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Mayor: Blasting, heavy construction could damage water supply

Editor’s note: The writer of the following letter to Terry Romain, executive secretary of the Md. Public Service Commission, requested that it appear in this column.

Dear Secretary Romain:

It is with deep regret that I read in today’s Cumberland Times-News that your staff is recommending the approval of Criterion Power Partners’ application for installing wind turbines on Backbone Mountain (Case No. 8938). Four of these devices will be sited on land within the watershed owned by Garrett County. This land contains springs and wells which supply potable water to the towns of Loch Lynn Heights and Mountain Lake Park.

At our request, county government was gracious in sending you a letter advising caution in approving this application due to runoff and storm water concerns. Since that time we have discovered that installation of the turbines will require heavy construction and the use of explosives to prepare the foundations for the devices. Engineers specializing in acid water problems tell me that such construction could damage the water table and possibly cause the release of acids into our water supply.

Due to these concerns, we respectfully request that you deny Criterion’s application to site the devices in our watershed until a comprehensive engineering study is accomplished.

Sincerely,

Britten L. Martin Jr.

Mayor

Mtn. Lake Park

The Republican

24 April 2008