The state Department of Environmental Protection has issued two permits to AES Armenia Mountain Wind LLC for the construction of 125 wind turbines in Bradford and Tioga counties, but according to Tioga Preservation Group member Judi Piccolella, the appeal the group filed earlier this year against a December planning commission decision to conditionally approve the project is still tied up in the Tioga County court system.
“We are still waiting for a court date to be set on this,” said Piccolella, of Liberty.
The appeal deals with the Tioga County part of the project.
AES, based in Arlington, Va., plans to construct 52 turbines in Armenia Township, Bradford County, and 73 in Richmond, Sullivan and Ward townships, Tioga County.
The Water Obstruction and Encroachment and NPDES Stormwater Discharges Associated with Construction Activities permits to AES allow the company to proceed with its plans to build wind turbines in the counties, according to Robert Yowell, north central regional director for DEP.
DEP’s Water Obstruction and Encroachment permit will require AES to comply with state regulations for 39 stream and wetland crossings that will impact 250 lineal feet of waterways and 0.75 acres of wetlands.
The NPDES Stormwater Construction Activity permit will regulate earth-moving activities for the turbine pads and 33 miles of road construction on 500 acres.
The permit requirements will ensure that sediment runoff caused by precipitation does not impact creeks, streams or residential properties.
Gov. Edward G. Rendell signed a bill in early July establishing a $650 million energy fund to support conservation and spur renewable energy development, including $25 million for wind energy and geothermal projects.
Tioga County Planner Jim Weaver could not be reached for comment Monday.
By Cheryl R. Clarke
29 July 2008