Opponents of the commercial wind project on Lowell Mountain have filed an appeal of the water quality permits issued by the state Agency of Natural Resources (ANR).
Under a law passed by the Legislature in 2010 to put wind projects on a faster regulatory track, the appeal goes to the state Public Service Board (PSB) rather than to the Environmental Court.
The PSB has already issued a certificate of public good, the permission needed by Green Mountain Power to proceed with the project. The appeal was filed by seven individuals – Don and Shirley Nelson, Jim Blair, Kevin McGrath, Robbin Clark, Nancy Warner and Jack Brooks – and by Energize Vermont, Inc., an organization that supports small-scale alternative energy projects.
In a press release issued Tuesday, Energize Vermont said “it is clear that ANR has allowed the use of inadequate experimental storm water control methods, and that the applicant has vastly underestimated the potential volume of storm water that will run off the site.”
Spokesman Lukas Snelling said aquatic life, groundwater sources, wetlands and headwater streams will suffer irreversible harm if the project proceeds.
On another legal front, the Lowell Mountain Group and the towns of Albany and Craftsbury are awaiting a response from the state Supreme Court to their petition for an emergency stay that would bring work on the project to a halt.
Work started on Tuesday, September 6. Green Mountain Power hopes to have the 21-turbine project up and running by the end of 2012.