Library filed under Impact on People from Vermont
Controversy continues to mount over the proposed Derby Line Wind Project. Vicky and Daniel Lewis live on Whittier Road, about one mile from where one of the turbines would be located. The Lewises came to the Derby Select Board's regular meeting, Monday evening, prepared with information and many questions for the board.
Farrell said he understands that there is some concern over the project and he wants Holland to have some level of benefit from the project. Some residents have come forward, expressed concerns and asked questions about the project, including the impact on property values and the effects of noise.
Vermont's Energy Options is a documentary work-in-progress being produced by non-profit Energize Vermont. The purpose of the documentary is to examine the different paths Vermont has to a renewable energy future and create a dialogue around their respective impacts and benefits. Duration: 19 minutes 27 seconds
Our sense is that the laws pertaining to neighbor v. neighbor nuisances were never intended, or even conceived of, to respond equitably to an issue as far beyond "public nuisances" as this. David's farm is suddenly bordered by Goliath's score of 490-foot windmills and his construction crews numbering in the dozens, with Goliath complaining that David is a nuisance and finding a judge who agrees and enjoins David from using his own property.
McGee says that an injunction preventing people from peaceably assembling on their land violates their constitutional rights. The claim is slightly different from a garden-variety free speech case because people usually do not go to court for the right to protest on their own land.
So, where are these Vermonters saying, "Yes! Take our mountains - destroy our natural resources! We love seeing big business covering all 200 miles of our ridgelines. We love how you manipulate our government, destroy our environment and threaten our neighbors. "
First Wind tried to end the appeal with a cash settlement that, according to one source, jumped to $2-million in a failed effort by the company to reboot negotiations. ...however, the company's offer stretched beyond the appeal. In addition to dropping their appeal, the members of the suit would have been required to sign off on a sound easement against their property. A gag order would have prevented them from talking about it.
We are in a fragile economy, with a glut of electricity available in New England at low cost for the foreseeable future. The price of solar energy is declining every day. More than 90 percent of Vermont's greenhouse gas emissions are from heating and transportation. With so much at stake for Vermont, the prudent thing to do is stop, look and listen. Wind developers and our political leaders owe it to all Vermonters and our wild creatures to make sure we get this right.
Fred Snay asked the utilities to consider the financial impact of the wind project on land values, which are the local residents' retirement plans. "We don't trust government any more," he said.
If the GMP project goes ahead, decision-makers will be viewed as having "destroyed one of the beautiful pristine areas of Vermont ... for no good reason at a time when a better alternative was just about to come into reach."
The project will "significantly alter a 450-million-year-old iconic ridgeline visible throughout Orleans County. As stated in the 2005 Craftsbury Town Plan, our natural features are at the core of our sense of place and our community identity," the commission wrote. The town's three-member Selectboard agreed to endorse the Conservation Commission's letter and send it to the Public Service Board.
What is the hurry? My experience has shown the correlation between speed and quality is poor at best. ...Does the current administration want to be blaming poor forethought later because we "fast tracked" for a tax credit for Canadian Gaz Metro?
While GMP has said it will comply with any noise standard the Public Service Board applies to the project, Margolis questioned whether they would have the tools to do so if real-world noise levels turn out to be higher than expected from the modeling. Turbines can be switched to a "noise-reduced operation" (NRO) mode, but the current project design already calls for NRO mode to be used, perhaps for thousands of hours a year, to comply with the 45 decibel standard.
Margolis questioned McCunney's sweeping conclusion that noise below 45 decibels has a "virtually non-existent" risk of adverse health effects, based on one Dutch study. The study was on transportation noise, which McCunney agreed under questioning has a different character than the "swish swish" of wind turbine blades. McCunney also agreed, when the relevant text was pointed out to him, that the study did not even assess health effects of noise under 45 decibels.
Asked why they oppose a wind-turbine development on Lowell Mountain, Steve Wright and Ron Holland unrolled an 8-foot-long photo montage on Wright's kitchen table. ...This, they said, is the landscape that draws visitors and permanent residents to Craftsbury, Irasburg and neighboring towns in the highlands of the Northeast Kingdom.
Smith told the crowd about how the Vermont Public Service review process works, including the PSB's ability to include or exclude groups that would normally have party status under Act 250, Vermont's land use review law. Smith provided maps showing where wind projects in Vermont are approved, under review and/or proposed and also detailed how local communities would be impacted.
LOWELL - Farmers Don and Shirley Nelson, who say wind turbines on Lowell Mountain are hindering the sale of their farm, decided this week they would not sell if the wind developer is putting money into the deal.
Last Town Meeting Day the people of Moretown and Waitsfield voted to support the closing of the aging Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. In Moretown we did this largely because of the threat that toxic and radioactive leaks pose toward public health and the environment.
No matter how much or how little generation we have, industrial scale wind turbines will never make a difference. They are unpredictably intermittent and there has been no circumstance where building wind plants has resulted in the decommissioning of an existing fossil fuel facility. Industrial wind projects divide communities, lower property values, will harm Vermonters' health, wildlife, tourist and second-home economy, and kill birds and endangered bats.
As Bob Messner noted last week, industrial wind power is a valuable renewable energy source with positive potential-in the right places. A community whose character and economy are lifestyle-based is not one. Another of Jane Davis' comments makes a good closer: "For people living near wind farms, both now and in the future, it will be a disaster.... This isn't about Nimbyism, but the rights of ordinary people to live a normal life."