Library filed under Impact on People from Pennsylvania
Opposing perspectives rose from residents who gathered Monday to probe the proposed alternative energy development site along Big Sewickley Creek Road in Bell Acres. Many borough residents questioned the potential noise level and electromagnetic presence of the site, which would include a 66-foot wind turbine. Others questioned the potential threat to great blue herons that nest along Big Sewickley Creek. Some questioned the visual impact on the borough's landscape.
Township resident Gary Swope, who has expressed concerns about the impact of the turbines at past meetings, said he had given the supervisors a letter prior to the meeting listing some problems three residents in Somerset County have experienced. In one instance, a homeowner some 2,500 - 3,000 feet from a turbine said the noise at times was similar to a jet engine and added that 30y people in that area are concerned with the aesthetic impact that turbine have on the landscape. In a second instance, a woman who lives 1,300 feet from a turbine said she can hear the noise inside her closed house and that she has measured the noise level there at 55-65 decibels.
Although the zoning board now has ruled to approve a portion of the proposed wind turbines, recent action by the board of county commissioners would allow a wind power project to start without going before the zoning board. Earlier this month, Commissioners Vincent Zapotosky and Vincent A. Vicites voted to change the zoning ordinance to allow wind turbines as a permitted use in A-1, M-1 light industrial and M-2 heavy industrial zones. Previously, wind turbines were only permitted after obtaining a special exception from the zoning board.
Wind turbines in Juniata Township sometimes make annoying and atypical noise, but not enough to violate the township's ordinance, a Vermont company has concluded. RSG Inc., which specializes in environment, energy and acoustics studies, has issued a 36-page report determining that noise made by Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm turbines in Juniata Township is less than 45 decibels, the maximum level allowed by ordinance.
The company that pursued building wind turbines in Logan Township has a new plan with taller versions that are confined to the township's wind zone. Representatives for Gamesa Energy recently submitted revised plans for a wind farm of 19 turbines in the Chestnut Flats area zoned for that type of land use. The company previously proposed building 25 wind turbines, with 17 inside the zone and eight outside.
Black Creek Township residents' concerns weren't eased by testimony Thursday from a wind power company that plans to construct 22 turbines on the Buck Mountain ridge. ...Resident Edward Vergari said the township should collect more information and mandate that all applicable state, county and local permits be secured by Penn Wind prior to zoning approval.
Blair County Judge Daniel Milliron in a 20-page ruling dismissed claims of negligence and conspiracy made by Jill and Todd Stull against Gamesa, producers of the windmills and developers of phase one of the windmill farm at the Cambria-Blair County line. Six other objections filed by Gamesa or Allegheny Ridge in response to the Stull's lawsuit were overruled by Milliron.
Construction is to begin on 35 new wind turbines in the mountains of eastern Somerset County. E.ON Climate and Renewables North America Inc. has received approval to place construction trailers at the Stonycreek Wind Farm site along Route 30 near Reels Corners.
A Blair County judge has upheld all but two civil charges brought against two wind companies by a Juniata Township couple, who have complained that 40 wind turbines on Blue Knob Mountain are noisy and cause light to flicker in their home. ...Milliron refused to strike a charge of fraudulent misrepresentation against Gamesa and a similar charge, plus others, against Allegheny Ridge.
A wind farm proposed for Southwestern Wyoming County has some residents wondering how it may affect the county's watersheds. The 87-turbine farm proposed by BP Alternative Energy will encompass 14,861 acres in Eaton, Noxen, Forkston and Mehoopany townships. ..."The runoff is probably not going to be my problem, but it may be the problem of people who live at the bottom of the mountain," Mr. Ide said. "I'm concerned for the people below."
A Lycoming Court judge has rejected three court appeals filed in an attempt to stop a proposed wind farm in northern Lycoming County.
New documents filed in an ongoing civil lawsuit by a Portage-area couple against the Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm say that wind energy experts duped local officials into believing the turbine sound was insignificant. Todd and Jill Stull of the Blue Knob area say that developer Gamesa Energy USA and owner Babcock & Brown misled local officials by supporting development of an ordinance addressing higher noise levels.
Blair County Judge Daniel Milliron on Friday dismissed the counts against Gamesa, which made and installed the turbines, but left intact the lawsuit against Allegheny Ridge because he believes the complaints deal with operational problems. Allegheny Ridge operates the wind farm.
A local doctor and his wife have filed a lawsuit against the operator of a nearby wind farm saying they are losing sleep from the the constant ''whooshing'' and ''screeching'' caused by the wind turbines. Blair County Judge Daniel J. Milliron on Friday concluded his initial review of the lawsuit brought by Todd and Jill Stull of Portage RD, Blair County. Milliron kept the lawsuit largely intact although he dismissed several counts of the legal complaint including one that charged Gamesa Energy and its subsidiary, Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm LLC, with creating a public nuisance.
Jill Stull from Portage says her life and farm have turned upside down ever since some unwelcome neighbors moved in 2006. "We want the noise to stop. I want my husband to be able to sleep in our home," Stull said. The noise she's referring to is from the six turbines surrounding her 100-acre farm. At least once a week, Stull says she can hear and feel the turbines humming, and it's a sensation she says comes at irregular intervals.
Construction of the 35 windmills in the second phase of what will be one of Pennsylvania's largest wind farms is completed and should be in operation before the end of the year, an official with Gamesa Energy USA said. News of the anticipated startup comes as sound experts working on behalf of Portage Township completed the study setting the level of the existing - ambient - noise at and near North Allegheny Wind Farm, which is adding nine turbines to the skyline in the Blue Knob area of the township.
Part of a wind turbine project proposed in Logan Township, north of Route 36 near Avalon Road, will be visible not only to nearby residents, but to those who live and drive as much as five miles from the site. "I totally oppose this," Avalon Road resident Mark Twardon said. "You're going to be coming down 17th Street, and instead of the mountains, you're going to see these huge towers." Twardon was one of 18 people who asked questions and offered comments, mostly in opposition.
The state will play a major role in deciding whether a windmill is installed at Green Tree Park to generate electricity and help pay for the town's energy costs. The borough has applied for two Department of Environmental Protection grants, each for $168,000, to fund a proposed $173,000 windmill and solar electric system. The borough would pay $5,000 toward the overall cost. ...Council President Mark Sampogna said, however, he is unsure if council will approve the project, even if funding is secured. The height of proposed installation, 100 feet to 120 feet, could detract from the appearance of the park, he said.
Borough officials have restricted hunting in a 50- to 60-acre radius around a Gamesa Energy USA wind-monitoring tower on borough-owned land at Adams Run Reservoir on Second Mountain in Pine Grove Township. The Philadelphia-based company is working to build wind turbines on Second and Sharp mountains in the township and is completing an environmental study at the Adams Run Reservoir tower.
Two Fayette County commissioners voted to sign an agreement Thursday that addresses neighbors concerns regarding the location of wind turbines in a $100 million project proposed for Wharton, Georges and Springhill townships. Commissioners Vincent Zapotosky and Vincent A. Vicites voted to sign the agreement between PPM Atlantic Renewable Energy Corp./Iberdrola Renewables, the county and property owners that petitioned the court to be included in the case. Commissioner Angela M. Zimmerlink voted against the action, saying she doesn't believe the commissioners have the authority to approve changes to the proposed project.