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Wind farm developer withdraws permit requests with DEP

Broad Mountain Power LLC, the firm that wants to build a wind project on the Broad Mountain in Packer Township and Nesquehoning Borough, has withdrawn two applications it had before the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The action comes three months after the Packer Township Zoning Hearing Board on Dec. 22, by unanimous vote, denied the firm’s request for a special exception permit and also for three variances. That decision came after more than 20 hearings in the multiyear dispute.

In a letter dated March 22, Carl J. DeLuca, Acting Program Manager, Waterways and Wetlands Program of the DEP, confirmed Broad Mountain Power’s withdrawals for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits within the two municipalities, saying no further action will be taken on the requests by the department.

DeLuca said in a letter to the applicant it will notify the Carbon County Conservation District, the two municipalities and two environmental firms of the withdrawals.

In denying the company’s request for the special exception permit and three variances of the township’s zoning laws, the zoning hearing board said the main reason for rejecting the developer’s requests is the board did not believe some of the testimony of experts during the hearings.

Among the board members’ concerns were the wind turbines would emit sounds louder than the rules allow – particularly the 16 turbines that reach 656 feet tall (of 21 turbines, total).

Board members also said they felt a case was made that the wind farm would reduce property values.