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Apex leaving Chowan holding bag on wind project

Who’s driving the Timbermill moneytrain? Chowan County representatives are on-board shoveling coal. Apex conductors are apparently allowing lease-affected landowners to toot the whistle. What’s ahead if the bridge across the ravine goes out? County commissioners haven’t considered all of the liabilities. Is there a complete list of benefits and liabilities for citizens and commissioners to see?

What is clear from HDR’s evaluation of the application is an environmental assessment is not needed for a conditional use permit to move forward. This means Chowan County is completely liable. Chowan County’s attorneys have set the citizens up to be legally responsible for anything and everything that occurs with the wind project. If we continue to let this go through, Apex will have played Chowan County citizens for fools. Liability for the project was traded for the only known benefit to the county: a promise of future tax income for 20 years.

As the conditional use permit application stands now, federal and state environmental assessments won’t be needed unless the number of turbines is increased. As a result, Chowan County will have to pick up the costs of fighting the federal government if turbine blades kill an eagle. Bat kills, construction accidents, health concerns, etc.; you name it and Chowan County claims it in court. For example, my wife’s existing vertigo and dizziness will be aggravated if studies made of residents surrounding wind turbines are valid. You tell me: should I litigate on her behalf? County ordinances approve setbacks of a half-mile versus safe setbacks described in the studies of at least one mile (and three miles for symptoms to disappear)?

So, will the litigation caboose ride the tracks to a Raleigh courthouse or take the fast track to federal court in Washington, D.C.? Landowners receiving income from their leases may also be named as co-litigants because lawyers follow the money trail. Will county attorneys fight the Environmental Protection Agency if a turbine falls over on federal wetlands?

Timbermill is more like a wind tunnel testing new turbine application marketability.Unfortunately, all the wind will be blowing back up on the commissioners. All aboard Perquimans?

Patrick Flynn