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TransCanada seeks permit to fill wetlands  

Credit:  www.theirregular.com 4 August 2010 ~~

TransCanada Maine Wind Development, Inc. seeks Corps permit to place fill to expand existing mountain-top wind farm

CONCORD, Mass. – TransCanada Maine Wind Development Inc. is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, to conduct work in waters of the United States in conjunction with expanding an existing mountain-top wind farm between Kibby Township and Chain of Ponds Township, announced a news release from the Corps.

The applicant proposes to place temporary and permanent fill material in inland waterways and adjacent freshwater wetlands between Kibby Township and Chain of Ponds Township in order to expand an existing wind farm.

The proposed expansion, consisting of 15 turbine towers, will be located along the Sisk Mountain ridgeline, west of the previously authorized Kibby Mountain wind farm project. The total generating capacity for the expansion will be 45 MW.

Minor upgrades of the existing logging road network to the Sisk Mountain site, crane paths between the turbine sites, and turbine pads will result in approximately 0.76 acre of permanent wetland impact and 0.02 acre of permanent impact to streams (crossings).

The expansion site will be linked to the existing Kibby Wind Power facility transmission line by a collector line, new substation and short section of transmission line. Installation of the new collector line will result in approximately 3.47 acres of vegetation clearing, converting existing cover types to emergent or scrub-shrub cover types.

Clearing overstory vegetation in wetlands will not require filling, stump removal, or more than diminimus soil disturbance. To facilitate clearing operations and pole installation, approximately 0.2 acre of temporary access fill in the form of timber mats will be required. These mats will be removed and the affected areas restored upon completion of the project.

The expansion, much like the existing wind farm, will generate electrical power for distribution to the ISO New England Electrical grid, which distributes power to energy customers throughout New England.

Since direct impacts are primarily associated with upgrades to existing roads, roads which have adversely affected drainage and erosion, and since the upgrades are expected to remediate those issues, no compensatory mitigation is proposed for the project’s direct impacts.

To compensate for the project’s unavoidable indirect impacts to aquatic resources, the applicant proposes a $32,594 contribution to the Maine Natural Resource Mitigation Fund (Maine In Lieu Fee Program). The applicant is proposing these measures seeking to lessen the project’s impact on aquatic resources.

The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps of Engineers in compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in United States waters, including wetlands.

The public notice can be viewed on the Corps Web site at www.nae.usace.army.mil. Select Regulatory/Permitting and then weekly public notices.

Public comments referencing this notice (File # NAE- 2009-00892) should be forwarded no later than Aug. 27, 2010 to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Maine Project Office (ATTN: Jay Clement), 675 Western Ave., #3, Manchester, Maine 04351. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Jay Clement at 207-623-8367 or by email to jay.l.clement@usace.army.mil.

Source:  www.theirregular.com 4 August 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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