DERBY LINE/ STANSTEAD – International Water Company (IWC) officials have concerns about the proposed Derby Line wind turbine project.
The President of the IWC, Philip Dutil, and Vice President Keith Beadle are going to have a discussion on the project and create a list of questions and concerns to discuss with developers.
Karen Jenne, the clerk and treasurer of Derby Line Village and a Derby select board member, brought some of her concerns to the attention of IWC officials at their annual meeting Tuesday evening in Stanstead, Quebec; specifically, Jenne wanted to know how the water system could potentially be affected by the project.
Jenne has spoken with Don Phillips, the engineer of Aldrich and Elliot Water Resources Engineers, who built the covered reservoir in Derby Line.
He suggested a number of actions be taken prior to, during, and after the wind turbine project construction, should it move forward.
According to Jenne, Phillips says a structural integrity check of the covered reservoir should be completed before, during, and after the project. The work done prior to development would establish a baseline.
Other tests he recommended include an independent pre-blast survey on the outside and inside walls of the reservoir to determine the condition of the walls, a test that costs a significant amount of money Jenne said. Phillips also recommended that a seismic meter be placed in the area of the reservoir in order to measure shock waves occurring at the site from any construction, Jenne said.
The question remains of who would pay for the work.
The Holland Pond water lines are also in the area of where the proposed turbines would be located.
According to Jenne, Phillips suggested the valves be checked at the old reservoir before blasting to make sure they are working and to take the measure of flow and volume before and after blasting.
The second site is closer to the Holland Pond water line and could be effected by vibrations, Jenne pointed out.
Jenne also had a conversation with hydrologist Ken Yelsey of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. She told water officials that Yelsey was concerned that the wind project is not required to go through the Act 250 process. Jenne said Yelsey suggested that the IWC try to get the environmental commission involved.
The project will go through the Act 248 process, and Jenne noted that the Village of Derby Line, the IWC, the Town of Derby and all surrounding towns will have a say. She cautioned that the process is “very technical and detail-oriented and not easy to understand.”
Jenne also raised concerns over heavy truck traffic, which would be bringing in parts for the turbines, and the impact of theses trucks on the water and sewer lines under the roads.
Jenne wants to know who will be responsible for any cost if there is damage to the covered reservoir. Jenne said that all testing costs should be covered by developers.
Currently the Village of Derby Line covers the insurance for the reservoir. Jenne questioned if the insurance should be increased and at whose expense. Jenne also noted that she has asked the developers a number of questions regarding the project and has heard no response.
The proposed project involves the construction of two, 425-foot turbines on Derby Line farms.