May 9, 2012

In the game

By Laura Carpenter, The Newport Daily Express, 8 May 2012

DERBY/ HOLLAND – The Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) granted intervener status on a permissive basis to two parties who want to participate in the process and hearings for the proposed controversial Derby Line Wind Project. The Holland and Derby Citizens Group for Responsible Energy (HDCRE) and Derby Line resident Mary Jenne were granted the status this week. Both were originally denied as they had missed the deadline to file, however the denial came without prejudice. PSB hearing officer John Cotter said that if both could explain why they missed the March 7 deadline, he would reconsider his decision.
The original PSB public hearing in Derby was postponed due to weather conditions. The deadline to seek intervener status was just days after the original hearing date. The hearing was rescheduled, but the date to apply to intervene was not.
Jenne told the PSB she was unaware that the deadline was not postponed even though the hearing was. Jenne wants to participate because she believes that her health condition could be affected by the noise and she has concerns about aesthetics, property value and taxes, and impacts on her home from blasting. Now she can.
“(G)iven the schedule in this proceeding is being substantially rewritten as a result of Encore’s failure to provide appropriate notice to certain adjoining landowners, I see little, if any, harm resulting from granting Ms. Jenne and the HDCRE permissive intervention at this point in the process,” Cotter wrote in the order.
The HDCRE group also said that it assumed the deadline to intervene would be moved as the hearing was. The group also contends that because of delays in obtaining information from Encore, there was no consensus among the group to intervene until following the public hearing.
The Holland Select Board will vote on the issue May 21.
Citizens’ group members are Michael (Mitch) Wonson, the president of the group; Keith Gray, vice president; and Vicky Farrand-Lewis, 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.
The group is participating in the process on potential impacts to property values, noise emissions, shadow flicker, ice throw and aesthetics.
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 objected to both motions to intervene, stating that the parties did not demonstrate that they were qualified to intervene, and were untimely with no explanation, among other reasons.
The Vermont Department of Public Service filed a letter in early April stating that it does not oppose the two motions to intervene.

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