I think it is important that the public be made aware of some very important facts that I presented to the PSC at last Thursday’s Criterion wind turbine hearing. These facts speak to the highly irregular procedure that the PSC and Criterion are using to affect, if not improperly influence, public comment in this matter.
The PSC has published at least three different versions of the application submitted by Criterion. One version on their web site contained absolutely no information or map showing the location of the project, even though the document states that it does so. Another version posted at the Ruth Enlow Library contains a topographic map of the Loch Lynn Heights area, again with no turbine locations identified.
No document has ever been posted by the PSC showing the location of Criterion’s 28 industrial wind turbines.
The PSC’s own instructions for these applications state, “Every effort will be made to process and approve your application expeditiously. The Commission will not, however, consider incomplete applications.” For some reason, the PSC is ignoring its own requirements and processing an application that any reasonable person would find incomplete.
Wind turbine companies can now apply to be exempted from the usual rules of public and government scrutiny. This is the PSC’s new “fast track” process. The fast tracking exemption allows utilities and the PSC to avoid the responsibility for identifying and evaluating the harmful effects of an industrial wind turbine project. Fast tracking gives citizens little time or opportunity to uncover the harmful effects of these industrial projects or to see information that should otherwise be forthcoming. For the PSC to compound the problem and participate in denying public information is absolutely outrageous.
These serious irregularities were brought to the attention of the People’s Counsel, PSC Chairman Larsen, and PSC Executive Secretary Romine’s attention long before the hearing was held. There has been absolutely no response from these people – complete and absolute silence on the matter. I personally requested Chairman Larsen and the People’s Counsel to move to intervene and reject Criterion’s application, require them to reapply with complete documentation, and to reschedule the hearing. That never occurred.
The PSC’s silence and lack of response is even more troubling than the project itself, especially when citizens are denied their fundamental right to be fully informed.
13 March 2008
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