The article, “Bethlehem turbine project faces headwind in the Poconos,” uses the phrase “backyard blight for residents,” suggesting that local opposition is a case of NIMBY (not in my backyard).
The Bethlehem Authority watershed in Carbon County is one of the last remaining, uninterrupted tracts of mature forest in the region and the source of drinking water for 115,000 residents in the Lehigh Valley. The dense forest of the watershed, protected from development for over half a century, acts as a natural filtration system allowing a continuous supply of fresh water to reach Lehigh Valley residents without the need for noxious chemicals and expensive treatment plants to purify the water. Only mature forests have this capability.
This extraordinary wilderness is being targeted for numerous industrial development projects, including cellphone towers, gas pipelines, and most recently, the proposed 300-acre wind farm. As more and more land is cleared within the watershed property, filtration capacity is reduced, increasing the potential for pollutants to enter the water supply.
Lehigh Valley residents who value the quality of their drinking water should be concerned about this project, even though it is nowhere near their own backyards.
Penn Forest Township
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