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Public asked to comment on wind project  

Credit:  KEITH WHITCOMB JR., Bennington Banner, www.benningtonbanner.com 21 December 2010 ~~

SEARSBURG – The Green Mountain National Forest will take comments from the public until Feb. 18 on a proposed 17-turbine, 34-megawatt, wind power facility in Searsburg and Readsboro.

The project has been proposed by Deerfield Wind, LLC, a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables. Because the project is on U.S. Forest Service land, it must get federal as well as state approval.

The comments are part of a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) which will go along with a previous Draft Environmental Impact Statement done last year.

Robert Bayer, project coordinator for the Manchester Ranger District, said former Forest Supervisor Megan Mitchell ordered the supplemental draft because the first one had been done prior to deliberations by the Vermont Public Service Board, which issued a certificate of public good for the project after taking testimony on its environmental impacts.

The Forest Service would prefer comments in writing [see below.

Bayer said the Service will hire a third party to sort the comments, then the service will respond to each accordingly. He said they will go into the Final Draft Environmental Impact Statement where the forest supervisor, currently Colleen Pelles Madrid, will issue a written decision.

Bayer said aside from denying the project the Forest Service can approve it as submitted, or action plans involving less turbines on certain sides of Route 8.

Both drafts are available online at www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/greenmountain/index.htm

Comments can be submitted a number of ways:

* Conventional mail: Bob Bayer, Project Coordinator, USDA Forest Service, 2538 Depot St., Manchester Center, Vt., 05255.

* E-mail: comments-eastern-green–mt-finger-lakes-manchester-@fs.fed.us.

Subject lines should read “Deerfield Wind SDEIS Comments.”

* Telephone: 802-362-2307, ext. 218

* Fax: 802-362-1251

Source:  KEITH WHITCOMB JR., Bennington Banner, www.benningtonbanner.com 21 December 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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