Friends of Maine’s Mountains (FMM) applauds the people of Rumford for decisively approving their Wind Facility Ordinance by a vote of 1,137 to 465. Chris O’Neil, President of FMM, speculated that the voter turnout in Rumford was greater than expected on Tuesday, November 8th because of the interest in adopting a protective ordinance.
“With two wind projects nearing completion before the end of this month and another project recently receiving a permit in the town of Carthage, people in the River Valley Area are becoming very concerned about the impact these massive developments will have near their homes,” said O’Neil.
The Record Hill project in Roxbury with twenty-two turbines sitting atop the ridges of Partridge Peak, Flathead and Record Hill, is sadly visible from many viewpoints in Rumford and other surrounding towns. Combine that with another project being constructed in Woodstock which has placed ten turbines on Spruce Mountain and the people are realizing that the landscapes in these mountainous areas of Western Maine are drastically changing. Gone is the natural ridgeline created by prominent mountains. Gone are the magnificent layers of untouched mountain ridges which are visible to New Hampshire’s iconic Mount Washington.
O’Neil advised other towns to take similar preventive measures and protect Maine’s treasured natural resources. O’Neil said that Maine’s unique “Quality of Place” is one of the very reasons that over twenty-three million visitors came to Maine during the summer of 2010. This industry is a major contributor to the State’s annual income.
“Maine people need to consider the high impact of developing wind projects and do their homework regarding the low benefit of generating expensive electricity by this method,” O’Neil stated. “Maine ranks twelfth in the country for its cost of electricity. We need to be reducing our cost of electricity; not increasing it. There is a myth that wind power is useful and necessary; and that leads unsuspecting people to make huge economic and environmental sacrifices which later cannot be undone.”
“The Town of Rumford is a great example of how citizens and municipal officials worked together and researched a difficult subject,” O’Neil said. “They weighed the pros and cons, assessed what would be best for the health and well-being of the property owners and then prepared a document to put before the people for adoption. This ordinance affords protection for people living close to potential wind developments while allowing flexibility for those landowners who wish to sign a waiver. It also addresses many of the compliance issues at the local level. FMM congratulates them on a job well-done,” said O’Neil.
Friends of Maine’s Mountains 284 Main Street, Ste. 200, Wilton, Maine 04294 (207)-645-3699
For Immediate Release
Contact: Chris O’Neil, (207) 590-3842
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