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The board agreed to amend the current ordinance after residents raised concerns over the two applications pending in the township by Atlantic Wind to build turbines on land owned by the Bethlehem Water Authority. Township solicitor Thomas Nanovic said any changes would not apply to the current applications.
The attorney for residents opposed to wind turbines in Penn Forest Township has asked that previous testimony be considered for hearings on a new proposal.
Opposing parties in the debate over proposed wind turbines in Penn Forest Township largely focused on the semantics of zoning terms in the township’s fourth zoning hearing on the matter Tuesday night, with the targeted land’s current principal use coming into question.
Schuylkill County fire companies were dispatched Monday night to a 390-foot-tall windmill that caught fire at the Locust Ridge Wind Farm near Mahanoy City, according to emergency radio reports.
After rejecting 19 of 19 proposals for wind turbines since 2005, the Pennsylvania Game Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved a moratorium on wind energy developments on its 1.5 million acres of state game lands.
Attorneys in Penn Forest Township peppered Atlantic Wind representatives with questions Wednesday night as the township zoning hearing board continued testimony on the pending application to build a string of turbines in the township.
It’s Round 2 for the Penn Forest zoning board and Atlantic Wind.
A controversial wind energy project proposed for the land surrounding Bethlehem’s water supply would be scaled back under a zoning application filed this month in a Carbon County community.
Atlantic Wind LLC, following a contentious review of the project in Carbon's Penn Forest Township, won local approval last year for its plan to put 37 wind-power turbines on township land it is leasing from the water authority. The subsidiary of Portland, Oregon-based Avangrid Renewables asserted the project as "deemed approved" by exploiting a technicality related to a delay in the township's scheduling of a hearing as part of its review.
It’s been 15 years since Jim Spencer started a small solar energy company in New York that would turn into Pittsburgh’s biggest wind developer and, on Thanksgiving Day, be sold to the world’s biggest asset manager.
The acrimonious debate over whether turbines should rise from the ridges surrounding Bethlehem’s water supply has generated broad questions about clean energy, wildlife and property rights. But whether the project moves forward may depend on how Carbon County Judge Steven R. Serfass answers a more narrow question: whether the Penn Forest Zoning Hearing Board blew a legal deadline to decide the case.
Given the fact an Illinois-based energy company is studying the idea of adding windmills in the township next door, it makes sense for the township to be prepared for the possibility, too, township Chairman Lewis Clark II said.
The interest in a wind farm ordinance first arose at a township meeting July 5. Clark said the supervisors are learning from neighboring townships and will prepare an ordinance before it is needed.
In rejecting a wind energy project near Bethlehem’s reservoirs, the Penn Forest Zoning Hearing Board has made a 31-page argument of technical, legal and environmental reasons on why turbines don’t belong along the wooded ridges that surround the prized Wild Creek watershed. Applicant Atlantic Wind spokesman Paul Copleman said the company would challenge that rejection in court.
On Wednesday night, the Penn Forest zoning hearing board denied Atlantic Wind’s application for two special exceptions to build up to 37 wind turbines on property owned by the Bethlehem Water Authority. The zoning board proceeded with the hearing even though Atlantic Wind failed to show.
After legal issues over safety put hearings on pause last year, Penn Forest Township zoners plan next week to resume discussions on whether 37 wind turbines can be built on the ridges surrounding Bethlehem's water supply in Carbon County.
“It’s a private industry or business that wanted to use the courtroom and there’s a whole bunch of security issues and legalities in being able to do that,” he said. “Legally, we can’t do that.” Commissioner William O’Gurek added, “We don’t want to be a hosting site for anyone who has a disagreement in their municipality.”
WINDBER – Two weeks ago, debate over wind farm regulations in Ogle Township prompted supervisors to end a meeting after approximately four minutes.
Serfass dismissed a legal challenge that questioned whether zoners can make a fair decision after five raucous public hearings and, among other allegations, personal attacks on social media.