New Link to Listen in to ENR Scenic Impact Public Hearing - Right Now

For some reason unbeknownst to me, the link I provided earlier brings us to the audio for the wrong committee.

I am thus trying again.

If this happens to bring you to the wrong committee, please click on the dropdown arrow in the white box and make sure that Room 216 is selected.

http://legislature.maine.gov/committee/#Audio/216

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Comment by Long Islander on April 22, 2015 at 6:38pm

Thank you Eric!

Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on April 22, 2015 at 6:34pm

Got the video on LD 911 which I will start processing, as soon as I have completed the segment on the Rep Chapman response to the ENR on LD 750 & Mining. This will be in 2 -3 segments. I will let Gary or Long Islander know when they are posted to YouTube. 

Comment by alice mckay barnett on April 22, 2015 at 6:07pm

pix comments .....1st is from mount Blue State Park summit.....>3 miles, with Colonel Holman next in view >8 miles...and then Canton Mountain > 10 miles....so no count.

2nd pic is Rollins Ridge Project,

bottom 2 are California

Comment by alice mckay barnett on April 22, 2015 at 5:53pm

Gary, makes my head spin...............

Comment by alice mckay barnett on April 22, 2015 at 5:52pm

 State's unorganized or deorganized areas designated as outstanding or significant from a scenic perspective in the "Maine Wildlands Lakes Assessment" published by the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission in June 1987;

Comment by alice mckay barnett on April 22, 2015 at 5:21pm

"Maine's Finest Lakes" study published by the Executive Department, State Planning Office in October 1989; or   of which how many western great lakes were left out because of lack of funds?

Comment by Gary Campbell on April 22, 2015 at 2:28pm

I'm surprised how many people have apparently not read the Wind Energy Act. Here is the relevant section defining a SRSNS:

9.  Scenic resource of state or national significance.   "Scenic resource of state or national significance" means an area or place owned by the public or to which the public has a legal right of access that is:

 A.  A national natural landmark, federally designated wilderness area or other comparable outstanding natural and cultural feature, such as the Orono Bog or Meddybemps Heath;

 B.  A property listed on the National Register of Historic Places pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, including, but not limited to, the Rockland Breakwater Light and Fort Knox;

 C.  A national or state park;

 D.  A great pond that is:
   (1) One of the 66 great ponds located in the State's organized area identified as having outstanding or significant scenic quality in the "Maine's Finest Lakes" study published by the Executive Department, State Planning Office in October 1989; or

   (2) One of the 280 great ponds in the State's unorganized or deorganized areas designated as outstanding or significant from a scenic perspective in the "Maine Wildlands Lakes Assessment" published by the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission in June 1987;

 E.  A segment of a scenic river or stream identified as having unique or outstanding scenic attributes listed in Appendix G of the "Maine Rivers Study" published by the Department of Conservation in 1982;

 F.  A scenic viewpoint located on state public reserved land or on a trail that is used exclusively for pedestrian use, such as the Appalachian Trail, that the Department of Conservation designates by rule adopted in accordance with section 3457;

 G.  A scenic turnout constructed by the Department of Transportation pursuant to Title 23, section 954 on a public road that has been designated by the Commissioner of Transportation pursuant to Title 23, section 4206, subsection 1, paragraph G as a scenic highway; or

 H.  Scenic viewpoints located in the coastal area, as defined by Title 38, section 1802, subsection 1, that are ranked as having state or national significance in terms of scenic quality in:

     (1) One of the scenic inventories prepared for and published by the Executive Department, State Planning Office: "Method for Coastal Scenic Landscape Assessment with Field Results for Kittery to Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth to South Thomaston," Dominie, et al., October 1987; "Scenic Inventory Mainland Sites of Penobscot Bay," Dewan and Associates, et al., August 1990; or "Scenic Inventory: Islesboro, Vinalhaven, North Haven and Associated Offshore Islands," Dewan and Associates, June 1992; or

     (2) A scenic inventory developed by or prepared for the Executive Department, State Planning Office in accordance with section 3457.

And here's the section explaining the Visual Impact assessment requirements:

4.  Visual impact assessment; rebuttable presumption.   An applicant for an expedited wind energy development shall provide the primary siting authority with a visual impact assessment of the development that addresses the evaluation criteria in subsection 3 if the primary siting authority determines such an assessment is necessary in accordance with subsection 3. There is a rebuttable presumption that a visual impact assessment is not required for those portions of the development's generating facilities that are located more than 3 miles, measured horizontally, from a scenic resource of state or national significance. The primary siting authority may require a visual impact assessment for portions of the development's generating facilities located more than 3 miles and up to 8 miles from a scenic resource of state or national significance if it finds there is substantial evidence that a visual impact assessment is needed to determine if there is the potential for significant adverse effects on the scenic resource of state or national significance. Information intended to rebut the presumption must be submitted to the primary siting authority by any interested person within 30 days of acceptance of the application as complete for processing. The primary siting authority shall determine if the presumption is rebutted based on a preponderance of evidence in the record.

Finally, here are the criteria to be applied in evaluating scenic impact:

3.  Evaluation criteria.   In making its determination pursuant to subsection 1, and in determining whether an applicant for an expedited wind energy development must provide a visual impact assessment in accordance with subsection 4, the primary siting authority shall consider:

AThe significance of the potentially affected scenic resource of state or national significance;

BThe existing character of the surrounding area;

CThe expectations of the typical viewer;

DThe expedited wind energy development's purpose and the context of the proposed activity;

EThe extent, nature and duration of potentially affected public uses of the scenic resource of state or national significance and the potential effect of the generating facilities' presence on the public's continued use and enjoyment of the scenic resource of state or national significance; and

 F The scope and scale of the potential effect of views of the generating facilities on the scenic resource of state or national significance, including but not limited to issues related to the number and extent of turbines visible from the scenic resource of state or national significance, the distance from the scenic resource of state or national significance and the effect of prominent features of the development on the landscape.

 

A finding by the primary siting authority that the development's generating facilities are a highly visible feature in the landscape is not a solely sufficient basis for determination that an expedited wind energy project has an unreasonable adverse effect on the scenic character and existing uses related to scenic character of a scenic resource of state or national significance. In making its determination under subsection 1, the primary siting authority shall consider insignificant the effects of portions of the development's generating facilities located more than 8 miles, measured horizontally, from a scenic resource of state or national significance.

Comment by Long Islander on April 22, 2015 at 2:10pm

The National Park Service has asked the bureau to keep wind areas at least 34 miles from the historic Bodie Island Lighthouse, south of Kitty Hawk, to keep turbines out of view. 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/national-park-service-k...

Comment by Kathy Sherman on April 22, 2015 at 2:06pm
Re scenic impact to 8 miles - yes they are getting away with it, except for the case that SunEdison/First Wind is appealing. And even there, the impact on each of the lakes was not judged sufficiently adverse in and of itself to merit rejection. Rating the degree of impact will remain subjective, and the protection is only for those designated as 'national- or state-' SIGNIFICANCE. But 16 miles is better than 8 miles, although it is doubtful that it is enough for the new rotor sizes, ROTATING, on the new tower heights envisioned on RIDGELINES.
In the pix posted, are not the upper two Maine, and the cluttered bottom two smaller turbines in California?
Comment by Long Islander on April 22, 2015 at 2:06pm

Passing on from an earlier Q&A someone had supplied:

"How often and in what circumstances is a VIA required presently? How much does a VIA cost?  How long does it take? Will the applicant be able to reasonably predict when one is required, therefore NOT he delayed in the permit process?

 

Every wind project, if it is proposed within 8 miles of a SRSNS, does a VIA under the present scheme. They just do it, even though the statutory threshold is three miles. It is one of many studies they must do pre-application. This bill would only change the distance to 15 miles, and there is a "rebuttable" presumption that it is needed.  If the SRSNS is obscured by another mountain, for instance, the applicant may rebut the need for the VIA. The cost is insignificant relative to the overall development cost. A wind project is generally in this “study” phase for at least two years before they ever submit the application. 

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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