Articles filed under Erosion from USA
Maryland's first industrial wind farm has gotten off to a rough start, with construction temporarily halted after environmental regulators discovered mud washing from the remote Garrett County mountaintop site into a tributary of one of the state's wild and scenic rivers. Constellation Energy has scrambled to put in stronger erosion controls as it erects more than two dozen 400-foot-tall turbines along an eight-mile stretch of Backbone Mountain.
Construction on Western Maryland's first wind farm could resume within days, despite some residents' protests, pending a green light from the Garrett Soil Conservation District and the Maryland Department of the Environment. ...MDE spokeswoman Dawn Stoltzfus said construction was halted because of "sediment-laden water" flowing from the site.
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.
A group of town residents and state environmentalists has lost a legal challenge against the Hoosac Wind Project, a 30-megawatt turbine venture planned for Bakke Mountain in Florida and Crum Hill in Monroe. Their case - which hinged on permitting - attempted to reverse the state Department of Environmental Protection's June 2007 decision to grant a wetlands permit for the estimated $45 million project. Eleanor Tillinghast, president of Green Berkshires, a plaintiff in the case, said an appeal is being considered.
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).
With two pipes beneath a road clogged in Noxen, Supervisor Carl Shook is concerned about runoff from a proposed wind farm in Wyoming County. "There is going to be a lot of water running off the mountain," Shook said. Shook was one of about 30 people last Wednesday who attended a public hearing ...The state Department of Environmental Protection held the hearing to receive public comment as it reviews an application from BP for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.
Steuben County Public Works Commissioner Vincent Spagnoletti said the company, formerly known as UPC, will pay the county to restore several county roads to the same shape they were in before construction began. The two projects in the Dutch Hill and Lent Hill regions total 51 turbines. Seven miles of county Route 35, listed in fair condition before construction began, will need extensive repairs, including four miles of rebuilding, Spagnoletti said.
The state Fish & Boat Commission has been responsible for ensuring that wind energy development does not harm water or aquatic life since corporations began erecting turbines in Pennsylvania. But with the wind energy industry growing quickly - and showing no signs of letting up - Fish and Boat commissioners have decided to put the agency's regulatory policy in writing. The commissioners made the decision at their most recent meeting. They are accepting comments about the policy from the public. ..."Anytime there's encroachment on a ridgeline, you're dealing with headwater issues," Lichvar said. "If you have a problem where it begins, then you have a problem where it ends."
The quarry is one operation with active quarrying being done on approximately 30 acres - self-contained. Would Gamesa's Wind Project be self-contained - I don't think so! Where the quarry is one operation - Gamesa would have 30 operations - for starters! Gamesa's 30 operations would be located in the "heart" of the Piney Run Wilderness Area, atop the many ridges where below, the exceptional value streams flow. The destruction from sight clearings, turbine installations, plus approximately 18 miles of interconnecting roads and transmission lines over the many ridge-tops would devastate not only the land area, but also the bird, fish, wildlife and eco-system of Shaffer Mountain.
As supervisors develop an ordinance to regulate wind turbines, some people continue to express concern that a turbine facility proposed for the southern part of Wyoming County could hurt the watershed. "My concerns are when you cut off the top of the mountain, it creates runoff," Doug Ayers, a Noxen resident and conservationist, said.
A state arbitration panel has dealt a setback to the Hoosac Wind project by rejecting a state-issued wetlands permit that would be needed to access the site....... The Division of Administrative Law Appeals yesterday ruled that the developer's evaluation of the impact on wildlife habitat was insufficient and certain parts of the project didn't comply with the Wetlands Protection Act.
CENTRAL CITY - A local environmental organization is calling for an independent study of surface and ground water on land where Gamesa Energy USA is proposing to erect wind turbines. In a three-page position paper, the Mountain Laurel Chapter of Trout Unlimited said the proposed Shaffer Mountain project could adversely impact the Piney Creek watershed and wants a water study done.
Town meeting voters Monday shot down a proposal to study the feasibility of creating a town-owned wind farm. Although wind power is an environmentally-friendly energy source and could potentially generate considerable revenue for the town, voters decided that putting a wind farm on the land near the Almeida Farm on Interstate 195 could pose a danger to the wetlands on the 22-acre parcel. John Ferreira, who donated the land to the town for conservation use, spoke against the proposed wind farm.
Windber Area Authority members are looking into the impact a proposed wind farm will have on an area watershed. The board agreed Wednesday to ask geologist James Casselberry to begin studying how the construction of 38 wind turbines along Shaffer Mountain could affect water quality for authority customers. “If in fact there is a threat, the best way to find out is to talk to a hydrologist,” said solicitor James Cascio.
Does it make sense to trust a company that: 1) had no idea it was planning to build in a karst landscape until informed by interested private citizens; 2) now proposes inadequate safeguards to address the problem; and 3) continues to put out rank misinformation such as the weight of the turbines? Is this a track record people feel comfortable with in a company that wants to make huge, irreversible changes in the local landscape?
SAN FRANCISCO - Jill Cody used to feel guilty whenever she drove her car or flew on an airplane. She worried about pumping heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and contributing to global warming. But the San Jose professor found a way to ease her conscience. She paid a San Francisco company called TerraPass to offset emissions from her car and air travel by investing in wind power and reducing farm pollution.
A multi-million dollar wind farm development in rural Woodford County is in jeopardy, the county’s administrator said Friday. “We’re as close as we have been to this thing not happening,” Administrator Gregory Jackson said of the proposed 79-turbine, $260 million facility northeast of Benson. If it is completed, it could be the largest economic development ever for Woodford County. The County Board will vote Oct. 17 whether to issue a special use permit allowing the company to build. Greene, Panola and Clayton township government bodies, with their attorney, Sheryl Kuzma, are negotiating a road agreement with the wind farm’s developer, Navitas Energy of Minneapolis, Minn. The townships say a road agreement is needed because the company will be hauling large truck loads of turbine components on rural roads.
In many ways, the atmosphere is like a gold rush. With the backing of an enthusiastic Rendell administration, wind-energy companies have quietly but aggressively been negotiating leases for land on mountaintops, especially in Bedford and Somerset counties. Several developers hope to build hundreds, if not thousands, of windmills on the ridge lines of west-central Pennsylvania. Typical wind turbines stand nearly 375 feet tall -- about 70 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty -- and can be seen from 15 to 20 miles away. Some people question whether development of wind energy on this scale is appropriate for Pennsylvania, even though wind often is touted as a renewable, nonpolluting way to generate electricity. Longtime residents of Somerset County, where the building is more advanced, say the construction and operation of turbines have damaged the environment. They say the development offers little in return from jobs or taxes. "It's not quite what they tell you in the brochure," Todd Hutzell of Rockwood said.
"On Friday, June 23, we issued a unilateral order regarding the failure of their erosion controls and that it was a violation of the permits we issued," Tor said. "We ordered them to correct the control failures and submit a plan for addressing the problem areas."