Maine DEP Developing New Rule For Wind Power Projects (PIERCE ATWOOD)

Note that Pierce Atwood is offering to assist (the wind industry presumably in drafting comments and that comments are due August 8. Please be sure to read this and pass it on to all you know. We need to submit every comment we can.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has announced that it is developing a new Site Law rule that will address certain development standards for wind projects. The standards that will be addressed by the new rule are in the Wind Energy Act, but are not addressed in current DEP rules.  To help facilitate the development of the new rule, DEP has released a pre-rulemaking draft for public comment.

Please read more here:

http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/maine-dep-developing-new-rule-for-...

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Comment by alice mckay barnett on July 23, 2016 at 5:24pm

NO FEMa money without PHN.........complaints registered....cost?   hot line?  

Comment by alice mckay barnett on July 23, 2016 at 5:22pm

Local Health Officers in Maine

In 1885, Maine legislature authorized Maine municipalities to establish local Boards of Health, each headed by a Local Health Of...ficer (LHO).

Every municipality/town is required by law to employ a Local Health Officer and LHOs are also responsible for adjoining area designated as unorganized.

Duties


Activities


• Health resource for community


• Report communicable diseases


• Problem solver to resolve complaints


• Examine nature of public complaints


• Investigate/Enforce complaints


• With consent, inspect and examine premises where filth and conditions pose a public health threat

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• Enforce public health safety laws
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• Keep record of complaints, investigation and resolution

Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on July 21, 2016 at 9:22am

Unfortunately, reasonable is determined by people. What may seem reasonable or unreasonable is usually determined by those with power and authority unless sufficient voices are heard from by the masses. Often reasonable is determined by those not affected well out of range of the effected areas or would never be bothered or lose quality of place and only see it as beneficial overall, especially their own personal gains directly or indirectly.

Our attacks on Nature to harvest its bounty of natural resources is unreasonable at times unless we know that they are renewable in a reasonable amount of time. When we consume more than can be replaced in our lifetime, those resources are not providing us a living without robbing from the future.

Wind turbines that can not last past a person's lifetime without replacement or constant repairs are robbing, not equalizing or gaining for mankind what mankind took from nature. This in itself is unreasonable. The Peace, calming effects, quality of place and life the unfettered views of Maine's Natural Environment provides is not of equal value or an improvement upon what Nature provides. This too is unreasonable.

Small scale local or privately owned turbines that are non intrusive to others is More reasonable than Massive intrusive turbines imposed upon others to provide for others who take in excess without knowledge, thought or concern of how it may be affecting people nor the lands they occupy. This is an unreasonable aspect of both Wind and solar which is fast becoming Landfill covers (another excuse to create another landfill or expand one?). 

Comment by Kathy Sherman on July 21, 2016 at 2:16am
P.S.
Is the catch-22 still in "unreasonable" adverse effects?
Comment by Kathy Sherman on July 21, 2016 at 2:13am
This seems like such a long time coming, as do all "reforms" to correct bad wind energy siting. I think that it would be HUGELY helpful to collate 1) the recommendations of Woodcock
2) former Commissioner Aho's testimony dates and brief summary of it to legislative subcommittee - I was just really struck by her admission that she could not provide numbers etc. on bird kills although her staff had data.
3) former Commissioner Aho's testimony, I believe to Maine Supreme Judicial Court re cumulative impact on Ponds
4) Testimony and lectures by landscape architects that turbines should be clustered rather than scattered - that's one thing that strikes me about Oakfield photo of view from opposite side of Spectacle Pond, the turbines were scattered across mountain. More importantly, the shadow just of the towers (never mind rotating shadows) crossed the entire pond. These are issues that are unaddressed by pre-construction visuals.
5) Denmark provided guidelines about siting turbines where they would harmonize with pre-existing landscape, places where there was already tall structures such as cranes at a working waterfront, NOT ridgetops.
6) I agree about not making testimony "emotional" in language such as monstrosities or subjective "ugly", but would advocate turning each "personal" into as much "scientific" as you can. There is no great science on any of this, which developers have honed into a real art. They show ugly foreground, whether a dirty snow bank, crooked telephone poles or rusty guardrail with invasive brush, and only distant miniscule turbines on a hilltop. That is not human perception that would focus only on the vista, not the foreground.
The still photo does not capture impacts on night sky or impacts of rotating 2 acre disc, as examples. Small in number or not, I do think that it is important to identify all aspects of the "intrusion" created by current generation grid-scale wind turbines before they are 600 ft. towers and 460 ft. wide rotors.
Also, what it takes to capture review is important as illustrated by Clifton, Vinalhaven (which should have gotten better review because of federal money), Falmouth MA (ditto) and many 1-5 turbine projects along coastal MA.
Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on July 20, 2016 at 4:29pm

@Paula D Kelso

" Because Pisgah supposedly won't have the minimum disturbed acreage to trigger full DEP review and is less than 10MW "

It is things like these that we need to speak out against at these hearings. Not in an emotional personal way but in a way that is both realistic, scientific and for the benefit of all communities and peoples of Maine. One Germ reproduced no matter how insignificant becomes and infection, and an infection becomes a loss of life.

Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on July 20, 2016 at 2:48pm

Maine DEP Developing New Rule For
Wind Power Projects

. . . Under the new rule, when reviewing projects for impacts to scenic character, DEP will consider the following:
(1) scenic impacts of a development’s associated facilities;
(2) the level of significance of any potentially affected Scenic Resource of State or National Significance (SRSNS);
(3) the existing character of the surrounding area;
(4) the expectations of a typical viewer;
(5) the purpose and context of the proposed wind energy development;
(6) the extent of the public’s use and enjoyment of any affected SRSNS;
(7) the scope and scale of any effect on a SRSNS;
(8) the cumulative scenic impact or effect when combined with other wind energy developments located within eight miles of any affected SRSNS; and
(9) whether there is any unreasonable adverse effect on scenic character.

Importantly, with respect to scenic impacts, the proposed rule would allow DEP to apply traditional Site Law standards to a proposed wind power project if DEP determines the project “may result in unreasonable adverse effects.” . . . 

► Source

Under these "New Rules" I would say many of Maine's Turbines would not have been constructed based on Scenic Character alone, however that may only apply to the SRSNC not the average person who has to endure the view of over 50% of a project.


Comment from my duplicated Post


Comment by Paula D Kelso 53 minutes ago

One of the unfortunate gaps in current DEP reg's is the ability of projects like the 5 turbine one in Clifton to slip under the radar with a very cursory DEP review. Because Pisgah supposedly won't have the minimum disturbed acreage to trigger full DEP review and is less than 10MW, there were no DEP hearings here or any formal process involving the Town. Also, since the Town does, supposedly, have stricter regulations than the State, our local officials will be primarily responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance. Oh wait, our provisions for monitoring and enforcing are so convoluted that the burden is on the person making a complaint and to follow through on a complaint would require months, if not years, and almost assuredly considerable expenditure by the complaintant. So it really doesn't matter what the regulation is, no one short of Donald Trump is going to challenge the wind facility owner, operator or town officials. Please someone who is going to approach the DEP on the revisions, ask about removing this loophole on small projects that still have horrific community impact.

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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