Wind turbines are supposed to be a cleaner form of energy designed to keep the air clear, but some residents near Shaffer Mountain by the Somerset, Bedford County line argue, the wind farm will actually destroy the environment. Now their voices are being heard.
Signs protesting Gamesa have been put up along Route 160 towards Central City. Residents in the area have made it clear that they don’t want a wind farm on Shaffer Mountain. They say it will pollute nearby trout streams and will destroy the land by ripping out trees for construction.
“They know what they’ve done in other areas. They’ve devastated everything,” resident John Elias claimed. “There’s no need for that.”
Gamesa is trying to get a permit from the DEP to build 30 turbines on the mountain, but their plans are temporarily being put on hold because of the public outcry. According to reports, DEP officials have received so many comments about the wind farm they are looking into holding a hearing. Opponents of the wind farm said it’s amazing what a community can do with a strong enough voice.
“It feels good to be able to make a difference,” said Jerad Manges. “I think that’s good, for once they are actually listening to us instead of just doing it.”
Gamesa has said it will meet the requirements of the DEP and has actually worked out plans for potential erosion problems and storm water management. However, some residents are still skeptical.
“That whole mountain is going to be there long after we’re gone,” said Elias. “The damage will always be there. That scar will be there.”
There’s no word yet on when the DEP’s hearing will take place.
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