The fight against the proposed Shaffer Mountain windmill project continued Tuesday night at a public meeting that highlighted opponents’ concerns that turbines will destroy ridgetop environments.
“This is one of the highest-quality environmental areas in Pennsylvania,” landowner Jack Buchan said.
Gamesa Energy USA representatives, who could not immediately be reached for comment, backed out of the forum Monday. They said they will reschedule.
Speakers slammed the company’s decision not to attend the meeting, which drew more than 150 attendees.
“They do not want to debate the issue,” Buchan said.
Speakers pleaded with visitors to contact politicians, Gamesa, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and, especially, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Organizers urged residents to write the DEP to demand a hearing before they decide whether to give Gamesa a permit for the 30-turbine project. They also handed out pamphlets and bumper stickers that read: Gamesa, environmental destruction, shaffermountain.com.
Although groups such as Save Our Allegheny Ridges have been rallying against the wind farm as industrial development for months, some attendees said they were shocked by the information.
“It stunned me to hear about all the destruction they cause,” C.J. Ferguson said. “I hadn’t heard any of the negative before.”
Tom Dick, founder of Allegheny Plateau Audubon, said the construction will harm water and wildlife.
“If anything ever happened to the birds or bats, I guarantee you, there will be no forest left,” he said.
By Kecia Bal
12 June 2007
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