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State stops work at Lowell Mountain

A top Vermont official says a stop-work order has been issued for construction on the Lowell Mountain wind power project because of possible environmental violations.

Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz confirmed Friday that the order has been issued for what an inspector determined was improper handling of gravel during the early stages of work on the project, which is being developed by Green Mountain Power Corp.

The company did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Markowitz says the problem appears to be what she termed a routine issue, and that such stop-work orders by her agency are not uncommon.

GMP’s $156 million, 21-turbine wind power project is due to be completed by the end of next year and is expected to provide enough power for 24,000 homes.