Both sides of the Pendleton County West Virginia wind turbine dispute remain unsettled.
The agency who will make the final decision on the project. The Public Service Commission, has delayed an evidentiary hearing until April because Liberty Gap Wind Force, failed to properly advertise for yesterday’s public hearing.
Over 70 people were supposed to present evidence here at the public service commission in Charleston. Now people in Pendleton county will have to wait months before they can present their side, and wait even longer before they find out if wind turbines will be built on Jack Mountain.
There was disappointment on the faces of Pendleton county residents that had put in countless hours of work arguing against the construction of wind turbines on Jack Mountain. Now they’ll have to wait 4 months and rehire their consultants and whitnesses for the new hearing date.
Larry Thomas says he just wants it all to be over. “This is kind of a let down, we wanted this to go to the end, we think we have enough information to allow the public service commission to deny this project. Pendleton county as we’ve stated before is the absolute worst place in West Virginia to put these wind Farms.”
Justin Saint Clair, lawyer for Friends Of Beautiful Pendleton county says that this long delay is bad news for his group. “The longer they drag this out the harder it is for citizen group intervEeners. It really impacts our resources and we can’t continue to respond to new reports and new studies by hiring experts of our own.”
Liberty Gap Wind Forces lawyers say they were responsible for mistakes that led to the hearing delay. They apologized, said they would pay for traveling expenses for all who made the trip.
They asked that Liberty Gap not be punished for the lawyers mistakes. “We’re apoligetic for the inconvenience this has caused the folks, all the participants here, it certainly was not intended.”
Liberty Gap says the delay will give them more time to work with wildlife groups before they face judgment by the PSC. Wildlife groups currently are not in support of the project. “We’ll use this time constructively to work through that in a cooperative manner with the fish and wildlife service so that we’re prepared for the hearing.”
The commission has set the new meeting date for April 16, all witnesses will have to be called back to testify on that date.
The PSC says that it will make its final decision in june.
And while both sides of this debate must now wait months for a decision, many of you called our station yesterday willing to express your opinions about the proposed wind turbine farm. Here’s what some of you had to say.
“Well I don’t think it should be in Pendleton County, if they want to put it somewhere else, it would be up to them, but I don’t think Highland or Pendleton County…I just don’t think it should be.”
“Because I don’t want to see them on my mountain. Probably be an eyesore. I don’t live…uh, from where they want to put them in I don’t even live not even a half a mile.”
“They’re inefficient. There’s nothing efficient about wind turbines except noise, killing wildlife, birds, eagles, bats, causing erosion, you know, so maybe even possibility of ruining our water source here. ”
Out of the people who called yesterday, we did not hear from anyone in favor of the wind turbines. However, we are open to hear both sides.
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