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State regulators hear more testimony about Bowers Mountain Wind Project

The company planning to put wind turbines atop Bowers Mountain near Lincoln went before state regulators again on Wednesday. Opponents to the project also weighed in as the Land Use Regulation Commission held another day of public hearings on First Wind’s proposed Bowers Mountain Wind Project.

The hearing was at the Spectacular Events Center in Bangor. On Wednesday, testimony was held as a question and answer session where stakeholders could question state officials from the various agencies that have been studying some of the environmental issues.

David Corrigan, a guide, and internet blogger who runs the website “Real Wind Info for ME” asked several pointed questions about the depth of research state officials did about the proposed projects impacts to wildlife.

“the major concerns today are about impacts to lynx which are federally threatened, impacts to three species of bats which are being fast tracked for federal endangered species listings and impacts to water quality in the area especially considering this is one of the largest fisheries in the state of maine,” Corrigan explained.

A spokesperson for First Wind countered that state officials have a rigorous permitting process in place that has found no adverse impacts.

“i’d say so far it’s going the way we expected it. The agencies are confirming what they confirmed to us earlier. That they don’t see any major environmental issues in terms of ground water in terms of rare endangered species and in terms of visibility,” said Neil Kiely, First Wind’s director of development for the New England region.

The Land Use Regulation Commission says it expects to accept public comments for the next few weeks before closing the public comment period.

It hopes to have a final decision on the project later this fall.