UPC Wind’s recent rebuttal testimony, refiling, amended petition or whatever it is being called, negates most of the testimony and evidence filed in this docket to date, thereby wasting the time and money spent on this case by the Town of Sutton, the Department of Public Service, UHS (The King George School) and the Ridge Protectors, all other parties, and the Public Service Board itself.
This refiling includes a new road with access now through Barton, a new additional transmission line, larger turbines and higher towers. Since the PSB rules require a 60 day notice before filing for a Certificate of Public Good, UPC should be required to give 60 day notice before refiling or amending their petition. They should also be required to remove their anemometer from Hardscrabble Mountain. as they claim they no longer plan to put turbines there. UPC should also be required to repay the wasted legal fees of all parties.
UPC now admits to negative impacts that they previously denied existed. By removing a few of the towers and making the remaining ones even larger they are suggesting that this will somehow mitigate those negative impacts, which it certainly does not. The King George School will still be impacted and shut down, the view from Crystal Lake State Park, and much of the region, will still be unduly adverse. The Sutton Town Plan and town meeting vote (120-23 against), and the NVDA regional plan will all be ignored, birds, bats and other wildlife will still be killed, habitat fragmented, traditional uses restricted, head waters polluted, and the local economy and residents lives destroyed.
UPC’s claims to the board and to the media, that they have worked with the community in making these changes, are untrue. They are attempting to divide and bankrupt the opposition with these tactics, and in so doing are undermining the 248 process by making it too expensive for a small poor town or opposing group to participate. If they are successful and get their foot in the door, they will surely try to put in more towers here in the future, and the rush of wind developers in the NEK will begin. Hopefully the board will see the arrogance and duplicity of UPC’s ploy, and dismiss this case as soon as possible.
Would the PSB or any sane person allow any type of efficient base load generating facility to be built on these high elevation ridge lines? Obviously not. Then how could anyone allow an inefficient unreliable generating facility, visible for miles and close to residences and wetlands, to be built there?
Robert Pforzheimer lives in Sutton.
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