Library filed under Impact on Landscape from USA
The first phase identifies national conservation lands and designates areas of critical environmental concern, wildlife allocations, and national scenic and historic trail management corridors to conserve biological, cultural and other values. Furthermore, the DOI says special recreation management areas and extensive recreation management areas are identified to recognize and promote recreational opportunities and public access. Thus, these lands would be closed to renewable energy and benefit from adaptive management in the face of climate change, the agency explains.
Sen. Ken Haar includes much misleading information in “The death of opportunity by over-regulation” (Local View, LJS, Nov.4).
Arkansas' congressional delegation is asking the U.S. Department of Energy to slow the review process for a planned wind-energy transmission line that would cross the state.
“All these agencies and companies are in lockstep on this green energy rush, whether it’s actually beneficial to us or not,” said Donna Tisdale, a resident of Boulevard in East San Diego County. Tisdale is leading the lawsuit against Energía Sierra Juárez, which also names the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Among other things, the lawsuit claims the Department of Energy issued a Presidential Permit without considering environmental impacts in Mexico or alternative clean energy projects, as required by law.
There were many other concerns that commissioners also dealt with during the 9-hour hearing for northwestern North Dakota’s first proposed wind farm. A big one for Commissioner Brian P. Kalk, which he announced at the beginning of the hearing, is that the wind farm sits right in the middle of a whooping crane flyway. “This is not the first,” he said, “and it’s something we were able to work through, but I will be interested to see what you have planned for that.”
Perquimans County commissioners have declared a four-month moratorium on wind farms after residents opposed a project in which 60-story-tall turbines would dominate the rural vista.
“The Northeast Kingdom has become the dumping ground for every ill-conceived, poorly sited renewable energy project the developers can dream up,” Rodgers said in a news release. “Environmental and energy issues are real, but we know that there are far more effective ways to address them without ruining the quality of life that defines us as Vermonters.”
For decades, organizations including Vermont Natural Resources Council, Conservation Law Foundation, Sierra Club, Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Preservation Trust and others could be counted on to show up at the merest hint of potential development anywhere in Vermont. Lobbying in Montpellier and using Act 250 and local regulations, those groups helped preserve the landscape that we love.
In this nine-minute video, winner of the 2015 Yale Environment 360 Video Contest, videographer Roger Smith presents the viewpoints of the local proponents and opponents of the $100 million project.
Renewable energy, for the most part, is a good thing. I support net metering for home-scaled wind and solar, fish-friendly small scale hydro, and mining landfills and bio digesters for methane. But at some point the rush into large scale (and subsidized) renewable energy becomes too costly, and too destructive of human and environmental values, to merit continued support. We have reached that point with Big Wind, and it’s time to slow this rush to “renewable energy of all kinds at whatever cost.”
But an insidious new form of visual pollution is overtaking the state. Solar sprawl tied to Act 56 could wipe out thousands of acres of undisturbed land and transform Vermont from The Green Mountain State to The Solar Panel State. With Vermont set to become the nation’s first all green-energy economy, solar projects popping up from Bennington to Barton dwarf the billboard blight of the 1960s, and could erase tourism’s marketing message.
Scott Holmes, manager of the environmental health division of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, cited research showing that the nature of wind turbine noise makes it more annoying than noise from aircraft, trains or traffic on roads. The rotation of the big blades produces a swoosh, thump and silence. The uneven, pulsating sounds repeatedly capture attention and are difficult to ignore, one researcher wrote. The circumstances call for the Lancaster County Board to give considerable weight to the pleas of rural homeowners as it enacts regulations on wind turbines.
These images demonstrate the size and scale of land preparation required to construct turbine projects using machines standing nearly 500-feet in height. First Wind is constructing its 57-turbine wind facility in Somerset County, Maine. The project, at 185 MW, will be the largest in Maine and in New England. The turbines will have a tower height of 94 Meters and rotor diameter for the three blades of 112 or 113 meters placing the total height with the blade fully extended at 150 meters (492 feet) or more. SunEdison will be using 47 Vestas’ V112-3.3 MW turbine for the project together with components previously ordered from Vestas. Reporting on the actual number and capacity of the turbines has varied due to First Wind changing turbine models but it appears that ten of the turbines will be Vestas V112-3.0 MW.
Jane Albright Lee, whose family farms near the proposed site, said wind farms that have been cropping up across the state are a threat to agriculture. "It's going to come at a steep price for the neighboring farmland, if wind turbines continue to sprout up across America's best agriculture land," she said. "I hope you consider that agriculture is what Iowa is."
“The opposition participated at every opportunity that was available, but the public process was a charade,” Rosemarie Ives said. “Every aspect of the state dealing with this project has been corrupted.” Less than a half mile to the east of the Ives’ home sits Southeast Light, one of the most popular destinations on the island. Now, visitors to the historic brick lighthouse get a clear view of the wind farm under construction from the front lawn.
Despite some unexpected events, such as repairs to a foundation and a complaint that was filed in a Providence U.S. District Court, the Block Island Wind Farm project is moving ahead, according to Deepwater Wind's Chief Executive Officer.
On Wednesday night, the nine members of the Lincoln/Lancaster County Planning Commission recommended approval of the proposed rules on a 5-4 vote, after rolling back sound limits and doing away with a daily limit on the amount of time flickering shadows cast by turbine blades can pass over neighboring houses. ...The move disappointed Hallam and Cortland area property owners. They had wanted the noise limits to remain at 40 decibels in the day and 37 at night, numbers that were recommended by the Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department.
“We’re losing our foothold in the coal industry and now they’re proposing ... ‘Oh by the way, we’re going to take your beautiful land for renewable energy?’” opponent Charles Stacy said. “It is insulting, really.” A deep mistrust of the federal government is ingrained in parts of this region, as are a fiercely guarded independence and pride in the heritage of coal mining. Yet Stacy and others insist that this battle is about more than any of that.
The eight to 10 towers planned for the town of Bellmont will be in excess of 500 feet tall, Bellmont Supervisor H. Bruce Russell said Monday, although New York state law limits such structures to 400 feet. Representatives of EDP Renewables, the company that has taken over the Jericho Rise proposal, have said they plan to seek a variance from state law in order to build the taller towers.
In summary, we have a foreign corporation that stands to receive Billions of dollars of subsidies, paid for with your tax dollars that will build a wind farm, which will provide marginal, if any, benefit to anyone in our counties. In the process they will cause devastating destruction of the scenic Hill Country while destroying the tourism and hunting industry in our counties. Perhaps, all citizens of both Mason and Menard counties would be well served to do everything possible to halt the construction of this proposed wind farm.