LOWELL – The two protesters arrested Monday and cited with disorderly conduct will face their charges in court in the fall.
Lamoille County sheriff’s deputies who were hired by Green Mountain Power to guard the entrance to the Lowell wind project arrested brothers Ira Powsner, 26, and Jacob, 21, both of Ira, when they stepped into Route 100 late Monday morning. They and other protesters successfully blocked the approach of a truck pulling a large wind turbine section intending to enter the wind site for a while Monday.
The two brothers were held in custody in police cruisers while an estimated 40 law enforcement officers from various police agencies gathered prepared to arrest all those blocking the truck and other traffic on the busy road if they did not back down.
Route 100 is part of the shortest drive between Newport City area and Burlington.
In the end, police led by Lt. Kirk Cooper, head of the Derby State Police barracks, negotiated an agreement with the protesters. The deputies released the Powsner brothers on citations to appear in court on the charges at a later date in exchange for an end to the blockade.
The protesters, encouraged by wind opponent and wind site neighbor Don Nelson, eventually stepped out of the road allowing the truck and its load to enter the parking lot for the wind project.
The two Powsner brothers are scheduled to appear in Orleans Superior Court – Criminal Division on Sept. 11 on charges of disorderly conduct.
Six other protesters are due in court today for pre-trial hearings. Their trial is scheduled for August.
Unlike Monday’s protest on public property, the six other protesters were arrested in December, charged with trespassing on the Lowell wind site itself, not a public road.
The protesters on Monday blocked the road for about two hours, estimated Orleans County Sheriff Kirk Martin. There were three different sheriff’s departments, troopers from five different state police barracks, and state officers from Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles and Fish and Wildlife, plus the U.S. Border Patrol.
Martin said that the blockade in the road caused delays in paving projects because equipment was caught in the traffic jam for hours. Other businesses were affected by the traffic stoppage, he said.
Trucks on Tuesday did not roll with wind turbine parts destined for Lowell or for Massachusetts through the county because of the rain, Martin said Tuesday morning.
The first shipments to the Lowell wind site began last week. The loads from the Island Pond rail yard are expected to continue through to the fall.
Essex County Sheriff Trevor Colby has urged motorists who encounter one of the oversized delivery trucks for the wind project to not only slow down but pull over to let the vehicles pass.
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