[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

when your community is targeted

Get weekly updates

RSS feeds and more

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate via Stripe

Donate via Paypal

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Campaign Material

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Wind Watch is a registered educational charity, founded in 2005.

News Watch Home

Commerical landowners challenge local petitions seeking more say in wind projects 

Credit:  By Rachel Ohm, Morning Sentinel | February 22, 2016 | www.pressherald.com ~~

As communities want to opt out of fast-track wind development, forestland companies want a review.

Forest products companies that own land in unorganized and deorganized parts of Maine are challenging petitions by residents of the communities who want to opt out of fast-track commercial wind development.

Since Jan.1 more than 20 communities have petitioned the state under a new law that allows residents of the Unorganized Territory to ask for exemptions to the expedited wind permitting area created under Maine’s Wind Energy Act. Several of those petitions were filed Jan. 4, the first Monday after the law went into effect. Those challenging that first round of petitions had a deadline of midnight Monday to file challenges.

Communities have until June 30 to submit petitions to the Maine Land Use Planning Commission asking for exemption from the expedited area, and opponents have 45 days following the submission of the petition to challenge it. If no requests are submitted for the review of a petition, it will be approved and the land in question will automatically become excluded from the expedited permitting area.

By Monday afternoon the commission had received letters from three commercial landowners and a private individual challenging the requests of seven communities seeking to be excluded from the expedited wind permitting area, according to Samantha Horn-Olsen, planning manager for the commission.

Those challenging petitions so far include Seattle-based Plum Creek, which owns 400,000 acres in the Moosehead Lake region; timber companies Frontier Forest LLC and Lakeville Shores Inc.; and Milton Township private landowner Wayne S. Buck Sr.

Rep. Larry Dunphy, (I-Embden), who sponsored the law allowing communities to opt out, said he expects a large number of the petitions to be challenged.

“The reason I think these large landowners are challenging this is it’s pretty lucrative for them to lease their land. A lot of these wind developments are on high ridges that probably don’t get harvested a lot anyway. They simply lease that land, they make a ton of money and retain the rights to the land,” Dunphy said.

Still, he said the law is not about stopping wind development, but rather about allowing small communities to have a say in the permitting process.

Challenges require the state to thoroughly review the petitions and allow public comment, possibly through public hearings.

The Unorganized Territory is that area of Maine that has no local incorporated municipal government, according to Maine Revenue Services. There are more than 400 townships and islands that fall in the Unorganized Territory and about 9,000 year-round residents.

Forestland owners are “exercising their right to request a complete and thorough review of how such a land use designation change would affect their property, its value and future potential uses,” said Patrick Strauch, executive director of the Maine Forest Products Council, in a written statement. The council represents many of the timber harvesting companies that own land in those parts of the state and has worked with some landowners on challenging the petitions.

Jeremy Payne, executive director of the Maine Renewable Energy Association, said that while the association does not plan to challenge any of the petitions, he said the petition process has brought uncertainty to the wind industry.

“I understand local folks will feel they now have their voices heard, but I think that process is already in place through the Department of Environmental Protection,” Payne said. “At a minimum I think it has caused some companies to push pause on their development plans, and at a maximum I think it has caused some companies to redeploy their capital outside of Maine.”

Source:  By Rachel Ohm, Morning Sentinel | February 22, 2016 | www.pressherald.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Contributions
   Donate via Stripe
(via Stripe)
Donate via Paypal
(via Paypal)


e-mail X FB LI M TG TS G Share

News Watch Home

Get the Facts
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.


Wind Watch on X Wind Watch on Facebook Wind Watch on Linked In

Wind Watch on Mastodon Wind Watch on Truth Social

Wind Watch on Gab Wind Watch on Bluesky