Bangor – Cheers and signs of protest led up to a controversial vote that’s taken state commissioners more than a year to make.
“They’re no longer doing the job that they were designed to do, which is protect our natural resources,” said protestor, Karen Pease.
The Land Use Regulatory Commission, or LURC, voted for a project that would build eleven wind turbines on Sisk Mountain in Franklin County.
It’s an expansion of wind development company, TransCanada’s, turbine farm on Kibby Mountain.
LURC’s decision comes after months of arguments about the effects turbine construction could have on the mountain’s environment.
“This is a rare species of forest in the state of Maine. A very small amount of subarctic forest and that subarctic forest is home to some incredibly rare and endangered species.”
“It would all be destroyed by the roads, by the construction of the turbines and by the transmission lines.”
It was a concern shared by one commissioner, Rebecca Kurtz, who voted against the plan.
“It seems absolutely counter to what we’re supposed to be doing. We’re supposed to be balancing. Why is that? We’re going to be denigrating one of the rarest places in Maine.”
But with a five to one vote in place, TransCanada will move forward with construction.
“The bottom line the commissioners voiced in their sentiment today is that the way the rules, the regulations, the law and comprehensive plan is setup. It’s really a balancing act,” said Commission Staff Director, Catherine Carroll.
And opponents plan to weigh in again with an appeal.
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