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PSB gives red light to interveners, unless…

DERBY/HOLLAND – The Vermont Public Service Board, on April 19, denied intervener status to a group of residents and an individual who want to participate in the PSB process and hearings for the Derby Line Wind Project.

The motions were denied without prejudice, meaning the board can change its mind if the interveners can convince hearing officer John Cotter why they should be involved.

Cotter said the denial was based on missing the deadline to file a motion to intervene. The parties need to explain why they missed the March 7 deadline, Cotter stated, for reconsideration. The parties have seven days to respond, and the developer has five business days to counter.

The deadline to intervene was prior to the public hearing the PSB held in Derby. The first scheduled hearing was postponed due to weather.

Vicki Lewis, who serves on the citizens group known as Holland and Derby Residents for Responsible Energy, said members are working on drafting a response. Michael (Mitch) Wonson is the president of the group; Keith Gray is the vice president, Vicki Farrand-Lewis is the treasurer.

Other members listed are Ruth Gray, Daniel Lewis, Herbert Lewis, Ralph Paradis, Nathan Paradis, Daria Mon Desire, Richard Joyal, Bonnie Joyal, Douglas Gray, Barbara Gray, Suzanne Moulton, Warren Friske, Paige Warthin, and Glenda Nye. Wonson is representing the group at present, but the group is seeking an attorney, Wonson said.

The group wants to intervene on potential impacts to property values, noise emissions, shadow flicker, ice throw and aesthetics.

The group has expanded its lists of concerns to include the financial capacity of the applicant, whether the applicant has control over one or both of the project sites, due process issues, and consistency of the proposed projects with the criteria of the Sustainability Priced Energy Enterprise Development Program (SPEED).

Mary Jenne of Derby Line is representing herself pro se and is seeking to intervene as an individual, citing concerns that the turbines would create noise that could affect her existing health condition, aesthetics, property value, and that her home and water quality could be impacted by blasting.

Encore Redevelopment, LLC, of Burlington, is the company spearheading the project to construct two industrial size turbines on two separate farms east of the Village of Derby Line and near the U.S.-Canadian border. Encore objects to both motions to intervene, stating that they are untimely. Encore listed a number of other objections to the party’s involvement and notes that they are not represented by a licensed attorney.

The Vermont Department of Public Service filed a letter in early April stating that it does not oppose the two motions to intervene, that the concerns raised by the group and Jenne merit consideration by the board, and that permissive intervention under PSB Rule is warranted.

Cotter wrote that the group and Jenne may have a different perspective from the other interveners.

Meanwhile the public awaits a decision from the PSB on intervener status sought by the Town of Stansted, Que., which, the PSB said, was officially notified in time to meet the deadline to seek intervener status.