CLARENDON – Proposed state legislation that would place a moratorium on large scale wind projects has municipal backing.
The Clarendon Select Board supports a senate bill calling for a three-year moratorium on industrial sized wind projects. The proposed legislation also calls for Act 250 to oversee the permitting process for energy generation proposals, rather than the Public Service Board.
“The important part of this bill is it brings it right down to the local level,” Select Board Chairman Michael Klopchin said at Monday’s board meeting.
Selectman Robert Congdon Jr. drafted a letter to be distributed to Rutland County senators and representatives.
Congdon wrote that more studies need to be conducted on environmental impacts of wind generation to ensure maximum efficiency of proposed projects.
“If wind energy is as beneficial as developers are making it sound, then there is no reason more time cannot be taken putting together proposals and seeking the best interest of all parties involved,” Congdon wrote.
The selectman also wrote that the municipal board supported the provision transferring the permitting process to the local level.
“We do not support the notion that three members of a Public Service Board should be making large scale energy development decisions for any region or town,” Congdon wrote.
He said if the bill became law citizens most impacted by proposed projects would have the opportunity to participate in public hearings at the local level.
Klopchin added that the Select Board supported a related bill that would give a municipality greater authority over energy projects to be located within the community and similar weight to adjoining municipalities that may be impacted by the project.
Board members indicated their support for Congdon’s letter and planned to distribute copies to legislators in the next few weeks.
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