Articles filed under Impact on People from Pennsylvania
"We've been really derelict," Specter said of Congress' response to the energy issue. "We're gonna have to go to alternate forms of energy, and I've been supporting that." Virginia Deeter from Somerset County told Specter her home of 30 years soon would sit between two wind turbine facilities: one 1,400 feet away from her back door and the other 1,800 feet away from her front door. "Our home is going to be worthless," she said she was told by real estate agents. "Where do we turn?"
One week after moving in, Loudenslager found out that a swath of the farm where cows graze and alfalfa grows soon could be cleared to make way for a high-voltage power line. "It's like a punch to the gut," Loudenslager said. "This is where I've wanted to be my whole life." Loudenslager's farm north of Boonsboro sits on one of several routes that have been suggested for the Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH), which would run from St. Albans, W.Va., through Bedington, W.Va., to Kemptown, Md., in Frederick County.
If someone were to tell Doug Tewksbury or Tom Baisley to go jump off a cliff, they'd probably seize the moment That is, of course, if they were at their favorite launch spot on the top of Mehoopany Mountain. The weekend warriors who can't seem to get paragliding out of their blood are part of a small yet growing group of individuals who are worried. They're worried that BPAlternative Energy's plan to put an 85-90 wind turbine park in the southern part of Wyoming County will not only spoil their fun, but also disrupt the peace and solitude that the sleepy Endless Mountains have enjoyed for centuries.
A company that plans to build a wind turbine facility in the southern part of Wyoming County says that it wants to be a good corporate citizen. While BP Alternative Energy sponsored two outdoor events this summer, some people are unhappy with the company, including Richard Ide, whose cabin in Mehoopany is near a stretch of land where transmission lines may be placed. "They (BP) have the resources to drive me into the ground, which is what they are trying to do," Ide, of Tunkhannock, said. "I have hired two attorneys."
The Tioga Preservation Group's land use appeal of the Tioga County Planning Commission's decision to grant conditional approval for a wind farm project has been denied, opening the door for the construction of 124 wind turbines in Tioga and Bradford counties. On Aug. 8, Tioga County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Robert E. Dalton Jr. issued an order denying the appeal of the group, and upheld the planning commission's preliminary conditional approval of the land-use application made by AES Armenia Mountain Wind LLC, according to court documents.
Pennsylvania's mountain ridges are on track to teem with industrial wind turbines -- enough that, if placed on the 359-mile Pennsylvania Turnpike, they would stretch seven per mile. The turbines will require clearing a combined 10,000 acres of mountaintops. Each turbine would reach heights that rival Pittsburgh's skyscrapers. They could make their owners more than $300 million in federal subsidies and power more than 1 million homes. But they wouldn't remove a single coal-fired power plant from service.
Deeter said her home is about 1,400 feet from the nearest wind turbine, which means the developer does not have to contact her for a waiver to complete the project. Bill Lehman, a planner with the Somerset County Planning Commission, said Edison's wind farm near Deeter's home was reviewed and approved by the board. "All the developer has to do is provide certification of the setback from occupied structures," said Lehman, noting that the distance is determined by the tower's height. "A surveyor is required to certify the setback." After the towers are built, the county has little to do with the daily operation of wind farms, Lehman said.
A Springhill Township man concerned that his sound recording equipment may be rendered useless if a proposed wind turbine project is built near his home brought his concerns Tuesday to the Fayette County commissioners. Thomas John Bozek III, who lives on Wymps Gap Road, asked the commissioners to "consider the people the proposed project is going to affect." "I'm asking you to protect my investment, my property and my life. All I want to do is be left alone and play my music," Bozek said.
The Stulls first filed a lawsuit in April, but according to Jill Stull, after Gamesa objected to their claims that the noise coming from those turbines has been more than a nuisance, it has impacted their health, they've refiled. Stull said this time they have an environmentalist and a sound engineer on board. While their problems are still the same, they hope the words from the experts carry a little more weight.
"Symbolism aside, Potter and Tioga County mountain ridges may not be as impressive as Yosemite's El Capitan, or the Grand Tetons, but something very real would be sacrificed on the questionable altar of Renewable Energy for Profit. Potter and Tioga county mountain ridges are not just a backyard. They are a heritage and a legacy. And they are as good a place as any to make a stand." Preserve the beauty of our region, say no to industrial wind.
Following action taken by the Mahanoy Township supervisors, nuisance laws, particularly in regard to dilapidated buildings, are becoming stricter. "We are amending our present ordinances to make them stricter. It is not fair to neighbors to have to live next door to these places," said Chairwoman Sharon Chiao following the meeting. She did not name specifics of the amendments. ...The supervisors agreed to approve the plans for Phase 2 of the Locust Ridge Wind Farm as soon as an agreement regarding the 12 proposed windmills is signed. Chiao said during the first phase, it took an extended amount of time and legal wrangling to come to an equitable agreement regarding the windmills. Chiao said after the meeting that during Phase 1, the township agreed to a stipend of $18,000 a year for the 12 windmills. This time they are seeking $23,000 a year for the 12 new windmills as costs continue to rise.
The owner of a 100-acre wind farm in Juniata Township, Blair County, and three townships in Cambria County has asked a judge to dismiss a civil lawsuit filed by property owners complaining of noise and vibrations from the giant turbines. Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm LLC of Philadelphia said a court ruling in favor of a husband and wife complaining about the noise could "open the judicial floodgates to any neighbor to sue a wind farm after construction based on the wind farm's mere existence."
A decision by the Fayette County commissioners to intervene in a lawsuit about a proposed wind turbine project and how the proceeds of the impending hotel tax will be distributed dominated public comment during Thursday's monthly meeting. Numerous people wearing "Fayette TNT, Trees Not Turbines" shirts spoke to the commissioners to express concern about a decision by Commissioners Vincent Zapotosky and Angela M. Zimmerlink to intervene in the case that involves appeal of denial that would have allowed construction of 18 wind-powered turbines in Georges and Springhill townships.
A Blue Knob couple is seeking unspecified monetary compensation and is asking a court to intervene to reduce noise and vibration from energy generating turbines in the Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm. A Pittsburgh attorney representing Todd and Jill Stull of Pine Springs Lane, Portage, filed a 14-page civil lawsuit in Blair County court naming Gamesa Energy USA, developers of the wind farm in Portage Township, Cambria County, and Juniata and Greenfield townships, Blair County. ...At the urging of residents, the Portage Township supervisors say they will hire a sound expert to determine whether the turbines are being operated in violation of the ordinance. Similar action already has been taken by Juniata Township officials.
The Juniata Township couple seeking relief from noisy wind turbines has taken their complaint to Blair County Court. Todd and Jill Stull, in a lawsuit filed at the courthouse, accuse Gamesa Energy USA LLC and the Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm LLC of destroying their quality of life and damaging their health. They're seeking an injunction ordering the noise to be reduced. ...The lawsuit also accuses Gamesa and the wind farm of securing permits and approvals to build on the basis that the turbines would cause no noise.
Unable to agree on an expert to gauge noise from Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm turbines, Portage Township and Juniata Township in Blair County will conduct separate studies. Portage officials said they likely will hire a company next week to conduct the sound study from their side of Blue Knob Mountain. "At this next meeting, we should have all of the information and I would hope we can come to some resolution," Supervisor Ken Trimbath said. ...Trimbath said the company doing the study must be acceptable to Babcock & Brown, owners of Allegheny Ridge. "My concern is the other way also: The results must be accepted if there is not a noise problem," Trimbath said.
Wind energy is part of the state government's initiative to promote renewable resources. ...However, not everyone sees wind energy as the solution. ...The construction of wind farms, however, can be expensive, and they must be refurbished or decommissioned after 15 to 25 years, according to wind experts. Companies that build them rely heavily on substantial federal tax credits. In addition, area power companies are offering customers the option to voluntarily pay higher energy bills to promote wind energy. Because of all the complications, not all plans come to fruition, including a proposal to build 25 turbines in Cross Creek Township that developers recently scrapped.
Eric Glitzenstein, a Washington, D.C., attorney who is preparing the lawsuit, referred to the Endangered Species Act. "The courts view the unauthorized loss of even a single member of such a species to be an irreparable harm that should be prevented," he wrote in an e-mail. The letter of intent is required by the Endangered Species Act, he said. The groups have yet to decide where the suit would be filed, Glitzenstein added. "Our hope is that Gamesa - which touts itself as an environmentally responsible company - will agree either to do the right thing and abandon this ill-considered project site or, at least, do what is required by federal law and not proceed without applying for an ‘incidental take permit' from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service." The Indiana bat has been a protected species since 1967.
Complaints about wind turbine noise from the Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm could find their way into the court system this year, depending on what happens in the coming weeks. A Jan. 31 deadline for repairs to be made has passed, and Juniata Township residents still are asking for relief. Engineer Paul Heishman of Mechanicsburg, an expert in measuring noise levels, has started a study to determine if the noise is louder than permitted by township ordinance. Portage Township in Cambria County plans to have Heishman conduct a separate study, Supervisor Ed Decort said. If Heishman determines the noise is excessive, Juniata officials say they will move forward with steps to enforce their ordinance. ...Jill Stull, whose property is closer to turbines, said she shuts her windows and stills hears the noise. ‘‘They're loud enough to make me wake up,'' Todd Stull said. ‘‘This is noise pollution.''
After seeing the full page ad in your paper on Jan. 29 entitled Wind Opponent Myth No. 4 - "Wind Turbines are Very Noisy," I knew I had to respond. Basically, the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition is saying you do not have to worry about noise from industrial wind turbines if they are coming to a ridge near you. Well, I am not sure how they conduct their decibel studies, but for all practical purposes, they mean absolutely nothing. You see, our home is over a half mile from one of those ridge-top industrial wind plants, and I am here to tell you the noise from those turbines has had a dramatic impact on the sanctity of our country home.