WINSTED – Two hours on Wednesday was not enough for the Connecticut Siting Council’s evidentiary hearings on the proposed Colebrook wind turbines.
According to council attorney Melanie Bachman, the hearings were continued to April 14. Running from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., the hearings on BNE Energy’s two separate petitions – Colebrook North and Colebrook South, as the projects are titled – would need to be held separately, since the twin projects are on separate parcels of land.
In accordance with Connecticut Siting Council rules regarding applications, persons or groups granted party status – including the town of Colebrook, groups such as FairwindCT and residents such as Stella and Michael Somers – must submit their testimony in advance. Cross-examination had just barely begun, according to Ms. Bachman.
Although there are approximately 10 parties with the appropriate status involved in the petitions, some of them have been grouped together by the Connecticut Siting Council for the purposes of testimony. FairwindCT, the Somers family and Susan Wagner are in one group for the Colebrook South parcel, while Robin Hirtle and Kristin Mow are also grouped together.
All of the testimony which has been filed is available on the Connecticut Siting Council’s website, and a decision on both parcels must be made by Saturday, June 4. Public hearings would resume at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night, but – much like the proceedings in Prospect, Bachman noted – there was no chance the evidentiary hearings could resume after public comment.
The ongoing snow, combined with Colebrook’s sparse population, made it less likely that evidentiary hearings could continue on site. Prospect’s hearings were also continued for several weeks, and are set to resume March 31 in New Britain. Due to its similar scope and level of local objection, the proposal in Prospect is considered a test case for the Colebrook proposals.
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