NOXEN – As supervisors develop an ordinance to regulate wind turbines, some people continue to express concern that a turbine facility proposed for the southern part of Wyoming County could hurt the watershed.
“My concerns are when you cut off the top of the mountain, it creates runoff,” Doug Ayers, a Noxen resident and conservationist, said.
Supervisors expect to vote on the ordinance on Oct. 2.
BP Alternative Energy has not made a formal proposal to build a turbine facility in the county, but company business developer Kevin Davis has said that a facility would be on 7,400 acres of land owned by Deer Park Lumber located in Forkston, Eaton and Noxen townships.
The facility, which would partly be located on South Mountain, could contain as many as 90 turbines, according to Mr. Davis.
Wyoming County Planner Paul Weilage said that a turbine facility would likely have to meet criteria established in a storm-water management ordinance that helps municipalities manage run-off and the watershed.
The ordinance has been adopted by Noxen, Eaton and Forkston townships.
“Any activity on land will create various levels of runoff,” Mr. Weilage said. Mr. Davis has indicated that if tests show that the county has adequate wind resources, construction on a facility could begin in 2008.
On Monday, Mr. Davis said that any disturbance will be minimized.
“We’re going to make it so the water is not dispersed back into the streams,” he added.
In Bear Creek Township, Luzerne County, erosion and sediment controls put in place with the construction of a wind-park facility on Bald Mountain continue to be monitored by the Luzerne County Conservation District.
Bear Creek Township Supervisor E. Gary Slusser said that there have not been any problems with runoff.
District resource conservation specialist Heather Graham noted that district personnel did encounter problems during site inspections.
For instance, a July 2006 earth disturbance report states that the facility, which is owned by Community Energy and has 12 turbines, had a channel that concentrated flow and accelerated erosion.
Ms. Graham said that the problems have been corrected.
By Josh Mrozinski
25 September 2007
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