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Lowell Mountain wind

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a letter to Gov. Peter Shumlin and sent copies to our state senators, Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders concerning the Lowell Mountain wind project. Yesterday , I received an email back from Gov. Shumlin’s office addressing some of my concerns, mainly the issue of the noise that we may experience living here on our farm in Albany, Vt., which is in close proximity of the proposed 21 420-foot wind towers just up the road on top of Lowell Mountain. My concern over the noise issue came about after reading a letter from an adjoining neighbor (Paul Brouha, Sutton, Vt.) of the Sheffield Heights wind project in which he states, “I don’t have to wonder what it will be like anymore – now, with 15 turbines 420 feet high and their 153 feet long blades rotating, I know. Much of the time, their often pulsating roar is like living near an eight-lane highway or next to an airport where the planes never stop taking off … I say to myself, this is forever.” This letter was in the Nov. 30 issue of the Barton Chronicle.

Gov. Shumlin’s response to my letter of concerns reads in part, “Last year the town of Lowell voted to allow the wind project to move forward. In addition to the town vote, local concerns were closely considered by the Public Service Board during the permitting process. The board carefully crafted its approval to meet those concerns as much as possible. For example, the board established a mechanism whereby landowners who are unable to develop their property due to excessive noise are to be compensated, the first time such a mechanism has been developed in Vermont.” By his own admission, he and the Public Service Board are aware that these wind towers could produce “excessive noise.” Is everybody OK with that? Do the people of Lowell realize what they are getting into? Trading their peace and serenity for money? I have never seen a skyscraper, but to have the equivalent of 21 45-story skyscrapers sitting atop of Lowell Mountain here in Vermont… Stop and think about that for a minute. I can only imagine. Yet, if this project continues, it will become a reality.

Today in the Chronicle there is a letter to the editor from Delvin Warner of Lowell, Vt. that reads, “A quick note to all. I have been hearing that some of the nearby residents are being bothered with the noise created by the new wind project in Sheffield. If you are one of those affected by the noise, you may contact the Public Service Board in Montpelier to let them know your concerns.”

Looks like we better keep that number handy: (802) 828-2358.

This is our state, it belongs to all the people, we should all have a say in what happens to it. This isn’t just the Lowell Mountain Wind Project. You put something that big on a mountain top in Vermont, it becomes a part of Vermont.

Vermont is a special place. We need to keep it that way. If we have to move due to “excessive noise,” where are we going to go?

Janet Reed

Albany, Vt.