Cumberland Mountain Preservation Coalition (CMPC) spoke to a packed house in Fairfield Glades Multi-Purpose building last Thursday afternoon. Much of the crowd was left standing and many people could not attend because the parking lot was full.
It was a barnburner of a meeting. There were posters showing the planned location of the Industrial Wind Farm on the Mountain ridge that separates Crab Orchard and Fairfield Glade residents.
The discussion focused on Apex Energy, an out of state company who has been planning this project for over two years. It is understood they plan to sell the energy to the highest bidder, not to Tennessee residents, which is what the Coalition were led to believe by a statement by their president.
Since many of Glade residents are from different areas of the country, they have seen projects like this before and lived in States that had WIND FARMS. They were able to educate folks on many of their concerns.
Many people commented that the county’s they were from had ordinances or zoning regulations that required input from the residents, wildlife groups, and activist leaders so that they understand the full impact this would have on their community.
Many of the people who will live with these 650-foot Turbines felt betrayed that they were not given that opportunity by the County.
You could here a pin drop when a few of our residents from Illinois explained their experience living around these industrial turbines, the crowd listened intently to these ladies mimic the disturbing sounds that the turbines made while in operation.
George Chiaramonte, the CMPC Committee Chair began the meeting by introducing the mission statement of the recently formed coalition as an opposition group to the Crab Orchard project. It will research and gather information and report weekly to the residents of FFG and Cumberland County. Before the committee could even get under way the concerned residents started firing questions, Mr. Chiaramonte, for almost an hour answered questions and allowed comments from an electrified audience. It was obvious to everyone in attendance people were really upset.
Many comments were regarding the fact that Crab Orchard and Fairfield Glade residents were ignored and left out of the process for over two years.
Why weren’t issues concerning our wildlife habitat, infrasound, shadow flicker, blinking lights at night and loss of property values being addressed by our local leaders?
Many questions are still going unanswered. Another key point made was why was APEX now acquiring leases for over 7,000 acres when their original project only called for 1,800 acres?
One person said: “This is a slap in the face by Cumberland County officials to all the residents in the area that will be affected. “
Has Apex found their “POT of Gold” right here in Cumberland County?
For other residents who missed last weeks meeting we invite you to attend the meeting this Thursday at 4:30 at the Multi-Purpose building next to the Library.