hill Wind LLC's $120 million, 22-turbine wind farm project. It will be a single blast at 10:30 a.m. at a depth of 10 feet by a Maine Drilling and Blasting crew ...Foundation work will start Nov. 1 on the Turbine 22 site and progress northward until winter conditions stop work, said DeFilipp.
People opposing Record Hill Wind LLC's proposal to site 22 wind-power turbines in town have launched a petition drive to rescind approved ordinance changes allowing such facilities. The petition asks selectmen to call a special town meeting to amend the comprehensive plan by deleting all language and sections referring to wind power that were added by a majority vote at a special town meeting Jan. 15.
Those of us who live close to power lines are concerned about the governor's and CMP's claims of the project's cleanness, greenness, price reliability and general value for Maine. We have met with the Lewiston City Council, our state legislators, attended hearings with the Maine Public Utilities Commission and tried to get CMP to listen to us. We are worried about our own backyards, but we are not interested in having the project simply moved to other people's neighborhoods. We want solution
Endless Energy's effort to put a wind farm on top of Redington Mountain near Carrabassett Valley is a bad idea that won't die the death it sorely needs. In fact, the idea seems to get worse all the time. Knocked down four times, twice by the Land Use Regulation Commission, once by the Governor's Wind Power Task Force, and once by the legislature in its 2008 Wind Power bill, this commercial creature is still on its feet however barely.
Today we are faced with many issues regarding the previous ecological misuse of our planet. In our mad dash to correct the maligning of our environment we are grasping at alternative sources of energy: mainly wind, solar and hydro. Wind power is the concern of this letter, and Harley Lee's project on the Redington Range is the center of that concern. I wonder if, in our rush to seek alternatives to foreign oil, we may be overlooking our most valuable local natural resources.
People will have a chance to ask questions and comment on a proposal to build a 22-turbine wind farm on several ridges in Roxbury at a hearing Wednesday night. The hearing, required by the state Department of Environmental Protection as part of the approval process, begins at 6 p.m. at Mountain Valley High School. ...Another wind project in the early planning stages is in the works for nearby Black Mountain in Rumford.
Plum Creek owns the property west of Greenville, and its logging contractor was clearing land for TransCanada, the developer of a wind farm. The Land Use Regulation Commission issued a notice of warning to TransCanada based on the erosion. A Maine environmental group called for the state to fine Plum Creek and a logging contractor for cutting trees too aggressively. The Natural Resources Council of Maine released photos of the erosion, which it said was effectively a 900-foot-long mudslide, along with internal communications that it says show Plum Creek's logging contractor was warned to stop working in the area until after the ground froze.
Following news that several wireless communication company representatives were in town scouting possible locations for cell phone towers last week, selectmen unanimously voted to place a moratorium on communication towers Monday. The moratorium prohibits all new towers, monopoles and tower-mounted wind turbines for the next 180 days.
This time the focus is Kibby Mountain in western Maine where Transcanada is in the process of developing a wind power project, and where related logging operations by Plum Creek and a sub-contractor have been linked to serious land use violations. Pictures taken at the site by an independent engineering firm and provided to the Land Use Regulation Commission in late October show a logging road so damaged by rain, logging activity and erosion that it created a mudslide described as nearly 900 feet long.
Based on an evaluation of internal documents from Maine’s Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC), the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) concludes that Plum Creek and one of its logging contractors, Theriault Tree Harvesting (TTH), last fall violated Maine regulations designed to protect water quality and Maine forests from poor timber practices. Specifically, in late October 2008 these companies caused massive erosion problems in Kibby Township, Franklin County, including a mud slide approximately 900 feet long. Plum Creek and its contractor ignored communications calling on them to stop work until proper erosion control measures could be implemented (1). Plum Creek and TTH also declined to even show up for an after the fact site inspection meeting with LURC officials to view the damage to the site(2).