BETTERTON – The towns in Kent County were encouraged to join the opposition against the controversial Mills Branch Wind project during the monthly Council of Governments meeting Wednesday, April 15, at Barbara’s by the Bay.
Developed by Apex Clean Energy, the project calls for 25 to 35 500-foot tall wind turbines to be placed in the Kennedyville area. A number of residents and county officials have objected to the presence of a wind farm.
Kent County Commissioner Bill Short said he attended an April 7 public hearing at the General Assembly. The hearing was on a bill that would prevent the Public Service Commission from excluding Kent County in the decision-making process on the wind farm.
Though that bill failed, Short said support for the opposition was growing across the Bay Bridge and that two state senators were going to send letters to the PSC, asking that its evaluation process be reviewed.
“They didn’t look at the consequences when they passed all this legislation,” he said. “The consequences that come to little counties like ours are just draconian.”
Short said communications about further support are currently taking place between the commissioners and the offices of Gov. Larry Hogan; Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Hogan’s director of intergovernmental affairs; Michael Richard, Hogan’s deputy chief of staff; and Secretary of Agriculture Joseph Bartenfelder.
“There have been two projects that have already been killed in the state of Maryland. we’re going to make this number three,” Short said. “We’re working out the details now and going to find a way to move Apex to the next zone.”
Short said the commissioners are encouraging town councils to write letters of support against the project.
“We’re very well fighting this,” he said. “The more we have, the merrier.”
Galena Councilman John Carroll said Kent County’s landscape will be forever changed with the addition of the wind farm, and that animal life, from livestock to migratory birds, will be threatened.
“Five hundred feet is pretty tall,” said Galena Mayor Sam Sessa.
Carroll also also recommended that council members do research into the matter. He said the wind farm project would affect Kent County as a whole.
“It’s a really big deal for all of us,” he said.
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