I attended a state Board of Environmental Protection meeting concerning the permit for Saddleback Ridge Wind on Nov. 7.
The developer’s lawyer said over and over again that the data shows no wind project “out of compliance” in Maine. Why? Applicants must set up a toll free complaint hotline, then the DEP determines if complaints to the hotline are valid, which could take months, or years.
It has been suggested, worldwide, that local boards of health handle these hotlines.
In its March 2013 ruling on the Friends of Maine’s Mountains and Friends of Saddleback Mountain’s claim that the BEP abused its discretion when determining which nighttime sound level limit should apply to the Saddleback Ridge Wind application, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court noted that “It is unclear from the record how the Department and Board intend to enforce sound level limits for wind projects.”
At the Nov. 7 meeting, a BEP member asked why the third party sound specialist was not present. The board member expressed that he had a question and a lot of money was spent on this specialist, asking “where is he?”
The law on testing sound was cited, and twice I heard testing was done “downwind from noise source, between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.”
No one on the BEP board asked if the monitors were downwind. So much for testing data.
Were all the tests taken that are required?
DEP has stated that Mars Hill, Vinalhaven and Beaver Ridge are all “so sorry” projects. Noise rulings did not apply.
Alice McKay Barnett, Carthage
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