Ridge Protectors has filed a notice of appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court of the decision by the Vermont Public Service Board to issue a certificate of public good (CPG) for UPC Vermont Wind’s Sheffield project. “It is our belief that the PSB decision is based on critical misapplications of Vermont laws, procedural errors, and several conclusions that are not based on findings of fact in the hearing record,” said Paul Brouha, a founding member of Ridge Protectors. “The decision is inconsistent with Vermont legal precedent and if allowed to stand would open the door to alteration of ridgelines throughout the state,” he said.
Without generous federal subsidies and the lucrative regional market in renewable energy credits, developers would not be planning such projects in Vermont. “Wind-generated energy in Vermont is unreliably available, comes at high economic, social, and environmental cost to the state, and contributes little to Vermont’s energy future,” stated Brouha.
“The PSB was under heavy political pressure to demonstrate that industrial-scale wind projects can be approved in Vermont” stated Greg Bryant, a Sheffield resident and member of Ridge Protectors. “They did not address a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service letter that indicated UPC’s bird and bat studies were flawed. In addition they did not acknowledge that UPC has exceeded permitted noise levels at their Mars Hill, Maine project and continues to operate there without undertaking mitigation measures, said Bryant.
Ridge Protectors is concerned that Vermont’s economy and unique character are at stake as a result of the PSB’s decision. The 430-foot-tall industrial wind turbines will be completely out of scale in our Green Mountains and will be visually shocking to most people. Vermonters and visitors to our state are sustained by the natural beauty of our ridgelines and mountains, which have been protected for generations. The group feels the small energy benefit from industrial wind projects isn’t worth the unprecedented development and that Vermonters can be leaders in energy conservation and embracing renewable energy technologies without destroying the environment to save it.
CONTACT: Greg Bryant 802-626-9643 or Carol Brouha 802-467-3460
29 October 2007
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